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GroundhopUK enjoy 26 goals in five games

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Carmarthen Stars: Entertaining Ponthenri

Carmarthen Stars: Entertaining Ponthenri

THE FIRST OF FIVE planned annual Carmarthenshire League Groundhops took place last weekend. The clubs visited were Abergwili, Llandeilo, Johnstown, Llandovery and the Carmarthen Stars.

Organised by GroundhopUK, the event sees hundreds of football fans visiting various grounds all over Britain to watch a first team match. Each invited club provide programmes, merchandise and food which results in an unexpected financial benefit.

“We have been most fortunate that the League agreed to our request,” said organiser Chris Berezai. “We have struck a long-term deal with them which will see clubs benefit in many ways over the next few years. As a result, 817 spectators attended our games in Carmarthenshire.”

“As a bonus we started off last Friday night (Apr 15) at Garden Village. Years ago, when I was their programme editor, the club were in the Carmarthenshire League,” he added. “Now they are in the top division of the Welsh League, albeit in a relegation position at present.”

The first match on Saturday morning (Apr 16) saw the Hoppers descend on Abergwili Football Club.

A record crowd saw the home team beat visiting Llansteffan 4-1 with a hat-trick from Owain Binding and another from Lee Cooper. Llansteffan’s consolation reply came from Oliver Soames’ penalty, which was to prove to be the last kick of the match.

The various coaches and cars then moved on to Llandeilo where the Gennen Road club were taking on Llangennech. The game proved to be an easy 5-0 victory for the home team with goals from Keith Dainton, Dafydd Thomas, Ashley Williams and a brace from Alun Jones.

Llangennech were not helped by having defender Rhys Davies sent off in the first half and having to replace their injured goalkeeper not long after the interval.

The final fixture of the first day pitted Johnstown against Drefach. This match was a splendid advert for Carmarthenshire football as both sides played to their highest level.

Drefach took the lead five minutes before half-time when a Jordan Williams shot was deflected into the goal off a defender. The equaliser came four minutes after the interval when Bryan Skinner’s shot also hit a player on its way in.

At 1-1 the Johnstown side put incredible pressure on the Drefach defence. Four times shots hit the visitor’s woodwork, denying Johnstown a deserved lead. Then a 78th minute corner resulted in Jonathan Lloyd giving Drefach the advantage. The game was sealed for the visitors five minutes later when David Williams scored a third from close range.

The groundhoppers then enjoyed an evening dinner party at a central Carmarthen restaurant which went on until the early hours.

The first match on Sunday morning found them at the Broad Street ground of Llandovery Football Club where the visitors were from Porth Tywyn. The Red & Whites soon took the lead when Jordan Archer fired in from close range.

Llandovery then went two up just before half time when Chris Davies controlled a bouncing ball to fire into the top left corner.

The second period of play was even until two quick goals in injury time by Ross Davies and Lewis Bailey saw Llandovery come away with a 4-0 win.

As expected the largest crowd of the weekend was at Richmond Terrace where the Carmarthen Stars entertained Ponthenri.

The festival atmosphere no doubt gave the Stars players a boost as they thrashed a keen, but outplayed, visiting team 7-1.

The game started frantically and Ponthenri’s goalkeeper Simon Scott was very fortunate in escaping a red card when committing a professional foul on the edge of his area. Goals by Ryan Foschi and Alex Thomas gave the Stars a 2-0 interval lead.

Then the floodgates opened. Two goals by captain Thomas Harvey and singles from Alex Thomas (again), Nick Rees and Calumn Deadman in a twelve-minute spell sealed Ponthenri’s fate. They gained a consolation goal near the end but it was too little, too late.

Over all the five Carmarthenshire League games had produced 26 goals. As Berezai said after the final whistle was blown: “This has been an excellent weekend. We all look forward to returning in April next year.”

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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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