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Ammanford welcomes ground hopper

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BEFORE a ball was kicked on Friday evening (Mar 29) at the Recreation Ground, the Committee, Players and Supporters of Ammanford AFC extended a very warm welcome to “Football Ground Hopper” Mr John Stancombe who was visiting his 1707th Ground.

John, who is totally blind, had travelled from his home in Lowestoft in East Anglia to be at the game.

Sadly, John lost his sight back in 2006 but this hasn’t stopped him from embarking on his favourite past time.

John fell in love with the beautiful game when his Dad took him as a youngster to watch Wimbledon Football Club at Plough Lane and his love affair with football has continued to this day and he doesn’t allow his disability to interfere with his passion.

Rob Thomas Chairman providing John with commentary on the match v Briton Ferry Llansawel

John asks detailed questions about every Ground he visits and will meticulously record the facts of his visit and requests photos to add to his extensive collection.

Ammanford Chairman Rob Thomas guided John around the Recreation Ground and provided the dimensions for John’s statistics.

Rob also provided John with commentary on the match against Briton Ferry Llansawel.

John enjoyed his visit to Ammanford AFC and thanked everyone for their hospitality and wished the club continued success for the future.

Well over 700 spectators have watched Ammanford’s last three home games – a tremendous achievement in keeping with the club’s ongoing ground improvements.

Ammanford AFC are in a good run of form and their last outing against Haverfordwest County saw a highly entertaining game with the home side producing a fine performance to earn a well deserved victory.

Ammanford Club Captain Rhys Fisher summed up the season so far by saying: “The season has been a bit of a rollercoaster. The first 3 games we didn’t win and people wrote us off but soon as that first win the whole spirit changed!

“We are going in to tonight on the back of probably our best team performance and we are just loving playing in front of our crowds. Big buzz around the club so hoping to carry it on through till the final game and see where it takes us”.

Carl Shaw’s Briton Ferry Llansawel arrived at the Rec on the back of a defeat to leaders Penybont and were looking to get back to winning ways.

The game turned out to be in stark contrast to the last few home games at Ammanford as both sides produced a stalemate of a first half with both goalkeepers having very little to do.

It wasn’t until the latter end of the first half that Ammanford produced their best attacking chances of the game.

Ammanford’s Richard Lewis picked up the ball and weaved his way past the visitors defence and unleashed a shot that was just narrowly wide of the goal.

A few minutes later a Craig Frater shot looked goalbound all the way but a timely deflection took the ball just over the crossbar.

In the second half both teams endeavoured to break the deadlock but with quarter of an hour gone it was the visitors who broke away on the right flank with Stephen Davey showing his electric pace. He fired in a fierce low driven cross which took a wicked deflection off the unfortunate Ammanford centre back Nick Arnold who tried to clear but the ball veered off his foot into his own net.

Minutes later, the visitors nearly doubled their advantage when again Stephen Davey raced away and put in a pin point cross which was met by striker Gareth Jones who saw his headed attempt sail over the bar.

The visitors were beginning to take control of the game and Davey was the dangerous outlet for their attacking play.

Ammanford Manager Gruff Harrison reacted and used all his three substitutes in an attempt to get back into the game.

It nearly worked when Mathew Fisher shot from the edge of the box and it looked for all intense and purposes that it was beating visitors keeper Conah McFenton but the ball struck the back legs of substitute Bruno Forkouh and rebounded to safety.

It summed up an evening of frustration for the home side.

The Briton Ferry Llansawel defence well marshalled by Rob Thomas held firm and it was the visitors who celebrated at the final whistle.

Ammanford are next in action on Wednesday, April 10, when they travel to Llantwit Major.

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Sport

Cottage Inn 5K returns

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FOR the second time, runners of all ages and abilities headed to The Cottage Inn Pub, Carmarthen Road on the outskirts of Llandeilo on Friday Evening (Sept 6) for an event which was first introduced 12 months ago in 2018.

Thanks to the great feedback from those in attendance at the debut event in September last year, here it was making a welcome return in the road running calendar once again!

The Cottage Inn Junior Mile & 5K distances was a road running race held to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support with a donation also made to the Llandeilo Mayor Fund.

After starting across the field from the Cottage Inn pub itself, the course took runners on an out-and-back loop around the quiet country lanes of the area.

Once the morning rain had cleared away, the evening sunshine in West Wales saw a total of 101 finish the 5K whilst 41 children got involved in the Junior Mile with a number of parents and guardians running alongside little ones.

All finishers who completed the course collected their finishers’ medal, welcomed home with a round of applause by parents, friends and club mates. In addition, the first three boys and girls in the junior mile and the first three men and women in the 5K were presented with a trophy.

This all happened before runners and spectators socialised afterwards, enjoying some burgers, hot dogs and drinks in each other’s company.

Club vests were out on show from the local clubs of Llanelli AC, Amman Valley Harriers, Carmarthen Harriers, Trots and Sarn Helen. Junior mile children were representing Ysgol Llangadog, Ysgol Bro Dinefwr, Ysgol Llangynnwr, Llandeilo CP, Ysgol Llandybie, Ysgol Brynaman, Ysgol Teilo Sant, Ysgol Ffairfach, Ysgol Gymraeg Rhydaman, Ysgol Nantgaredig and Ysgol Parcyrhun. Several Unattached athletes also got involved at their first appearance at a running event on Friday evening.

Two course records were broken in 2019 and both in the male categories. Macsen Toogood took nine seconds off his own time recorded in 2018 of 5 minutes 7 seconds, whilst David Keenan’s winning time of 16:59 in the 5K was sixteen seconds faster than 12 months ago.

Junior Mile – Boys: 1 Macsen Toogood (Ysgol Bro Dinefwr/Carmarthen Harriers) 00:05:07; 2 William Coles (Ysgol Llangadog/Carmarthen Harriers) 00:05:25; 3 Charlie Price (Ysgol Bro Dinefwr/Carmarthen Harriers) 00:05:47

Junior Mile – Girls: 1 Esme Lynock (Ysgol Llangadog/Carmarthen Harriers) 00:06:17; 2 Grace Toogood (Ysgol Teilo Sant/Carmarthen Harriers) 00:06:43; 3 Fflur Jones (Ysgol Llangadog) 00:07:18

5K – Men: 1 David Keenan (Llanelli AC) 00:16:59; 2 Matt Yelland (Amman Valley Harriers) 00:18:59; 3 Andy Mccall (Amman Valley Harriers) 00:19:00

5K – Women: 1 Wendy Price (Carmarthen Harriers) 00:20:09; 2 Elizabeth Tremlett (Carmarthen Harriers) 00:20:30; 3 Noami Williams (Amman Valley Harriers) 00:22:48

The event by now is annual and it is expected to attract big numbers when 2020 comes around.

Organised superbly and efficiently by Amman Valley Harriers’ Clara Davies, she thanked all the volunteers, runners and supporters alike who turned out to support the event and help raise money for a great cause.

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Borderers hold on to beat Pembroke

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Pembroke 24-25 Whitland

A LATE missed conversion saw Whitland take the spoils from an entertaining Pembrokeshire-derby with Pembroke on Saturday (Sept 14).

Pembroke drew 25-25 in Aberystwyth in their first game in League 1 West the previous week and they knew they would face another tough test against a strong Whitland pack.

The home side started the better of the two as they pulled their opponents around the park before scoring their first try of the game.

19-year-old Tom Harding-Jones picked up the ball from the backs and beat a couple of defenders to touch down. Toby Smith added the extras for a 7-0 lead.

They scored again soon after as Harding-Jones took a long pass from Smith before diving over in the corner. Smith missed the conversion.

Whitland were then given a penalty try as Pembroke were adjudged to have collapsed a driving maul, bringing the score back to 12-7.

Pembroke lost Lloyd Davies to a yellow card as a result of that and shortly before the break Whitland scored again through Jac Howells to bring the scores level.

It remained level at half time but Whitland went ahead early in the second half when Nico Setaro scored a penalty.

Pembroke then hit back as Sean Dalling went over on the right hand side and Smith then converted to make it 19-15 to the home side.

The Borderers then went ahead with an unconverted try that was scored by Marc Jones.

The home side then began to dominate as they looked to retake the lead but a loose pass saw Whitland kick ahead and it was Gino Setaro who won the race to the ball to touch down and increase their lead. The conversion was missed and the score remained 19-25.

With time running out Jordan Evans, on as a second half sub, picked up the ball from the scrum and ran 15 metres to score.

Smith faced a difficult conversion from out wide and was just unable to get the ball through.

It meant the score stayed at 24-25 and try as they might they were unable to find a late score which would have won the game.

Whitland held on for a thrilling win but Pembroke were left ‘gutted’ that they didn’t quite pick up the win.

Despite the result, Pembroke Head Coach Geraint Lewis was pleased with his squad which featured a number of young players adding that they had competed well with two good sides in their opening games of the season.

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Sport

Kia’ kit out Calsonic U16s

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GRAVELLS KIA KIDWELLY has gifted branded kit to a local football team, Calsonic Kansei U16s, as part of Kia Motors (UK) Ltd’s nationwide ‘Gift of Kit’ initiative which aims to support local grassroots football teams across the UK.

The new kit aims to help local players stand out on the pitch and since the initiative started, Kia has seen fantastic results for the local teams with 121 dealerships providing over 3,470 sets of kit to 129 football clubs and 127 cricket clubs across the nation.

Wyn Edwards, one of the coaches of Calsonic U16s commented; “We can’t thank Gravells Kia Kidwelly enough for helping this newly formed team feel professional in their new kit. We are hoping it will inspire them to perform well this season.”

Jonathan Gravell, General Manager of the Gravells Group said: “We are thrilled to be supporting Calsonic U16s. Playing in their new kit will be a great boost to them and their supporters. As a local business, we are passionate about giving back to our community and we look forward to seeing how the team performs.”

For more information about Kia’s ‘Gift of Kit’ initiative and to find out how you can get involved with future projects, please visit www.kiagiftofkit.co.uk/club.

You can also stop by Gravells Kidwelly SA17 4TF or call the team on 01554 890436 to find out what’s coming up in your area.

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