ON a sunny summer Friday evening (Aug 23) at Grenig Park, Cwmamman took on an experienced Cwmbran Celtic in the second round of JD Cymru South fixtures.
It was the first ever match under the impressive new floodlights, on the night it was a lively and positive encounter with Cwmamman coming out 2-1 winners to gain their first points of the new league campaign.
A good crowd of over 100 in Glanaman saw an exciting end to end match which was a great advertisement for the coming season for both teams.
It was Cwmbran Celtic with the initial early pressure having successive corners, though both teams had clear chances to score with Chris Allen coming close with a header and Celtics’ Chris Ham forcing a great save from Blues’ keeper Dylan Thomas.
On the 39th minute it was Celtic’s winger Jordan Clarke that scored with a smart tap in from 5 metres following a rare Blues defensive slip up, 1-0 to Cwmbran.
The first half finished with some strong attacking play from Blues newcomers Rob Morgans and Sam Harrison.
The second half brought, both the new floodlights and a re-energised Blues with Calem Rees and Nathan Davies driving out from the defence.
Soon it became all Cwmamman possession with experienced midfielders Ross Morgan and Luke Williams threatening the Celtic goal and forcing great saves from experienced Celtic goal keeper Scott James.
More and more Blues pressure finally came with Chris Allen winning a deserved penalty on the 71st minute that resulted in a penalty that Ryan Thomas scored from, 1-1, Cwmbran also had key defender Dion Molyneux sent off by Referee Teifion Cook.
Almost from the restart Blues scored with a second penalty kick following a clear Celtic handball, it was that man again Ryan Thomas that smashed the penalty kick in , 2-1 to Cwmamman.
The Blues continued to push forward after taking the lead, both Luke Williams and Ryan Thomas almost scoring a third Cwmamman goal.
But in the final minutes Cwmbran Celtic finished the match strongly, but the Blues central defence held firm through the strong defence of captain Gareth Howarth and Rob Jones.
Overall a fine, first home floodlit match that showed lots of skill and energy from the Blues, and a brave, battling 2-1 win.
Following the match Manager Ryan Stephens said: “It’s our first JD Cymru South win and I am pleased both with the result and more importantly how the whole first team played. I wish Cwmbran Celtic all the best for the coming season”.
The Blues First team now travel away to Taffs Well AFC on August 27.
Llanelli Warriors RFC Win World Award
THE LLANELLI WARRIORS were named double Ability Rugby International Champions, the results announced with perfect timing just as the Warriors held their presentation evening.
The Ability Rugby International Championship compares the results of all the mixed ability sides across the globe, with an emphasis on games played but with a win element incorporated.
The results for 2018/29 have been much delayed but saw the Warriors regain the title from Scottish National Clan team. They edged out newcomers the Dragon Allstars who were playing their debut season. The 2019/20 season may have been curtailed, but the Warriors still managed more fixtures than any other mixed ability side, this time edging out another new side, the Port Talbot Panthers.
Mixed Ability rugby sees players with and without disabilities play alongside each other and against ‘normal’ rugby clubs. The concept continues to spread rapidly and the days when it was just the Warriors and their Swansea rivals the Gladiators, have long gone. 10 years ago the 1st sides started forming outside of West Wales and there are now over 100 teams and groups world wide.
Captain Richard Evans was very proud. “It takes a lot to organise fixtures regularly so this is a great reward for all our efforts. The boys are very committed and we just love to play. It’s great to see so many sides playing now and it’s great to be at the forefront of the movement”.
The news boosted the Warriors presentation evening where they looked back over their season.
James Anthony was the main beneficiary, playing his 1st full season his pace on the wing and accurate boot helped him lift the Top Points Scorer award and the Player of the Year titles.
Players’ Player went to 2nd row Tom Ashour. Quick enough to have previously played on the wing, he proved a reliable source of lineout ball and was always combative around the field.
Luke Pearse was named Most Improved Player, narrowly beating Will Browne, Lloyd Cawley and Dan Grinter.
The most closely contested was Sportsman where Luke Pearse, Arwel Thomas and Dan John were pipped by Chris Davies. The nominees were described as the glue of the club by Chairman Gwilym Lewis, and vital to the teams success.
The Warriors are especially anxious for Covid regulations to lift as the new season will be their 25th. Planning is difficult at present but they hope to have a number of special fixtures. At the end of the season they are due to head out to Ireland for the 3rd Mixed Ability world tournament which will feature 24 clubs from 8 different countries.
New look Cwm aiming to bounce back
During the lockdown period Ryan Stephens and his Cwmamman United
management team took the opportunity to undertake a major review of the
playing set up at the club and with training now having returned they have
already started implementing their exciting plan.
“ It was extremely disappointing to be moved down from Cymru South league
following the FAW average points formula, particularly when our form since
January suggested we could well stay up” said Ryan “ but these are difficult
times and to be honest we had not been consistent enough over the season”
Ryan continued ” We realised though that this was an opportunity to take a
good look at ourselves and create an identity and foundation where we could
enhance the way we developed our players and improve our professionalism.”
The club has recently introduced a new range of training and fitness
programmes, improved technical data and analysis capabilities as well as
create a players charter enhancing team spirit.
“ We have been busy bringing in a mix of young and experienced players to
join a squad where we have been lucky to keep a large group of key players
from last season” said Ryan. ” Combined with a strong group of existing key
young local talent that we expect to see step up this season and with two
strong reserve sides we feel we are in a really good place team wise. It is great
to see everyone buying in to the new approach”
“ We recognise this will be an extremely difficult league with many strong
sides but we are really excited about the challenge to get back to the Cymru
South. We aim to be a club where our players feel truly valued and our club
members, supporters and the community feel proud. We will continue our
preparations so that once it is safe to resume matches again we will be ready.”
Tomi Lewis the latest to sign
FLYING wing Tomi Lewis has become the latest player to agree a new contract for the 2020-21 season.
The 21-year-old speedster is among a group of exciting young backs coming through the ranks at Parc y Scarlets.
A member of the Wales U20s squad that competed at the Junior World Championships in Argentina last year, Tomi has also shone on the world seven series, scoring seven tries in his debut tournament in Dubai as an 18-year-old.
A former pupil at Llandovery College, he came through the age-grade system at the Scarlets and scored on his senior debut in an Anglo-Welsh Cup clash against the Dragons. He impressed for the Scarlets A team during this season’s Celtic Cup and linked up on loan with Ampthill RFC in the English Championship in January.
Scarlets recently announced new deals for 17 members of their squad with Tomi becoming the 15th player who has come through the Scarlets system to have agreed a new contract.
“Tomi is another young player who has an exciting future in the game,” said head coach Glenn Delaney. “He is working hard in the squad and has already shown what he is capable of playing for Wales at U20s and Sevens level. He is one of a number of talented young backs we are looking forward to seeing in Scarlets colours.”
Tomi said: “I am delighted to have signed a new deal with the Scarlets. I have been here since the age of 16 and have been fortunate to have been able to learn from some great players.
“At the moment, it is fantastic being in the squad alongside internationals like Liam Williams, Leigh Halfpenny, Johnny McNicholl and Steff Evans and I’m looking forward to competing for the Scarlets jersey over the coming years.”
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