CARMARTHEN Town ended the 2018/19 season on a high as they thumped Aberystwyth Town 6-2 at Richmond Park.
Four Carmarthen goals in nine second half minutes turned a defeat into a hammering. Jordan Knott’s 6th minute opener for the hosts was equalised by Paolo Mendes on 29 minutes, and Ceri Morgan re-took the lead for Carmarthen seven minutes after the restart. Liam Thomas’s quickfire hat trick (61, 66 and 67 minutes), followed by another strike from Declan Carroll (70 minutes) devastated Aber’s evening, and although Jamie McDaid responded on 72 minutes, it was a bad night at the office for the Seasiders.
The Seasiders gave youth its chance with Under 19s stars Harry Cottam, Niall Coleridge and Carwyn Morgan all earning first ever starts for the Black and Greens.
A lively start saw Liam Thomas going close for Carmarthen before a Steff Edwards cross allowed Coleridge to flash an effort past the post.
The hosts then took the lead: Mael Davies surged down the right and brought a decent save from Terry McCormick, but when the ball came back in Knott landed in the right place at the right time to finish with aplomb.
Luke Cummings sent a shot over the bar and then was denied by McCormick, while Marc Williams’ header from a Coleridge cross was off target.
With Carmarthen dominating possession they seemed to be on top but Geoff Kellaway hit the post with a cross as Aber tried to get back into it.
Cummings again tried a lob which McCormick picked up, and Thomas contrived to miss from another Davies cross, but then the visitors came back strongly.
Coleridge dinked another effort just wide after some trickery from Paolo Mendes, and then just before the half hour Aber were level when Wes Baynes’ deep cross caused consternation at the back and Mendes pounced to score with a low volley – yet another goal in Carmarthenshire for the powerful midfielder.
Carwyn Morgan brought home keeper Lee Idzi into the game with a shot but as the rain eased off so did the goal chances, and having improved after a poor start the Black and Greens went in level at half time at 1-1.
The second half began brightly enough with Baynes crossing for Coleridge, but the effort went wide.
Carmarthen got their heads back in front on 52 minutes when the evergreen Craig Hanford’s cross fell nicely for Ceri Morgan to head home at the back post.
The visitors then endured a nightmare 15 minutes when it all fell apart at the back. Davies again set up Cummings to fire over, McCormick kept Aber in the game with a fine save low down and then Ceri Morgan slotted wide from a great position.
Just past the hour Thomas found space in the box to make it three, and with Aber giving the ball away and Carmarthen showing real energy from midfield in their attacking moves, sub Declan Carroll crossed from the left for Thomas to score again.
With the hosts cutting through at will Thomas got his hat trick on 67 minutes, only for Carroll to make it six, smashing home from the right with fully twenty minutes to go.
Jamie McDaid did salvage a modicum of respect for Aber, cutting in from the right wing and finishing nicely with his left down into Idzi’s bottom corner, but from now in the game was about damage limitation for Aber, and despite Knott and Carroll’s late salvos the game ended at 6-2, which in truth was a very poor ending to an otherwise respectable season for the Black and Greens.
Ingledon stars as Laugharne sweep Town aside
LAUGHARNE remain second in Division 3 after they beat Haverfordwest Thirds by 150 runs in Division 3 of the Pembrokeshire League on Saturday (May 18).
The Carmarthenshire-side batted first and made an impressive total of 217-8 from their 45 overs.
James Ingledon was the mainstay of the innings as he top scored with 71 while he was supported by Carl Stephenson who scored 26.
Andrew Edwards added 22 and Kevin Pearce scored 21 as Town struggled to keep them below 200 runs.
Alistair Dyer was the pick of the bowlers for Town with two wickets for the loss of 22 runs.
There was also two wickets for Paul Jenkins (2-45) and Will Phillips (2-45).
Having starred with the bat, Ingledon then did so with the ball as he took five wickets for the loss of only 16 runs.
Carl Smith also took three for the loss of 15 runs as they helped bowl Haverfordwest out for just 67.
Jason Phillips top scored with 18 for Town but it did little to affect the outcome of the game.
The win keeps Laugharne nine points behind leaders Herbrandston who they play in the second round of the Harrison Allen Bowl tonight.
On Saturday (May 25), Laugharne are away to Llanrhian while Haverfordwest Thirds are at home to Narberth Seconds.
Llanelli secure Premiership status
LLANELLI secured their place in the Principality Premiership for next season on Friday night as they beat Championship winners Pontypool 27-16 in the play off at Aberavon.
Pontypool have only lost one game in three seasons but knew they would need to win to go up at the expense of Llanelli.
They started well but saw a couple of opportunities go begging early on and there was still no score with twenty minutes gone.
Six minutes later Pontypool charged down a kick and were given a penalty after Llanelli were deemed guilty of an offside for which saw yellow.
Pooler then sent the resulting kick through the posts to give them the lead.
Soon after, Shaun Evans had a chance for Llanelli when he ran into the Pooler 22 but after he was halted they went right when they perhaps should have gone the other way and the chance soon went.
Pooler then doubled their lead with another penalty as Llanelli were guilty of a number of infringements in the first half.
However, on the stroke of half time, Llanelli took the lead as they initiated a rolling maul and Taylor Davies went over for the try which was converted by Tom Prydie.
That gave the men in red a 7-6 lead at the break but they knew they would face a strong charge from Pooler in the second half.
Early in the second half, Llanelli looked to increase their lead when Ryan Conbeer went on a snaking run but he was halted just before the line by an excellent try-saving tackle from Lloyd Lewis.
Pooler then took the lead again with a penalty but Prydie answered with a penalty of his own to put Llanelli back in front at 10-9.
Soon after, Llanelli began to take control as they pushed a Pooler scrum backwards, earning a penalty, and Prydie kicked them further ahead.
Two minutes later they had another try as Steff Hughes kicked forward and Conbeer kicked on before falling on the ball in the try area. Prydie then added the extras to make it 20-9 with fifteen minutes to go.
They then scored their third try of the game as Lee Rees broke free after an excellent Callum Evans pass and the on-loan Llandovery player ran on to score. Prydie converted again to complete a great man-of-the-match performance.
With three minutes to go Scott Matthews touched the ball down under the posts and after it was confirmed as a try by the TMO it was converted bringing the score to 27-16.
Llanelli continued to play and thought they had scored late on but Callum Evans was called back after referee Nigel Owens, superb in the middle, spotted a forward pass from Prydie.
It left Pooler with little time to respond and Llanelli saw the game out to seal their place in the Premiership for the 2019-20 season.
Spotlight on superstars in South Wales
THE next two days around Cardiff will reverberate to the excited strains of a bowls community poised to experience the best of the best, when the first week of a two-week festival of international competition reaches its climax.
Over the five days the 2019 Atlantic Championships – featuring twenty-five bowling nations from the European, African and South American theatres at four host clubs around the Welsh capital – Barry Athletic, Dinas Powys, Penarth Windsor and Penylan – has gone through the qualifying stanza in women’s singles and fours, along with men’s pairs and triples.
In the short term the rewards are medals for excellence at this event, while qualification for next year’s world championships in Australia enjoys equal status.
Tomorrow and Thursday will be the stuff of which adventure heroes are made as many of the game’s greatest players strut their stuff – tomorrow’s elimination finals are at Barry Athletic and Dinas Powys, then the gold medal play-offs at Penylan on Thursday.
Spectators at Penalyn this morning enjoyed a teaser of what to expect when two superstars went at it in the flat green game’s version of a cat fight. It was a women’s singles encounter featuring a former Commonwealth Games gold medalist England’s Natalie Chestney, who won in Dehli in 2010; up against Scotland’s Caroline Brown, who has three world championship gold medals to her credit – the indoor singles at Potters in 2007, World Cup singles at Warilla in 2014 and the 2012 world fours in Adelaide.
The quality of bowls was exceptional as Chestney demonstrated the class that elevated her to the dizziest heights. After scores were level at 9-9 at eleven ends, the England star restricted Brown to just three scoring ends for the rest of the match, winning 21-14.
At major international events sectional top finishers graduate immediately to the semi finals, while the next two best finishers are sent to the elimination rounds.
Tomorrow at Dinas Powys, Scotland takes on England and Kenya plays Zimbabwe in women’s fours at 9.30am, with winners to play South Africa and Wales respectively at Barry Athletic at 2.30. Similarly, Malta plays Ireland along with Jersey against Guernsey in men’s pairs at Dinas Powys at 9.30am, with the winners heading to Barry Athletic in the afternoon to take on the mighty England and Scotland teams in the semi finals at 2.30pm.
Conversely, Barry Athletic will host England against Malta and Jersey versus Namibia in the morning men’s triples, with winners pitted against Scotland and South Africa respectively at Dinas Powys in the afternoon.
The blue ribbon women’s singles at Barry will see Natalie Chestney (England) v Colleen Piketh (South Africa) and Cindy Royet (France) v Ruti Gilor (Israel) at 9.30am – the winners playing Lucy Beere (Guernsey) and Caroline Brown (Scotland) respectively at Dinas Powys in the afternoon.
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