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Loveridge brace earns vital win for Reds



IT turned out to be a satisfactory afternoon for Llanelli Town, for as well as opening up a four point gap between themselves and their visitors at the foot of the table, courtesy of a brace by James Loveridge, the two teams immediately above them, Carmarthen Town and Cefn Druids, both lost, closing the points gap to five and six respectively.

Four new players made their debuts, although three of them – Scott Coughlan, Lee Bevan and Luke Morgan – are all ex-Reds, but the signing of Swansea City legend, Leon Britton, is probably the biggest coup the club has made, and is a tremendous morale-booster, both to the team and the Welsh Premier League.

Hopefully, his vast experience playing at the highest level will be the spur the Reds need to extricate themselves from their present predicament, and ensure their survival at the end of the season.

Llandudno, too, have been busy in the transfer window, bringing in Les Davies, Ryan Wade and Zebb Edwards who were all named in the starting line-up, and they were the first to threaten when a Toby Jones corner was headed against the bar by George Harry before the danger was cleared.

A run by Harry up the middle saw him unleash a shot which Coughlan dealt with comfortably, but he earned his reward on 12 minutes by putting the visitors ahead, meeting a ball into him on the half volley before turning and beating the home keeper.

The hosts were struggling somewhat to establish a foothold in the game, and they were hard pressed at times to contain their opponents, typified when Mark Connolly sent Harry clear up the right, and his delivery into the goalmouth could have gone anywhere, but deflected for a corner.

Photo by Darren Harries

As the contest progressed, the Reds began to come to grips with proceedings, and Kurtis March fired wide of the near post from a Jordan Davies assist, before they levelled matters on the half hour through Loveridge, who seized on a pass by Chris Jones to beat goalkeeper Shaun Pearson inside his near post

The home striker went close again shortly after, seeing his finish flash fractionally wide, while Davies failed to make a clean connection when he was found in the box.

But within seven minutes of the equaliser, Loveridge struck again to notch up his brace when he was the recipient of a pass from Davies, before once again beating the Llandudno keeper with a well taken finish.

Narrowly ahead at the break, the Reds had once again to withstand some early pressure after the restart, when Telor Williams, who had replaced Zyaac Edwards at half time, forced Coughlan into a save when he met a cross into the middle.

Joe Clarke then sent Loveridge clear up the right where he made inroads into the box, but his final ball across the face of goal sailed just beyond the back post.

The next home threat arose when Scott Tancock burst through the middle and his fiercely struck shot was parried away by Pearson with Clarke meeting the rebound, only for a timely block to relieve the danger.

Photo by Darren Harries

The visitors retaliated through Jones whose delightful delivery sent Alun Webb clear on a run down the right flank, and he cut inside but dragged his finish across the net and wide of the target.

With Llandudno desperately attempting to grab an equaliser, the Reds goal was surviving some close calls at times, but somehow it held out with Bevan a rock at the back, and when they countered, Loveridge, who was having an outstanding match, twice almost added to the tally.

He then set up Davies by crossing the ball into the goalmouth, but somehow the chance was lost when Pearson was able to hold on to the finish from point blank range.

The visitors might well have levelled matters shortly before the final whistle, when a corner by Jones found Davies, but he directed his header inches wide from a good position.

The home side hung on to clinch three precious points, and now face a visit to The New Saints on Saturday evening (Jan 12) for their final game prior to the mid-season split. Kick-off is at 7.30pm.

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Old Gold charged by FAW



CARMARTHEN Town have been charged with allegedly playing an ineligible player in their 2-0 win over Llanelli Town on New Years Day.

A statement from the Football Association of Wales states that the charge relates to David Vincent who had been suspended having accumulated five yellow cards.

The statement reads: “The Football Association of Wales (FAW) has charged Carmarthen Town AFC under FAW Rule 38.1.6 and Welsh Premier League Rule 18 with allegedly playing an ineligible player during their 2-0 win over Llanelli Town AFC on Tuesday, January 1, 2019.

“The charge relates to the playing of David Vincent, who was suspended as and from December 28, 2018 for one match for the accumulation of five yellow cards.

“Carmarthen have seven business days until January 16, to respond to the charge. The matter will be heard by an FAW Disciplinary Panel at the earliest possible opportunity.”

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Llanelli and Llandovery through in Cup



LLANELLI and Llandovery are both through to the second round of the WRU National Cup after they secured first round victories on Saturday (Jan 5).

Llandovery eased through to the second round as they scored a century of points against Championship side Beddau.

The Drovers scored 16 tries and 12 conversions with Corey Baldwin scoring four of those tries.

Kristian Jones also scored two tries and had all twelve conversions for a personal points haul of 34.

There were also braces for Joseff Powell and Carwyn Evans. Dino Dallavalle, Lewis Ellis-Jones, Lee Rees, Rhodri Jones and replacement Llew Smith also crossed the whitewash as the home side sealed a 104-0 victory.

Llanelli also went through after also beating Championship side Ystrad Rhondda 18-32.

Taylor Davies was first on the scoresheet for Llanelli and Ashley Sutton then added a penalty. Kalum Evans and Thomas Rogers then scored tries for the visitors while Sutton converted the second of the two.

Gareth George also scored while Rogers grabbed his second try to which Sutton added the extras to seal the win.

Carmarthen Quins were agonisingly knocked out of the first round after a late Rhys Jones penalty gave Ebbw Vale a 19-20 victory.

Aled Thomas scored an early penalty for the Quins to level things up but the Vale took the lead only for Osian Knott to score a try to which Thomas added the extras to level the game at 10-10.

The Vale took the lead again but a Thomas penalty on the stroke of half time kept them in it at 13-17.

Thomas then kicked two second half penalties to put the Quins ahead and it looked as if they would go through but Jones had other ideas as his penalty won it for the Vale.

Newcastle Emlyn bowed out of the competition as they were beaten 21-36 by Premiership strugglers Bargoed.

The Emlyn were very much in the game at half time with the score at 21-22 in favour of Bargoed but they took control in the second half to seal their passage.

The draw for the second round was made on Tuesday (Jan 8) and it saw Llanelli drawn away to fellow Premiership side Pontypridd.

Llandovery were given a home tie against Trebanos who saw off Maesteg Quins in the first round.

Those ties will be played on the weekend of January 26, but before that all sides return to Premiership action on Saturday (Jan 12).

The Quins face Bargoed looking to respond to their Cup defeat while Llandovery are at home to Bedwas and Llanelli are away to Merthyr.

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Blacks hold on to deny Seagulls



BURRY Port held off a strong second half comeback from Fishguard as they earned victory by a single point in a thrilling game which finished 35-34 in favour of the Blacks on Saturday (Jan 5).

The Blacks were on a five-match losing streak while Fishguard were looking to bounce back after being beaten by Pembroke in their last game.

The game started at a frantic pace with Burry Port’s Luke Ruddal gathering their own kick at kick off and piling on the pressure on the Seagull’s try line, and with quick ruck ball Ruddal darted over for the opening score.

The Blacks definitely had a spring in their step and looked dangerous with ball in hand, a cross field kick looked as if it would bring another score only for winger Tom Davies to just lose control. This didn’t stop the Blacks and from a driving lineout 10m out and the home pack rolling to the try line, the referee awarded a penalty try and yellow card for collapsing the maul.

Burry Port continued to apply the pressure and tried hard to make the extra man count and with Youth winger Tom Davies making up for this early mistake finished a fine try, A penalty soon after by outside half Ceiron Thomas stretched the lead further.

Fishguard however were in no mood to roll over, a rare outing into the Burry Port half saw a lovely cross field kick work perfectly for Ed Bendall to run in unopposed.

This started a period of good play by the visitors and forced Burry Port into some errors and giving Penalties away, and with good field position managed to force another try from close range through Chris Shousha.

Photo by Darren Harries

Burry Port hit straight back with a move on half way slicing the defence apart for winger Tom Davies to race in for this second and the bouns point try.

The game continued to be played at a frantic pace and Burry port were enjoying themseleves, another excellent team try was finished off by that man again Tom Davies who completed his Hat trick and surely left Fishguard to much to do to get back in the game, score 32-10.

The last play of the half from the restart saw Fishguard regain possession and manage to put the Blacks under pressure and after a few advantages from the referee for Burry Port ill-discipline saw a yellow card given to Burry Port.

With Fishguard knowing a penalty wasn’t enough to get back in the game they opted for a scrum and after a few phases a missed tackle allowed Ben John to cross under the posts and give them a lifeline for the second half.

The second half was a totally different affair with Burry Port looking to protect their lead by opting for territory rather than possession and resulted in them kicking far too much ball away.

Fishguard seemed to enjoy having the ball more and with some powerful runners in their ranks started causing Burry Port problems. A few loose kicks were capitalised on by the Fishguard back 3 and after another fine cross field kick saw them get a well-deserved try, scored by Jordan James to make it 32-22 and bring the Seagulls back in the game.

Burry Port failed to convert a few chances and the supporters could sense a bit of uncertainty creeping in. Another yellow card added to the worries of the Burry Port team, and a break by the visitors led to another try from Ed Bendall and the momentum had most definitely shifted to the Seagulls.

The score was now 32-27 and both sides knew the next score would be vital with time running out.

Finally Burry Port stopped kicking the ball away and after a long phase of ball in hand worked their way up field and once in kicking range forced a penalty which fullback Ben Williams put over to put the Blacks a crucial 8 points ahead with only a couple of minutes remaining.

Fishguard had already secured a try bouns point and even though there might not have been enough time to get the two scores needed for victory there was a losing point up for grabs and to their credit they managed just that with the ref calling last play and Fishguard managing to keep the ball alive and James crossed at the death for his second to also get an important score which could prove crucial come the end of season.

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