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Reds given the Blues by County

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HAVERFORDWEST County pulled off an MG Cup first round shock on Tuesday (Aug 28), as they beat Welsh Premier League side Llanelli Town at the Bridge Meadow.

Perhaps with one eye on Friday’s (Aug 31) encounter with Aberystwyth Town, the Reds rested a few of their players but still featured James Loveridge who scored in Llanelli’s game with Barry last Friday (Aug 24).

The Bluebirds were also without a number of their key players, including former Llanelli Town striker Lee Trundle but the youthful Bluebirds did not seem to miss his presence on the pitch.

There was a cagey start to the match with both teams giving the ball away and testing the other keepers with a few long range efforts.

James Loveridge came close for the visitors when he broke free of the defenders but his shot was well saved by County keeper Steve Hall.

Jordan Follows also looked lively but he saw a number of efforts blocked as the Bluebirds defended well.

Jack Wilson then played the ball into the box for Fraser Finlay but his shot was plucked out of the air by Reds keeper Oliver Davies.

Then with fifteen minutes on the clock Wilson picked up the ball in his own half and went on a mazy run which saw him lay the ball off for Tom Dyson who in turn passed back to Wilson who ran on to slot the ball into the bottom right corner for a fine opening goal.

Dyson was then unlucky not to get on the scoresheet as his rasping 25-yard drive smacked back off the crossbar and was cleared from danger.

Wilson then saw a shot go just wide as the Bluebirds continued to have more of the possession.

Hall was then forced into a save by Robert Thomas as his long drive looked to be going in before Hall got his hands on the ball.

On the stroke of half time Llanelli almost got themselves back in the game as a ball into the box wasn’t dealt with as Follows stole the ball only to send his shot into the side netting.

It remained 1-0 at half time but the home side knew they would face a fight back in the second half.

Both sides had chances early on in the second half but it was the Bluebirds who got the all-important second goal.

Twenty minutes in a corner from Finlay found Ben Fawcett whose header flew into the net to give the home side one foot in the next round.

Their place was secured five minutes from time as sub Martyn Carroll squared into the box for Finlay who fired in for a deserved goal.

The Bluebirds will now look forward to seeing who they play in the next round while Llanelli will look to concentrate on their Premier League campaign.

Llanelli are back in Premier League action on Friday night (Aug 31), as they take on Aberystwyth at Park Avenue.

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Ryan Giggs quits as Wales manager with ‘immediate effect’

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EX Man-Utd winger has left his position as the manager of the national football team with ‘immediate effect’.

Giggs stepped back from his role in November 2020 following after being arrested.

49-year-old Giggs has been charged with assault and using controlling behaviour towards an ex-partner. A claim that Giggs has denied.

In a heartfelt statement on his decision, Giggs said: “After much consideration, I am standing down from my position as manager of the Wales men’s national team with immediate effect.

“It has been an honour and a privilege to manage my country, but it is only right that the Wales FA, the coaching staff and the players prepare for the tournament with certainty, clarification and without speculation around the position of their head coach.

“I do not want the country’s preparations for the World Cup to be affected, destabilised or jeopardised in any way by the continued interest around this case.

“I am sad that we cannot continue this journey together because I believe that this extraordinary group will make the country proud at our first World Cup since 1958.

“It is my intention to resume my managerial career at a later date.”

Following Giggs arrest in 2020, former Wales captain Robert Page took over as interim manager.

Under Page Wales beat Ukraine to earn themselves a place at Qatar World Cup for the first time in 64 years.

Giggs faces one charge of using controlling and coercive behaviour August 2017 and November 2020, one charge of assault causing actual bodily harm of his ex-girlfriend Kate Greville on November 1, 2020.

He also faces a charge of common assault on the victim’s sister.

Giggs denies all charges against him and will stand trial on August 8.

The trial is expected to last five days.

Following the announcement, a FAW spokesperson said: “The FAW places on record its gratitude to Ryan Giggs for his tenure as manager of the Cymru men’s national team and appreciates the decision he has taken, which is in the best interests of Welsh football,

“The full focus of the FAW and the Cymru men’s national team is on the Fifa World Cup in Qatar later this year.”

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Wanderers seal win over Gorseinon

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CARMARTHEN Wanderers secured a much-needed win on Saturday (Jun 11) as they beat Gorseinon by 98 runs.

Gorseinon won the toss and elected to field and they watched on as the Wanderers reached 211-8 from their 50 overs.

Owain Davies and Ifan Knott got the Wanderers going with an opening partnership of 78 runs in which Knott raced to his half century.

Davies reached a score of 16 but he was stumped by Greg Fisher off the bowling of Matthew Roberts.

Binding then fell to John Mann as the Wanderers lost a couple of quick wickets.

Knott had hit nine fours in his score of 57 but he was then caught by Fisher off the bowling of Roberts.

Gareth Thomas was then bowled by Rhys Barlow as the Wanderers slipped to 94-4.

Robbie Crawford and Tom Davies got their side going again as they shared 45 runs for the fifth wicket.

Crawford hit a four and a six in his score of 28 but he was bowled by Gafyn Donald. Moments later Davies fell on a score of 13 to Kieran Howells.

Mann then bowled Owen Bailey before Daniel Jones and Liam Rogers shared 43 runs for the eighth wicket.

Rogers smashed two fours and two sixes in his score of 30 from 16 balls but he was out to the bowling of Howells.

Jones finished unbeaten on 26, having hit two sixes, while Carmarthen’s score was also helped along by 28 extras.

Gorseinon slipped to 34-3 early in their reply as Chris Turrell claimed two wickets.

Christopher Morgan and Gafyn Donald shared 39 runs for the fourth wicket but when Morgan was trapped leg before by Iestyn Scourfield on a score of 16, Gorseinon’s innings began to fall apart.

Donald then fell in similar fashion on a score of 36 and Scourfield then had Chris Mee caught by Ifan Knott and Jamie Mann caught and bowled.

That left the home side on 97-7 and Owain Binding then got in on the act as he had Greg Fisher caught by Liam Rogers.

Alex Lang fell for a score of 12 to Gareth Thomas before Binding bowled Rhys Barlow to bring the game to a close.

It meant that Gorseinon were bowled out for just 113, giving the Wanderers a big victory.

On Saturday, June 18, the Wanderers travel to Chepstow.

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Council pays tribute to Welsh rugby legend Phil Bennett

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CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council Leader Cllr Darren Price has paid tribute to Welsh rugby hero Phil Bennett who has sadly passed away after a long illness.

Regarded as one of world’s greatest rugby players, the sporting legend from Felinfoel in Llanelli, died on Sunday, aged 73.

Benny, as he was affectionately known, won 29 caps for Wales from 1969 to 1978, played for his beloved Scarlets 413 times and starred for the Lions on two tours, to South Africa in 1974 and as Captain in New Zealand three years later.

He was awarded the OBE in 1979 for his services to sport and inaugurated into World Rugby’s Hall of Fame in 2005.

Cllr Price, speaking on behalf of the council, said: “Phil Bennett was a true rugby icon, and an inspiration to us all. He was a global superstar of the golden era of Welsh rugby, and will be remembered not just for his immense skill on the rugby pitch, but for his enthusiasm and passion for local sport, and his valued contribution to the local community.

“Phil worked as part of the council’s community sports development team for a number of years, and made a huge impact on both our young and older people across Carmarthenshire.

“He will be greatly missed by all, and our thoughts and condolences are with Phil’s family and friends at this sad time.”

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