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Honours even in Amman valley derby



AMMANFORD and Cwmamman United were made to share the spoils in front of over 300 people in the second Amman Valley derby of the season on Saturday (Jan 5).

In a hotly contested fixture, both sides were reduced to ten men early in the second half as both Dale Jones and Brieg Matthews were given their marching orders.

Ryan Hurlow gave Cwmamman the lead, and the away side missed a golden opportunity when Morris saved their spot kick. Before, Ammanford secured an equaliser late on through winger Liam Samuel, as both sides had to settle for a draw.

It was the hosts who dominated the early proceedings and set the tone for the second local derby of the season.

On the back of an impressive November, Ammanford were confident of usurping their local neighbours who had enjoyed six wins to begin the season.

Richie Lewis appeared to be the focal attacking outlet of Ammanford’s attacking plan, as the former Llanelli man was pushed forward to accommodate captain Rhys Fisher back into the line-up.

However, the wide men saw his early tame effort saved with ease.

The first half was dominated by the focus on the midfield battle, and Dale Jones’ presence at the base of Ammanford’s midfield proved pivotal in hindering the Cwmamman attack.

Both Liam Samuel and Enoch had opportunities but provided little threat to Chris Curtis in the visitors’ goal.

However, the away side did carve out a great opportunity half an hour in, as pacey wide-man Hurlow darted through on goal, but right-back Nich Arnold made an expertly timed last ditch tackle to halt the attacker as he was about to test Morris with an effort on goal.

Liam Samuel attempted to set up Alfie Stottor, when he delicately chipped a ball into space for the former Haverfordwest man to fire an effort in on goal, but Stottor, who has found the back of the net seven times already in the league this season, couldn’t get a clean strike away.

Five minutes before the interval, Cwmamman target man Christian Allen was given a half chance when he brought the free kick down with his chest before volleying wide of the mark, and he again tested Morris with a diving header, but Morris held on.

The second period saw the tables turned as Cwmamman dominated the play, and the away side were given a boost when tenacious midfielder Jones was given his second yellow for a late challenge.

In the aftermath of the dismissal, Brieg Matthews was given a straight red card that saw both sides reduced to ten men each, mirroring the matchup between the two sides at Grenig Park earlier this season.

A tactical switch at halftime saw Hurlow switch sides, which provided already cautioned defender Rhys Fisher with a difficult task in the second half, and it proved the case as Hurlow darted through on goal on 57 minutes but fired just passed the post.

But Hurlow remained a menace going forward and eventually his persistence up top paid off, as he put Morris under pressure as the goalkeeper hesitated to collect a ball and the attacked pounced to tap home and send the away side ahead.

Matthew Jones was brought on to replace Fisher to try and plug the hole, but with 74 minutes gone Nick Glendon handed Cwmamman a penalty after a clumsy challenge inside the area.

However, Morris dived low to his left to turn away Ashley John’s spot kick.

The save handed Ammanford a lifeline, as Harrison rung the changes and added tireless winger Ricky Martin to press Cwmamman’s defensive line.

The pressure eventually took its toll, as a mix up at the bag allowed Mathew Fisher and Craig Frater in on goal. However, Frater fired straight at Curtis, but Liam Samuel was on hand to fire home the rebound.

The goal provided Ammanford a morale boost, as the crowd roared the home side on to chase the winner. Craig Frater had an opportunity late on, but from the edge of the area he placed his effort just passed Curtis’ right hand post.

The referee drew to a close an intense and passionate Amman Valley derby, celebrated in the honour of supporting Paul’s Pledge, in a game which both sides felt they should have won, but a game in which a draw was probably deserved.

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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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