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Evans thanks John and Robinson

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Phil John: Retiring end of season

PARC Y SCARLETS hosted a very special end of season awards gala dinner, on Tuesday (May 10), to honour those who have played their part in the region’s top six finish and ensuring a place in next season’s European Rugby Champions Cup.

Amongst those honoured were a group of players who have given their all to the region but will move on to pastures new at the end of the season.

Michael Collins, George Earle, Kieran Hardy, Phil John, Jack Jones, Rhodri Jones, Regan King, Kirby Myhill, Torin Myhill, Josh Lewis, Ben Leung, Connor Lloyd, Maselino Paulino, Jack Payne, Harry Robinson, Steve Shingler, Michael Tagicakibau, Jordan Williams and Rhodri Williams were all thanked for their contribution to the region.

Scarlets team manager Garan Evans welcomed Phil John and Harry Robinson to the stage as a mark of appreciation for their services.

Evans said: “It is a sad time when any player leaves the Scarlets. A big thank you to all those leaving for your commitment to this great club.”

Evans presented Harry Robinson with a combined gift from both Scarlets and his former club Cardiff Blues saying; “We’ve all heard the sad news that Harry has to retire from professional rugby due to injury. All I can say really, and it’s a view that’s shared amongst all the management at Scarlets, is that it’s been an honour and a privilege to work with you over the last few years.

“You’re a top man and a hugely committed individual. The morals and values that you live by on a daily basis will ensure that whatever you decide to do in the future will be hugely successful.”

Robinson added; “This is the second time in the last couple of days I’ve been asked to say a few words having been asked to speak in front of the boys on the weekend. I would just like to say thank you to everyone. A special thank you to the physios who put all their efforts in to getting me back on the field. To the players, thank you for the memories boys, I’ll cherish them always.”

The second special mention of the evening was for a player who has given over 17 years service to the club.

Evans commented on Phil John’s career saying; “Phil first joined the club in 1999 as an apprentice who combined his time with training and spreading the Scarlets gospel. He was raw at the time but he developed into one of the great scrummagers in Northern Hemisphere rugby. He went on to enjoy an astounding 17-year career at the club.

“Over the years, it’s been a pleasure to work with you and play with you. You’re a great guy and a great friend but more importantly you’ll always be known as a great Scarlet.”

After receiving a standing ovation John said: “I’ve been here a long time and have enjoyed every single minute of it. I’ve met some great people along the way; coaches, backroom staff, players, supporters and office staff. Thank you to you all once again and I sincerely hope you all enjoy the next few years.”

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Ammanford upset Penybont to reach MG Cup quarter finals

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Report by Ian Parfitt

AMMANFORD produced arguably the shock of the third round in the MG Nathaniel Cup with a 2-1 victory at Penybont, who currently sit third in the Cymru Premier League, on Tuesday night (Sept 20).

Penybont started the game well and looked dangerous with ex Ammanford player Kai Whitmore calling the shots.

Ammanford however were also playing some neat football themselves and this was quickly becoming a competitive contest.

Ammanford took the lead in the 28th minute when Brett Enoch took advantage of a moment of calamity in the Penybont defence to fire home.

As expected Penybont increased the pressure on the Ammanford goal in search of an equaliser but Ammanford held firm to go into the interval ahead.

Kyle Marsh in particular having a fine game in the Ammanford goal. Ammanford fans would have been expecting a long 45 minutes after the break but it only took a minute for Penybont to find the equaliser, Mael Davies scoring with a firm header.

Penybont were hungry for more goals and looked especially dangerous from the flanks. The Ammanford defence, who were superb throughout held firm under a barrage of high balls into the box.

Ammanford were also keen to get a second and looked dangerous on the counter attack, both Jordan Langley and Callum Silcox going agonisingly close to restoring the visitors’ lead.

The Ammanford defence continued to form a formidable wall at the back which Penybont were unable to breach.

This fantastic rearguard action was rewarded in the 81st minute when Callum Thomas scored what turned out to be the winner for Ammanford, running through on goal and producing a composed finish to slot the ball past Penybont keeper Alex Pennock.

Ammanford players continued to put their bodies on the line to preserve the lead, epitomised by Tom Pratt who took one on the head in the six yard box.

Lee Trundle spurned a glorious chance to make the game safe for Ammanford with a couple of minutes remaining but it mattered not as the final whistle produced jubilant scenes in the away camp.

Ammanford progress to the Fourth round on what was a glorious night for the club.

Photos by Lawrence Molloy
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Strong Ammanford performance seals Cup win over Whitland

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AMMANFORD got their Division 1 Cup campaign off to an excellent start on Saturday (Sept 17) as they beat Whitland 42-13.

Ammanford built up a 17-3 lead and increased that further to 8-29 before pulling away in the closing stages.

Geraint Jones scored a penalty for Whitland and unconverted tries from Gino Setaro and Lewis Gibby followed.

Captain Alex Davies was named as Ammanford’s man of the match as he lead his side to a bonus point win.

The scrum half was among the try scorers as were Morgan Plimmer, Rhodri Jones, Liam Smith, Carwyn Richards, Mathew Lemon and Tiaan Evans.

Ryan Williams added four conversions and one penalty for the visitors.

The next round of Cup fixtures is scheduled for October 15. Ammanford host Newcastle Emlyn while Whitland travel to Tondu.

Ammanford return to action in League 1 West Central on Saturday, September 24 as they host Birchgrove.

Whitland are also back in league action in League 1 West as they visit Pembroke.

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Howell’s strike takes the points for Cwm

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CWMAMMAN United earned their first three points of the season with an impressive all round performance as they overcame Cardiff Darconians through a sublime Gwion Howell finish at Grenig park on Saturday (Sept 17).

Cwm started on the front foot and their passing and movement was excellent and they twice came close early with Gwion Howell clipping the outside of the post while Sion Dafydd Williams pounced on a back pass but could just not quite get enough leverage on his attempt.

They then saw a 25th min goal by Williams ruled out for a tight offside. With Charlie Davies and Scott Jewell having strong games in the middle of the park Cwm looked the likeliest to score but there was a real scare when a defensive slip required a superb save from Kai Rees in the Cwm goal to keep it goalless.

Kyle Ashford and Keiran Richards continued to run hard at the Dracs defence causing problems but the first half remained goalless.

The strong second half push back that Cwm expected from the Cardiff side didn’t materialise and Cwm continued to have the better of the play. Grant Rees and Callum Dougal were strong at the heart of the defence while Leon Coucher and the ever threatening Cory Saunders were launching attacks from out wide.

Eventually the goal came when some neat interplay saw Howell with his back to goal and the ball at his feet. A superb turn moved the ball to one side and he then fired it across the keeper to the opposite corner..

Great celebrations before Cwm immediately settled determined to see this one through. With Davies continuing to push his team forward and subs Alex Giardelli and Harrison Thomas stretching the Dracs side Cwm saw it through without too much worry.

An excellent performance of which manager Paul Lewis said: “Great to get that first win with the boys who applied our team plan superbly today and they really deserved that result.”

Cwm now look forward to another challenge as they travel to play near neighbours Garden village on Friday evening (Sept 23).

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