CUP football came to the Recreation Ground in Ammanford on a very warm Saturday afternoon (Aug 3) as the home team welcomed their opponents Penrhyncoch, nicknamed The Roosters, and their travelling support.
In an earlier interview for a Cup preview podcast Roosters Manager Gari Lewis rated his team as underdogs for this tie but most supporters knew that this was indeed Cup football and certainly not at all predictable.
Ammanford were captained by full back Mathew Jones in the absence of regular skipper Rhys Fisher who picked up an injury during the week.
The Black and White army were out in force and the drum beat out as the match referee Teifion Cook got this cup match under way.
It was Ammanford striker Craig Frater who fired wide from the first corner of the game.
Home defender Richard Lewis was first to test the finger tips of Roosters goalkeeper Leigh Lewis.
The deadlock was broken after ten minutes play when Ammanford’s Brett Enoch linked up with Frater to set up fellow striker Gavin Jones who latched onto the ball on the left and sublimely volleyed his shot over the goalkeeper to nestle the ball into the right side of the Penrhyncoch net to make it 1-0.
A great start for the home team. Ammanford were bossing the midfield with Ammanford’s Ben Soal catching the eye.
Penrhyncoch were finding it difficult to break the Ammanford lines with Euros Griffiths marshalling at the heart of the defence.
With ten minutes to the break it was Ammanford’s Captain Mathew Jones who put in a low cross for striker Gavin Jones to power his low hard shot into the corner of the net. A brace for Gavin and a 2-0 lead.
Roosters’ Lance Jones tried to lift the visitors spirits but his shot went wide of the mark.
Ammanford picked up where they had left off in the first half with Brett Enoch coming close.
Roosters Jonathan Evans responded soon after but likewise his shot was over the crossbar.
Penrhyncoch thought they had pulled a goal back from striker Ian Burrell but a fine save from Ammanford’s Number one Craig Morris thwarted the effort.
The dangerous Craig Frater then almost got in at the other end but he was denied.
Then with a quarter of an hour left on the clock Penrhyncoch were trying desperately to get a foothold in the game.
Another close range header from Jonathan Foligno sailed over the cross bar.
Ammanford’s Gavin Jones almost got his hat trick but was denied by goalkeeper Leigh Jenkins.
With six minutes remaining Penrhyncoch finally got the goal they wanted when their substitute Carwyn Morgan headed in from close range from a Lance Jones cross.
Time was against the visitors and maybe it was a question of too little too late.
Ammanford were celebrating at the final whistle and after commiserations with their opponents will now look forward to a mouthwatering away trip on Saturday (Aug 10) to Welsh Premier League outfit Newtown in Round two.
Ammanford Club captain Rhys Fisher echoed the sentiments of his team by saying: “The boys are thrilled and can’t wait to go up to Newtown with nothing to lose and show premier league opponents what we can do.”
Personal bests recorded at running events
THE Welsh Athletics calendar saw a series of midweek Endurance and Sprints open meetings held over the summer months at four South Wales venues – Cwmbran, Cardiff, Swansea and Newport. These events have helped club athletes of all ages secure personal best times by the help of pacers.
The sprints open saw 100m and 200m take centre stage whilst the endurance side saw athletes run over 800m, 1500m, 3000m and 1500m steeplechase disciplines.
More than twenty new lifetime bests were set as twenty-five athletes from Carmarthen Harriers, Pembrokeshire Harriers and Llanelli AC athletics clubs competed throughout the series.
Swansea University Athletics Track welcomed 100 endurance athletes to the third fixture of the MDAL Welsh Milers endurance open meeting on Wednesday, July 31. The conditions near Swansea Bay were ideal for distance running and for running quick times on a bright evening.
In one of the many standout performances, Frank Morgan improved on his Carmarthen Harriers under 15 boys 1500m club record, running 4:10.38.
Results: Dafydd Jones (800m) 2:00.04, Liam Edwards (800m) 2:00.24, Jonathan Williams (800m) 2:01.69, Callum Campion (800m) 2:04.21, Iwan Wilson (800m) 2:24.97, Danielle Franklin (800m) 2:31.74, Rogan Cox (800m) 2:40.96, Frank Morgan (1500m) 4:10.38, Tomos Rees (1500m) 4:25.02, Iwan Thomas (1500m) 4:52.56, Jake Lynock (1500m) 5:04.37, Amy Greatrick (1500m) 5:17.83 and Frances Mackie (1500m) 5:35.00
Two weeks later (Wednesday, August 14), Macsen Toogood (800m) 2:25.55, Amy Tucker (800m) 2:47.65, Callum Campion (1500m) 4:20.21, Carys Jones (1500m) 5:07.45 and Jake Lynock (1500m) 5:17.97 headed to round four and the final Welsh Milers open at Spytty Stadium in Newport.
Cardiff International Sports Stadium was the venue for three Welsh Athletics Run with the wind sprints events in May, June and August.
Competing on the new blue track in the Welsh capital at Leckwith, the meetings featured many of Wales’ top sprinters and up-and-coming future stars. Athletes ran against those that were the same ability in mixed age groups, meaning that there would be a great opportunity to pick up some personal bests.
Results: Lewis Evans (100m) 11.22 & (200m) 23.09, Liam Topp (100m) 11.49 & (200m) 23.46, Jamie Topp (100m) 13.22, Luke Thomas (100m) 12.39 & (200m) 23.40, Ellie Loweth (100m) 13.20 & (200m) 26.74), Thaia Davies (100m) 13.47, Ella Wintle (100m) 12.59, Lucy Wintle (100m) 13.72 & (200m) 27.55, Harrison Wheeler (100m) 11.80 & (200m) 23.78, Rhodri Roberts (100m) 13.34 & (200m) 27.42, Danielle Franklin (100m) 13.49 & (200m) 27.91 and Joseph Franklin (100m) 14.33 & (200m) 30.58
Wanderers slip to defeat
CARMARTHEN Wanderers slipped to defeat on Saturday (Aug 17) as they were beaten by league leaders Swansea in a low scoring encounter.
With rain in the air, Swansea were invited to bat first and their hosts restricted them to 133-9 in their 50 overs.
However, the Wanderers were unable to reach their target as they were bowled out for just 70.
Brad Wadlan and Jake Roberts got the visitors off too a good start as they shared 43 runs for the first wicket.
Owain Binding made the breakthrough as he bowled Roberts on a score of 17 and Iestyn Scourfield then bowled Wadlan on a score of 36 to leave Swansea on 60-2.
Thirteen more runs followed before Adnan Ghori was stumped by Ifan Knott off the bowling of Ian Hughes.
Steven Mills was then brought on to bowl and he trapped Gareth Hayden leg before before also bowling Nathan Jones for a second-ball duck.
That left Swansea struggling on 88-5 but Connor Miles and Thomas Haden shared 28 runs for the sixth wicket.
Miles had made a patient score of 25 but was then ran out by Liam Rogers as the visitors looked to put more runs on the board.
Gareth Thomas then had Haden stumped by Knott on a score of 12 before Thomas took the catch to dismiss Callum Jenkins and give Robbie Crawford his first wicket of the day.
Thomas then bowled Mike Hayden as he finished with figures of 2-16 and in doing so, took his 100th Premier League wicket.
That left Swansea on 119-9 but Ioan Webber finished unbeaten on 12 to see Swansea to their total.
Despite the low score the Wanderers knew they would need to bat well if they were to stand a chance of winning the game but they soon found themselves in trouble.
Leighton Walters was bowled by Adnan Ghori and Steven Mills was bowled by Brad Wadlan as the hosts slipped to 14-2.
That became 24-3 when Wadlan caught and bowled Owain Davies.
Swansea continued to pick up wickets and next to fall was Gareth Thomas after being bowled by Jake Roberts.
Wadlan then trapped Darrel Griffiths leg before and Connor Miles bowled Owain Binding to leave the Wanderers reeling on 37-6.
Robbie Crawford and Ifan Knott then looked to get their side moving as they shared 31 runs for the seventh wicket.
Crawford top scored with a knock of 20 but he couldn’t go on as he was caught by Ioan Webber off the bowling of Gareth Hayden.
Osian Webber then bowled Liam Rogers for a duck before Hayden bowled Knott on a score of 10.
Hayden then brought the game to a close when he had Ian Hughes caught by Miles to leave Carmarthen all out on 70.
Swansea’s win saw them gain promotion to Division 1 while Carmarthen remain fifth after their seventh loss of the season.
On Saturday (Aug 24), Carmarthen travel to second from bottom Newport Fugitives while Swansea are at home to bottom side Panteg.
Davies brought in for Wales
WALES have made three changes to their side to face England in Cardiff on Saturday with Jake Ball, James Davies and Dan Biggar coming into the starting XV.
Ball comes into the second row alongside captain Alun Wyn Jones with Davies coming into the back row alongside Aaron Wainwright and Ross Moriarty.
James will also line-up alongside elder brother Jonathan Davies for the first time in a Wales jersey. (The last pair of brothers to play alongside each other for Wales was Jamie and Nicky Robinson in 2006).
Dan Biggar comes into the starting line-up and will partner Gareth Davies at half-back. The rest of the backline remains unchanged with Hadleigh Parkes partnering Jonathan Davies in midfield and Josh Adams, George North and Liam Williams comprising the back-three.
Wales have also named an unchanged front row with Nicky Smith, Ken Owens and Tomas Francis all starting.
“This weekend is another opportunity for us to take the field, test ourselves and continue our preparation for Japan,” said Wales head coach Warren Gatland.
“It is a little over five weeks until we kick off our campaign in Toyota against Georgia and it is important we are fully prepared and rugby-ready by then.
“We were disappointed to get the loss last weekend so it is important we step it up on Saturday and put in a big display in front a of a packed Principality Stadium.
“The squad are looking forward to getting back out there, taking another step towards the RWC and putting in a big performance.”
Elliot Dee, Wyn Jones and Dillon Lewis provide the front-row cover with Aaron Shingler and Josh Navidi completing the forward contingent. Aled Davies, Jarrod Evans and Owen Watkin are named as the backline cover.
Wales Team To Face England: Saturday, August 17 (KO 14.15 Channel 4/Sky Sports):
15. Liam Williams (Saracens) (56 Caps)
14. George North (Ospreys) (84 Caps)
13. Jonathan Davies (Scarlets) (74 Caps)
12. Hadleigh Parkes (Scarlets) (16 Caps)
11. Josh Adams (Cardiff Blues) (11 Caps)
10. Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints) (71 Caps)
9. Gareth Davies (Scarlets) (42 Caps)
1. Nicky Smith (Ospreys) (29 Caps)
2. Ken Owens (Scarlets) (65 Caps)
3. Tomas Francis (Exeter Chiefs) (41 Caps)
4. Jake Ball (Scarlets) (33 Caps)
5. Alun Wyn Jones (C) (Ospreys) (126 Caps)
6. Aaron Wainwright (Dragons) (9 Caps)
7. James Davies (Scarlets) (3 Caps)
8. Ross Moriarty (Dragons) (32 Caps)
16. Elliot Dee (Dragons) (19 Caps)
17. Wyn Jones (Scarlets) (13 Caps)
18. Dillon Lewis (Cardiff Blues) (13 Caps)
19. Aaron Shingler (Scarlets) (18 Caps)
20. Josh Navidi (Cardiff Blues) (16 Caps)
21. Aled Davies (Ospreys) (17 Caps)
22. Jarrod Evans (Cardiff Blues) (1 Cap)
23. Owen Watkin (Ospreys) (14 Caps)
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