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Raiders start with thumping loss

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Nottingham Outlaws 42

West Wales Raiders 14

Another try: The Outlaws scored against the run of play time after time

Another try: The Outlaws scored against the run of play time after time

THE RAIDERS got their 2016 season underway with a disappointing loss away to a very strong Nottingham Outlaws side.

But despite the final scoreline the hosts were made to work all the way by a powerful Raiders outfit before a blistering three try burst in six second half minutes saw them eventually pull away from their enthusiastic visitors.

After a two-week gap in the fixture list there was always a danger that the Outlaws would go into the fixture a little rusty and so it was to prove in the opening stages.

Indeed any thoughts that the long journey might see the Raiders asleep at the wheel were soon dispelled as the Raiders broke through the Outlaws defensive line in the opening set and only a last ditch one on one tackle by fullback Adam Cunliffe stopped the visitors from taking the lead.

Despite a few early forays by the Outlaws most of the play in the opening quarter was focussed in and around the Outlaws twenty-metre zone.

Indeed as the Raiders grew in confidence it was only excellent scrambling defence by the Outlaws that saw them keep their line intact after despite severe Welsh pressure.

Having weathered the Welsh onslaught the Outlaws finally regathered their composure and a superb break by barnstorming centre Reece Needham saw the Bulwell enforcer crash through the Raiders defence on a foot race to the line.

Despite being hauled down the ball moved back inside on the next play and big Joe Barton latched onto the ball for an unstoppable surge to the line that saw the Outlaws open their account as they nudged into a 4-0 lead somewhat against the run of play.

Having taken the lead many expected the Outlaws to put their foot on the gas and start to put some points on the board but the Raiders clearly had not read the script and they looked odds on to equalise but a superb tackle by Dale on the try line kept the Raiders from breaching the home defence.

With the Raiders continuing to press it seemed that the most likely next score would be a Welsh one but once again it was the Outlaws who scored somewhat against the run of play. The move started as evergreen play maker Paul Calland came off the bench to add some wizardry to the proceedings and with virtually his first touch he opened up a gap for Oliver Dale and some neat footwork and great strength in the tackle saw the second rower crash over for a second Outlaws try that Cunliffe converted to make it 10-0 to the Outlaws.

Despite the Outlaws being under the cosh for much of the opening half hour they had managed to build up lead and keep their own line intact. However their luck eventually ran out and the Raiders deservedly got on the scoreboard as a huge up and under had the Outlaws defence in disarray and a leaping catch Dafydd Phillips saw the big centre collect on the full and with the conversion a formality the Outlaws lead was cut to 10-6.

Once again the match was in the balance and once again it was the ability of the Outlaws to score tries out of nothing that came to their rescue.

Twice in the closing ten minutes of the first half they cut loose and scored when there appeared to be little on. The first score came direct from a quick play the ball on the Raiders forty as stand off Will Martin threw an outrageous dummy from acting half before shooting through the split markers to score a magnificent solo effort.

Then minutes later Oliver Dale showed he had speed to match his strength to score his second try of the afternoon with a magnificent solo effort. Cunliffe added the extras as the first half closed with the Outlaws in a commanding 20-6 lead.

The second half started pretty much in the same way as the first did with as the Raiders broke through on the very first play and once again it was full back Adam Cunliffe who saved a certain try with a magnificent one on one tackle but the enthusiastic hosts were not to be denied and on the 48th minute the Outlaws lead was reduced to 20-10 and once again it was the Raiders kicking game that did the damage.

In almost a carbon-copy of the first Raiders try, big centre Dafydd Phillips latched onto another excellent crossfield bomb and the number four doubled his tally for the afternoon as the Outlaws lead was cut to 20-10.

Clearly the next score was going to prove vital and five minutes later the Raiders looked to have got it as yet another crossfield bomb caused yet more panic in the Outlaws in-goal area only for the resulting Raiders try to be chalked off for a knock-on when a Raiders score would really have had the alarm bells ringing!

Having played their get out of jail card the Outlaws re-gathered their composure and on the 60th minute they restored their winning margin when George Strachan latched onto a Calland reverse pass to score under the sticks.

At 26-10 the Outlaws had once more put some daylight between themselves and the visitors but the plucky Welsh outfit would not throw in the towel and the Outlaws lead was once again cut back as Tom Taylor scored an excellent try on the back of some fine handling in the Welsh threequarters that reduced the Outlaws lead to two scores at 26-14.

With 15 minutes to play the outcome was still uncertain but a devastating three try scoring burst in a blistering six minute spell saw the Outlaws finally overcome Welsh resistance!

The try scoring flurry started on the 66th minute when great handling down the Outlaws three quarter line saw the ball move through three pairs of hands before contre Needham drew his opposite man and sent Adrian Chaima in for his first try of the match.

Two minutes later they repeated the move and this time Needham did not need his wing partner as he crashed over himself for his first of the game.

The try scoring blitz finished on the 71st minute when big Pat Crummay used his size and power down the left centre channel to carry three defenders over the line with him to take the Outlaws out to an unassailable 42-14 lead as Welsh resistance was finally vanquished.

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Mumbles win well against Ammanford seconds

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AMMANFORD seconds suffered a heavy 125 run defeat at the hands of Mumbles at Marespool.

Winning the toss, Ammanford invited Mumbles to bat first, and a terrific 188 run partnership for the second wicket, featuring Ben Jones (94) and Stuart Seaton (77), helped the home team to a healthy 221 for 4 in 45 overs.

Several Ammanford batsmen got into double figures but none were able to stay long enough to make any impression on the run chase. Eirian Morgan top-scored with 25, but the Ammanford innings finished disappointingly on 96 all out.

Gethin Morgan and Phil Roche each took three wickets for Mumbles.

Thirds beaten by Landore

Ammanford thirds travelled to Landore only to lose their match by 50 runs.

Ammanford skipper Carl Griffiths put Landore in to bat, and the home team scored 148 for 9. Landore
skipper Terry Summerfield top-scored with 33.

Ammanford’s Tom Davies was chief wicket-taker with 4 for 38.

Despite a solid 30 from opener and man-of-the-match Tom Davies, Ammanford failed to get anywhere near the required target and folded their innings on 98 inside 34 overs.

The defeat dropped them out of the top half of division six on the SWCA.

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Cwmamman United Juniors host end of season event

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CWMAMMAN United juniors held their end of season event at Clwb Godre’r Mynydd Ddu Glanamman.

As they celebrated throughout the day with their different age groups from Under 6 to Under 14 it looked as if almost every child in the Cwm had attended at some point.

The Juniors section at the club has grown to around 150 children over the last couple of years and with a dedicated and enthusiastic group of committee, coaches and volunteers behind them the club is excitedly anticipating further growth.

A fantastic time was had by all with all age groups proudly having their moment in the sun.

Robert Griffiths the Clubs Junior Chairman said: “I have to thank all our fantastic people at the club that get the kids out playing whether sorting games, coaching, fund raising or organising events such as our club parties and awards such as these.

“We continiue to grow and if your child would like to be part of a safe, healthy and fun environment they are most welcome here.”

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Depleted Ammanford beaten by seven wickets

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A DEPLETED Ammanford lost by seven wickets to Bridgend Town in a rain affected match at windswept Newbridge Fields on Satuday (Jun 25).

With the start delayed by over an hour because of rain, the match was reduced to 39 overs before a ball was bowled, and the toss immediately became the crucial factor in deciding the game’s outcome.

Bridgend won it and, predictably enough, put Ammanford in to bat.

The writing was on the wall as the visitors lost two wickets for 9 runs on an unpredictable wicket which was one of the first bowler-friendly tracks encountered this season.

Only four batters reached double figures as wickets fell at regular intervals. Top scorer was 14 year old wicket-keeper Gruffudd Owen (19no) who took the game to the visitors and looked capable of scoring many more had he not run out of partners.

Ammanford were all out for 90 inside 30 overs.

Tea was taken early as more heavy rain swept across Newbridge Fields, but unfortunately for Ammanford the sun made a reappearance and play eventually resumed.

The Bridgend batters did not have it all their own way, quickly losing both openers to opening bowler Owen Davies.

Davies removed a further wicket in a good spell of 3 for 15, but Thomas Cogbill (43no) and Luke Humphries (18) saw Bridgend safely home without further trouble inside 24 overs.

Next week, Ammanford welcome second placed Swansea to the Park, the memory of their 700+ run clash at St Helen’s still fresh in their minds.

Thirds beat Pontardawe by a single run

Ammanford thirds beat Pontardawe by a single run in a rain adjusted match at the Rec.

Batting first, Ammanford reached 132 all out, thanks mainly to their captain Carl Griffiths (41) and Dafydd Wyn Jones (21).

Rain meant that Pontardawe’s reply was restricted to just 16 overs, during which they had to score 53 runs.

They came very close, but two wickets each from Oliver Pallot and Iwan Matthews interrupted their progress and they fell short by a single run, finishing on 51 for 5.

The victory moved Ammanford into the top half of SWCA’s Division 6.

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