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Bangor loss lets off sloppy Town

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Dafabet Welsh Premier League

Rhyl 1

Carmarthen Town 0

Liam Thomas: Grapples with John Owen (Pic Gareth Hughes)

Liam Thomas: Grapples with John Owen (Pic Gareth Hughes)

CARMARTHEN TOWN went into this match knowing that to ensure they preserved their UEFA qualifying play-off place they needed to defeat Rhyl – the result of the concurrent Aberystwyth/Bangor game would then be rendered irrelevant.

As it was they lost a frustrating game, but it was to be of no concern as Aberystwyth did them a huge favour by defeating Bangor, the only team who could topple them.

The Old Gold were cheered on by a group of some 20 faithful supporters (probably the largest number to have travelled to a North Wales fixture for many seasons), but the team managed to excite and frustrate those fans in equal measure.

While they dominated proceedings for much of the match, sadly through a combination of wasteful finishing, erratic passing and occasionally resolute Rhyl defending they failed to find the net. And to compound their misery they succumbed to the only on-target shot the home side could manage during the entire game.

Town began with clear positive intent, launching a series of piercing raids with an urgency and energy that put the visitors’ defence under immediate pressure.

After 6 minutes they fashioned their first decent chance when a swift break from midfield led to Kyle Bassett surging deep into the penalty area then neatly playing the ball back to Mark Jones but from 12 yards he fired too high.

Moments later a Bassett cornerkick reached Liam Thomas who produced a smart looping header that ‘keeper Michael Askew, at full stretch, tipped just over the bar.

Then on 14 minutes Lewis Harling sent a long, headed pass into the penalty area and though the ball was cleared it went straight to Thomas and he instantly struck a crisp 20 yard drive that Askew blocked with a fine reflex save. And straightaway the ‘keeper was again called on to claim Jones’ close-range header that stemmed from Dan Sheehan’s inviting cross from the right touchline.

In the 21st minute a delightful exchange of passes between Jones and Harling led to Thomas receiving the ball on the edge of the penalty area and he released a fierce shot that Askew, once more, was well-placed to resist.

Then Kieran Lewis delivered a searching free kick deep into the packed goalmouth where Dave Vincent rose high above surrounding defenders only to direct his header narrowly wide of the far post.

The Old Gold continued to enjoy the greater share of possession and territorial advantage. Rhyl, when they did occasionally break forward on the counter-attack, were unable to penetrate the visitors’ defence in which Dwaine Bailey featured prominently – and ‘keeper Lee Idzi was never seriously tested. His involvement was essentially confined to dealing with a few crosses, corners and free kicks, which he accomplished with his customary authority and secure handling.

On 32 minutes Town again went close when Lewis produced a superb through ball that set Jones free to race beyond the home defence and into the penalty area but Askew, who had advanced well out of his goal, just managed to turn the striker’s curling shot safely aside.

Shortly afterwards another slick passing move involving Bassett, Lewis and Sheehan finished with the raiding fullback firing a promising closerange angled drive that was deflected marginally past the post by a defender.

Given this sustained pressure and surfeit of scoring opportunities, it seemed only a matter of time before a goal would arise – and it did, only not at the expected end of the pitch.

In the 45th minute Ibou Touray sent a long free-kick deep into the penalty area where Greg Stones headed the ball back into the centre and while Town’s defenders were slow to react to the danger, Luke Wandless moved forward unchallenged and from 12 yards struck home to give Rhyl an unlikely lead.

After the interval the play developed into a more evenly balanced, end-to-end affair although there were, by comparison with the first-half, very few decent scoring opportunities. Rhyl continued to struggle in making any impression on the visitors’ defence, while the Old Gold seemed to be running out of ideas going forward.

Even so, Town almost snatched an equaliser on 57 minutes when Bassett, from the right touchline drove the ball low into the goalmouth where Liam Thomas reacted swiftly to glance it narrowly wide of the near post.

Then in the 77th minute Sacha Walters sent a searching right-wing cross deep into the penalty area to find Jones who headed it back to substitute Danny Thomas but he saw his smart 15 yard drive diverted just over the bar by a defender.

Unfortunately as the game, which had been very keenly contested from the outset, entered its closing stages it became rather more combative leading to the dismissal of two players. On 88 minutes Rhyl defender Chay Dysart was shown the red card for a dangerous tackle on Lewis who had to be helped off the field and was immediately substituted.

Then deep into added time Luke Prosser was similarly sent off for lunging into a challenge for the ball with Askew who always looked better placed to claim it – and while contact, if any, may have been minimal, it was a needless challenge at a time when Town could never recover to win the game.

But at the final whistle Carmarthen’s disappointment over failing to secure their hoped for victory quickly evaporated as news filtered through that Bangor, the only team that could have finished above the Old Gold but to do so needed to win at Aberystwyth, had been soundly beaten.

So Town achieve their aim and proceed to the play-offs – however who they play, and where and when, remains uncertain until the Welsh Cup final between TNS and Airbus UK on May 2nd is decided.

Team: Lee Idzi; Dan Sheehan; Luke Prosser; Dwaine Bailey; Jordan Knott; Dave Vincent; Lewis Harling (sub Danny Thomas 74); Kieran Lewis (sub Luke Cummings 88); Kyle Bassett (sub Sacha Walters 62); Mark Jones; Liam Thomas.

Unused Sub: Ceri Morgan.

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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.”
[More follows…]

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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