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Reds hit back to beat Blues

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Report by Alan Evans

GRENIG Park has proved to be something of a graveyard in the past for the Reds, but in their penultimate league game of the season on Wednesday (May 9), they defied the odds, and came away with a creditable win, although they were pushed to the limit by their opponents.

All the goals came in the first half, with the hosts taking the lead through Craig Spring, before some top class finishing by Chris Jones, Jordan Follows and James Loveridge eased the visitors into a half time advantage.

However, they have goalkeeper Craig Morris to thank in the second period as he pulled off a number of important saves which kept the Cwm attack at bay, while Rob Jones in the home goal was seldom tested.

After an early Loveridge effort was diverted for a corner, Cwm went ahead on 14 minutes when the ball was circulated to the right where Spring despatched a speculative attempt across the face of goal, and it struck the inside of the far post and into the net.

The lead was short-lived, as within three minutes a Reds move involving Lee Trundle and Joe Clarke ended with Jones striking a superb 25 yard shot which rocketed low past the keeper.

When the home side countered, Chris Allen lofted his finish over the top when he was found in space, before the visitors struck again in the 21st minute following a delivery by Loveridge which was met by Follows on the volley to comprehensively beat Jones.

The Reds were well on top at this stage, and increased the lead further after 34 minutes when a typical piece of Trundle magic saw him nutmeg a defender with a backheel which found Clarke, and he in turn played in Loveridge who fired home.

With a two goal cushion at the break, the visitors were probably confident of adding to the tally, but the second period proved to be something of an anti-climax with their opponents mainly dictating play, and Morris was by far the busier of the two keepers.

His first save was a block to deny Rhys Morgan when he found himself unmarked close to goal, and then did even better by pushing over a close range header by Allen following a free kick into the goalmouth.

Robert Thomas brought off a timely tackle on Colin Harris when he threatened to break through on the Reds` goal, and he was a thorn to the visitors throughout, playing in Allen who was again thwarted by Morris who got down to divert his finish for a corner.

Cwm were now in the ascendancy, pegging back their opponents who were being confined to long range attempts, with Follows curling one just wide and then being closed down in the box by Gareth Howarth when Clarke set up the chance.

Kyle Ashford was the next home player to offer up a threat, but again Morris was equal to the task, keeping out his near post shot.

The visitors` made a number of changes, with Liam Samuel, Ross Jones and Luke Morgan replacing Kyle Graves, Clarke and Loveridge respectively, but the contest ended with Morris again in action, this time saving from Spring when he directed a close range header goalwards following a Jack Medwin free kick.

The Reds finish their league campaign on Saturday (May 12), when they travel to Cwmbran Celtic.

Cwmamman still have two league games to play starting on Saturday when they take on Goytre away. That is followed by their final game at home on Wednesday, May 16, against Cwmbran Celtic.

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Amman earn first win of the season

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AMMAN United claimed their first win of the season after an opening-day draw, and a cup defeat at Haverfordwest last weekend.

However, you would have been hard pushed to imagine a 50-point final-score when, just before half time, the score remained 0-0.

But two injury time scores had then given Amman an unlikely 12-0 interval lead against the Bulldogs.

A bright opening from United saw centre Gavin Lewis, on yet another comeback, show his trickery with a nice run and offload early on. Hooker George Clark had a fine game and was in the thick of everything, as were fellow forwards Iwan Davies, Dan Jones, Rhydian Jones and captain Alun Lewis.

Bynea suffered a very early blow, losing Corey Butler to an untimely injury, and they were later to also see Jamie Thomas limp off before half time.

These injuries meant a large period of added-time, and the Bulldogs’ valiant defence cracked during the injury-time as Joel Foster and Alun Lewis combined to put in flanker Rhydian Jones for the opening try, which Tom Caddell converted.

A frustrating couple of minutes for the visitors was compounded when a quick tap and go penalty from scrum half Foster saw him smuggle over the try line for a second try on the stroke of half time.

The Reds continued in good heart after the restart, and after some good play,Foster and and Dan Jones were involved before Rhydian Jones slipped a fine offload to skipper Alun Lewis who went under the posts for another converted try.

Another “vet” came on, Adrian Thomas off the bench as the home side largely dominated with their pack in the ascendency, Cian Lewis, Jason Knell and Rhys Phillips having put in a good shift throughout.

The Bulldogs then had a purple patch for a while,centre Jack Mal almost finishing off a fine move, before more calamity struck for them as Jake Sam was sadly stretchered off.

Amman capitalised and grabbed a bonus point try when the excellent George Clarke went over for another score to make it 24-0.

But the dogged visitors were always a threat, and carved out an excellent try for their efforts as wing Nathan Baker finished off a well-worked team move, which outside half Finlay Cook converted.

Amman hit back when the back row combined well before Dan Jones went over the whitewash for a try.

A very young Bynea side battled to the end,and some more excellent play was rewarded with a try for Tom Badger, converted by Cook.

However, the home side had the last word and grabbed a very late injury time try as the industrious Rhydian Jones crossed for the final score of the game.

Amman face a tough trip to Tumble on Saturday, October 1, while Bynea are home against New Dock Stars.

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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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