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Last gasp Lewis puts Old Gold on brink

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Welsh Premier League

Carmarthen Town 1

Aberystwyth 0

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Kieran Lewis: Wonder goal won it for Town

CARMARTHEN desperately needed three points from this fixture in their pursuit of the coveted UEFA play-off qualifying place but they were forced to wait until deep into added time before they finally broke Aberystwyth’s stubborn resistance with a sensational strike from Kieran Lewis.

Town entered this crucial match disadvantaged by the absence, due to injury and suspension respectively, of two key defenders Dave Vincent and Jordan Knott who have featured prominently in the second-phase programme.

But they began positively, attacking with obvious freedom and putting the visitors’ defence under immediate pressure – in response Aberystwyth were quick to launch a series of counter-attacks and the play soon developed into an absorbing end-to-end affair between two fairly evenly-matched sides.

Initially, with both defences looking secure, no serious scoring opportunities emerged until eventually, in the 10th minute, the Old Gold went close – Luke Cummings sent an inviting cross into the crowded goalmouth which led to two closerange shots in quick succession from Liam Thomas and Mark Jones being blocked before the ball reached Lewis Harling who saw his 15 yard drive well held by ‘keeper Mike Lewis.

Then on 20 minutes Cummings again finished a strong run down the right flank with another testing cross that was cleared only as far as Kieran Lewis on the edge of the penalty area and he instantly released a fierce volley that the ‘keeper just managed to tip over the bar.

During this spell Town’s central defensive pairing of Luke Prosser (deputising admirably for Vincent) and Dwaine Bailey were, through their aerial strength and keen tackling, capably neutralising the threat normally posed by Aberystwyth’s experienced strike-force of Chris Venables and Rhys Griffiths – and this remained the case throughout the match.

The visitors’ sole significant attacking outlet was Geoff Kellaway who, with his pace and determination, frequently stretched the home defence. And after 35 minutes he burst down the left wing then fired a dangerous cross into the penalty area only to see Old Gold midfielder Ceri Morgan make a superbly-timed late intervention to deny Venables the chance of a clear, close-range scoring opportunity.

Then on 44 minutes Kellaway produced another strong run to the corner of the penalty area and struck a fierce angled drive that ‘keeper Lee Idzi turned smartly around the post.

After the interval Town took the early initiative and gradually built up pressure on the visitors’ defence, forcing a series of corner-kicks. Yet Aberystwyth forged the first notable chance in the 56th minute when Antonio Corbisiero’s long free-kick into the penalty area found Griffiths and he headed the ball on to Ross Stephens who turned sharply then hit a close-range shot that Idzi, showing fine reflexes and at full stretch, clawed away to safety.

The Old Gold responded just moments later when Jones raced forward to reach a long clearance and from the edge of the penalty area he played the ball across to Harling who saw his sharp strike hit the ‘keeper before defender Lee Surman cleared the danger.

Then Kellaway again went close on 61 minutes when he chased after a long through ball and took it towards the corner of the penalty area but although his crisp drive went beyond Idzi’s reach it slid narrowly past the far post.

Shortly afterwards Harling surged forward from the half-way line then rolled the ball across to Kieran Lewis who dispatched a stunning 25-yard volley that left the ‘keeper well beaten but clipped the top of the bar and went safely behind.

Town continued to press forward but, with the visitors defending soundly, the game was looking increasingly as though it would remain goalless particularly once the referee signalled added time at the end of 90 minutes.

Yet, just as they had done at Bangor last week when they snatched a vital late equaliser, the Carmarthen players found enough reserves of energy and spirit to mount one final attack –from the centre circle Jones embarked on a robust diagonal run, shrugging off several challenges, to reach the penalty area where he neatly slipped the ball back to Lewis who from 20 yards struck a rasping drive which, aided by a deflection off Surman, flew over the stranded ‘keeper and into the net.

This victory lifts the Old Gold to the top of the Play-Off Conference section of the Welsh Premier League two points clear of Bangor. With just one match remaining a win next Saturday (Apr 23 k/o 5.15pm) at Rhyl would secure that position although that may be academic since Bangor, themselves needing three points, face a tough final game at Aberystwyth.

There is no doubt that manager Mark Aizlewood will be asking his players for another performance like this, full of energy, determination and commitment – and, hopefully, some goals rather earlier in the game!

Team: Lee Idzi; Luke Cummings; Luke Prosser; Dwaine Bailey; Dan Sheehan; Ceri Morgan (sub Craig Hanford 52); Lewis Harling; Kieran Lewis; Kyle Bassett (sub Sacha Walters 83); Mark Jones; Liam Thomas.

Unused Subs: Danny Thomas; Glen Fearn.

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Canolfan Carwyn Sports Centre and Brynamman Lido to be transferred to a community groups

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A MULTI- SPORTS facility, at the heart of the Gwendraeth Valley, has been taken over by a local sports group, the Baton Twirlers.

The management of Canolfan Carwyn Sports Centre, which is owned by Carmarthenshire County, has been transferred to the Baton Twirlers Association Cymru (BTAC) via a lease agreement and will allow the public to continue to use the facilities at the centre.

Whilst Canolfan Carwyn Sports Centre is now the official home of BTAC its facilities are available for the local community and sports groups to be used.

An official reopening of the Centre, which bears the name of one of the Gwendraeth Valley’s most famous sons, under the new management of the BTAC was held on Sunday, October 2.

Speaking at the event, Jessica Shore Director of the Baton Twirlers Association Cymru (BTAC) said:

“We are thrilled to have worked with Carmarthenshire County Council to secure this sports centre on behalf of the local community and it’s a pleasure to welcome the public here today. We are looking forward to working with and hosting various community and sports groups at the Carwyn James Sports Centre.

“It also was very important to us to provide a home for baton twirling in Wales, and we will make great use of the excellent facilities here.”

Cllr. Gareth John, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Leisure, Culture and Tourism said “This is a great success story for the BTAC, the Gwendraeth Valley and the council as we have secured the future of the Carwyn James Sports Centre for the local community.

I would like to thank Baton Twirlers Association Cymru for their work and enthusiasm during the process of transferring management of the Sports Centre to them, as a community group, and I wish them the very best for the future.”

Plans approved to transfer management of Brynamman Lido

On Monday, October 3, the council’s Cabinet approved plans to lease the Brynamman Lido, which is held in trust by the Carmarthenshire County Council, to Brynamman Lido Limited under its asset transfer programme.

Under the proposed lease, Brynamman Lido Limited will take over the management of the lido with the intention to reopen the swimming pool for sporting, recreational and leisure activities.

Following the approval of the plans by the Cabinet, Cllr. Gareth John commented:

“We are pleased to be working with the local group in Brynamman to transfer the management and maintenance of the lido to the community.

“The transfer of this asset will allow Brynamman Lido Ltd to apply for funding via grants that would not be available to the County Council, and we will continue to work with them and provide support along the journey to reopening the lido to the community.”

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Latest recruit to Llandeilo’s Ashmole & Co team ‘converts’ his spare time into being a rugby referee

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Ashmole & Co have scored a try with their newest Trainee Accountant. The firm is delighted to announce that Aled Jones has recently started working for the successful accountancy team in the Llandeilo office.

Aled, who lives in Pontyberem, is a community rugby referee in his spare time. He referees senior rugby games on Saturdays and Junior rugby games on Sundays including cup matches. He is also involved in the Scarlets Cup Final at Parc y Scarlets and the Carmarthenshire cup finals.

Before joining Ashmole & Co Aled was a Personal Banker with Barclays Bank for five years. He studied AAT Level three at Coleg Sir Gar. Aled went to primary school in Pontyberem and secondary school in Ysgol y Gwendraeth.

Day to day with Ashmole & Co, Aled prepares and inputs clients’ sales and purchase invoices onto the accounting software; completes clients’ VAT returns and assists senior members of the team with the preparation of accounts. The most rewarding part of the job for Aled is hearing that the clients are happy.

Welcoming Aled to the team, Ceri Llwyd, Partner in the Llandeilo Ashmole & Co office, said, “We are delighted that Aled has joined our team in Carmarthenshire. He has fitted in well and is a pleasure to work with. I’ve told my rugby mad sons that they have to behave now when they play rugby on a Sunday in case Aled is their referee! It is great that he gives up his spare time to help local rugby clubs in this way.”
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Aled said, “I am grateful to Ashmole and Co, who are one of the most established and largest teams of chartered, certified accountants and auditors in south and west Wales, to give me this opportunity.”

Ashmole & Co offer financial support to a significant number of junior and professional sports teams across south Wales. The Llandeilo office has recently shown its support to Llandeilo RFC by contributing towards new tops for the juniors.

Ceri added, “As a rural firm that works with businesses in the area it is a pleasure for us to be able to lend our support to local sports teams.”

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Llangennech prove too strong for Penclawdd

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LLANGENNECH earned their fourth win in as many matches on Saturday (Oct 22) as they beat Penclawdd 38-10.

Jordan Saunders got the scoring underway with the first try of the game and Thomas Davies added the extras.

Penclawdd then levelled the scoring with a try from Daniel John Guarneri and Marcus Brown added the extras.

It remained 7-7 until half time with conditions proving tricky for both sides.

In the second half, Aaron Howles got the try to put Llangennech ahead but the conversion was missed.

Joseph Hutchings then extended the visitors’ lead with their third try and Davies added the extras to take the score to 7-19.

Penclawdd then responded with a penalty from Brown as the home side looked to get back into the game.

However, Llangennech soon had their fourth try and a bonus point as Howles touched down for his second try of the game and Davies added the extras.

Louis Rees then scored an unconverted try before replacement Hefin Jones went over for Llangennech’s sixth try, converted by Davies.

On Saturday, October 29, Penclawdd travel to Aberystwyth for their second game in the Division 1 Cup.

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