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Old Gold seal win late on

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CARMARTHEN Town eventually beat rivals Llanelli Town 3-1 on Saturday (Apr 13) after dominating for large parts of the first half.

Relegated Llanelli did take the lead but the Old Gold came from behind to lead but it wasn’t until late on that they secured the three points.

As last week, a much less impressive second-half performance allowed the opposition to maintain a serious interest in the match until a late third goal ensured victory for the Old Gold.

Town completely dominated the opening stages with frequent fast incisive raids through the midfield which the visitors’ overworked defence struggled to resist – yet despite forcing a series of early corner-kicks, it was not until the 9th minute that a genuine scoring opportunity arose.

Greg Walters sent a long pass down the left touchline to find Jordan Knott who neatly slipped the ball inside to Lewis Harling on the edge of the penalty area – he instantly released a delightful curling shot that went beyond the reach of ‘keeper Scott Coughlan but drifted just wide of the far post.

Shortly afterwards the ball was played through to Liam Thomas who, from 30 yards out, sprinted effortlessly past two defenders to reach the penalty area then dispatched a stunning angled drive that defeated Coughlan but flew just narrowly over the bar.

During this opening spell Llanelli had barely managed to make any meaningful progress going forward and the home defence had been put under no real pressure – but in the 15th minute all that changed.

An Old Gold attack broke down well inside the visitors’ half and the ball was quickly played forward beyond the half-way line where Town central defenders Lee Surman and Dave Vincent found themselves outnumbered by three Reds forwards – Joe Clarke sent the ball forward to Tristan Jenkins who raced clear towards the edge of the penalty area then fired a crisp strike past ‘keeper Lee Idzi and into the far corner of the net.

Stung by that setback Carmarthen straightaway swarmed upfield with even greater intensity than before – yet still they were unable to produce a shot on target or test Coughlan in any significant way.

Then on 23 minutes they deservedly got back on level terms. Knott sent a throw-in to Thomas on the corner of the penalty area and he swiftly lifted a high cross to the far side of the goalmouth where Luke Bowen stabbed the ball past Coughlan and into the back of the net.

Town continued their dominance of the play and went close to taking the lead after 28 minutes – Mael Davies, from the centre-circle, sent a neat pass through to Walters who took the ball forward then released a powerful 30 yard drive that defeated Coughlan but slid marginally wide of the post.

They achieved their aim just moments later – Bowen slipped a smart pass on to Knott who raced into the penalty area then ‘squared’ the ball across to Thomas and, with typical confidence and precision, Town’s top scorer fired it past Coughlan and into the back of the net.

The Old Gold kept up the pressure and on 38 minutes Jordan Vickers launched a long pass down the right touchline that found Bowen who sprinted past Joe Hunt then sent an inviting cross into the penalty area where Ceri Morgan arrived with perfect timing but, under pressure from two defenders, he drove the ball straight at Coughlan.

In the closing stages of the first-half Vincent fired a long clearance upfield which Bowen, again, collected – he took the ball forward to the by-line then crossed it into the penalty area but saw Davies, from 15 yards, wastefully fire his shot wide of the goal.

The initial period after the interval was a decidedly scrappy affair with neither side seemingly able to keep possession of the ball long enough to make any meaningful progress, let alone create a decent scoring opportunity.

However eventually on 61 minutes the match livened up when Davies’ corner-kick was headed away but only as far as Harling who from 20 yards struck a fierce volley that Coughlan, at full length, spectacularly turned around the post.

Straightaway the game became more evenly-balanced as it opened up with some lively end-to-end play.

The Old Gold defence dealt capably with the intermittent pressure due principally to another sound performance from experienced defenders Surman, Vincent and Knott, while Idzi once more looked sound and secure whenever his involvement was necessary.

By contrast the visitors’ defence seemed more vulnerable and Coughlan was certainly the busier ‘keeper, particularly in the closing stages of the match when Town were once again attacking with more pace and purpose.

After 80 minutes Declan Carroll sent the ball across to Thomas who moved swiftly forward into the penalty area then neatly slipped past a defender before dispatching a rasping drive that Coughlan, with an impressive reflex save, turned around the post.

In the 87th minute he was powerless to prevent the Old Gold from increasing their lead and settling the result. Luke Cummings finished a surging run along the right flank with a smart cross into the penalty area where Thomas, with a neat touch, sent the ball further on to Bowen who from 15 yards struck a sharp volley beyond Coughlan’s reach and into the back of the net.

This was Luke’s 11th WPL goal of the season – he and Liam Thomas have now scored 31 League goals between them out of Town’s current total of 42 which, remarkably, represents close to 75% of that figure. The next highest scorers are Mael Davies, Greg Walters and Declan Carroll all with just 2 WPL goals each. All of which graphically demonstrates the value of these two experienced strikers to the team throughout this season.

Then in added time Coughlan denied Town a fourth goal – Davies, from the right touchline slid a fine pass through to Thomas who outpaced a defender to reach the edge of the penalty area then released a fierce angled shot that the overworked ‘keeper just managed to block.

The three points gained from this victory have lifted Carmarthen closer to the 9th placed team in the WPL table, Cefn Druids, and with just two more matches to play there remains the possibility of overtaking them.

But to preserve this chance Town must win their penultimate match, at Cefn, next Saturday, April 20, (k/o 2.30pm) and then hope for favourable results in the final round of fixtures the following week.

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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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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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