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.
More signings as Cwm build squad
FOLLOWING on from announcing their three new signings last week Cwmamman United have announced a further six this week.
Nathan Davies, who has captained the Carmarthenshire League Select side, joins from Bwlch Rangers while Rob Morgans joins having played with Haverfordwest County and Goodwick United previously.
They also announced the signing of four tremendously talented young players in Oliver Diamond, Korey Palmer, Stevie Evans and Joe Lewis.
“We are really pleased to have these boys on board as we are not only strengthening our first team squad with some really talented players ” said Ryan Stephens, First Team Manager, “but we are also building for the future.”
Ammanford romp to friendly win
AMMANFORD romped away in a goal fest in this pre season friendly beating their plucky opponents Pontarddulais by ten goals to nil on Friday (Jul 12).
Ammanford Manager Gruffydd Harrison will be pleased with his teams workout and even more excited with his forward line finishing prowess.
There were hat tricks for Gavin Jones who showed excellent pace and new signing Tristan Jenkins along with goals from Lee Trundle, Bruno Forkouh, Mathew Fisher and Craig Frater.
Ammanford have another friendly this Friday (Jul 19) when they take on Ynysygerwn.
After that they travel to Pontardawe Town on Tuesday (Jul 23) before a trip to Welsh Premier League neighbours Carmarthen Town on Saturday (Jul 27).
Carmarthenshire cyclist heading to Mont Blanc
WITH THE TOUR DE FRANCE in full swing and the World’s best doing battle against each other, there is another big cycling event taking place within the French Alps.
The Tour du Mont Blanc claims to be the Worlds toughest road cycling event and Llangadog based cyclist, Matthew Page will be lining up and attempting to complete the arduous route.
The event is a non-stop, circumnavigation around the alpine peak of Mont Blanc, starting in France alpine resort of Les Saisies and heads through Switzerland and Italy before returning to finish back in Les Saisies.
Covering a total of 330km (205 miles) with 8300 vertical metres (27,300 feet) of climbing it is roughly the equivalent to tackling two of the toughest Tour de France stages, back to back without stopping and takes in well known alpine passes including the Grand Saint Bernard, Petit Saint Bernard, Cormet de Roseland and Col de la Forclaz.
Matthew is a former professional Mountain Biker, who competed internationally and specialised in 24hr solo competitions and also Carmarthenshire Sports Personality winner. Now a cycle event organiser and cycling media journalist he organises major off-road events within the county including Battle on the Beach, Gritfest and in November 2019 will be organising a round of the British Cycling cyclocross national series within Pembrey Country Park.
With less than 50% of starters likely to finish, Matthew is understandably apprehensive about the challenge: “This will undoubtedly be one of the hardest days I will ever encounter on the bike and despite having done 24hr events previously, the extra challenges the Tour du Mont Blanc brings, including lack of a support crew, route navigation, logistics and uncertain weather especially at higher altitudes. The event has been a major focus for me this year and I am looking forward to the challenge”.
The event takes place on Saturday July 20, with the fastest riders expected to finish in under 12 hours.
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