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Reds earn second win

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LLANELLI Town’s winless five game run came to an end on Saturday (Oct 6) as they beat Llandudno 2-1 in the first ever meeting between the two sides.

A James Loveridge goal in the first half – his sixth in nine matches – and a vintage Jordan Follows finish in the second, ensured the three points and kept the visitors in touch with the other clubs at the wrong end of the table.

Once again, however, manager Andy Hill was down to the bare bones in terms of team selection, due to injuries, suspension and work commitments, with only two academy players on the bench.

In addition, even more problems occurred during the course of the game, with both Joe Clarke and Ross Jones sustaining injuries – the latter necessitating a visit to Bangor hospital for a suspected broken collarbone.

As if these setbacks were not bad enough, Hill must also do without the services of Kurtis March in the immediate future, with him being shown a red card  three minutes from time to add to the one for Anthony Finselbach in the previous match versus Newtown.

These lapses are not helping the Reds` cause with such a small squad at the manager`s disposal, but hopefully they can bring in a few new faces during the January transfer window.

Photo by Darren Harries

On a more positive note, both Chris Thomas and Carlos Indja played a full part at Llandudno, with the latter impressing, particularly as he has not been involved to a great degree so far, and it is to be hope he will become a regular in the side for the duration of the season.

Goalkeeper Oliver Davies is also proving his worth, and he brought off a number of crucial saves to keep out the home attackers.

He was called into early action when saving at the feet of Alan Webb who was played in by Mark Connolly, before brilliantly turning around at full stretch a strike from Alfons Fosu-Mensah following a neat build-up.

A Toby Jones inswinging corner was fisted away by Davies, and when Jones returned the loose ball into the goalmouth, it was scrambled over for another flag kick.

Having survived these early home sorties, the visitors gradually came more into the game, and when Chris Jones picked out Follows in the area, his finish lacked power and Shaun Pearson in the Llandudno goal gathered easily.

Loveridge was then guilty of the same lack of a positive finish when Follows provided the opportunity, before an offside flag  cancelled out a John Owen finish into the Reds` net from a George Harry assist.

Probably against the run of play, the Reds then stunned their opponents by going ahead on 27 minutes, when Loveridge intercepted a loose pass across the box before gratefully accepting the chance to take it in his stride and slotting low past Pearson.

Stung by this unexpected reverse, Llandudno continued to press and Davies was kept busy, turning over an effort from distance by Owen, while denying both Jones and Zyaac Edwards.

With half time approaching, it appeared as if the Reds would just about hang on to their slender lead,  but as so often has happened during the season, they conceded an equaliser in stoppage time following a cross into the middle by Jones which was not dealt with effectively with the ball bobbling about, before eventually reaching Mike Pearson at the far post who lashed it past Davies.

With Clarke having suffered a blow to the face in the first half, his place at the start of the second period was taken by Anthony Nelson, but again the home side were setting the pace in the opening stages, with Davies  being forced into another fine save to push over a further Webb effort.

Ross Jones then suffered his injury when he went down in a heap on the byline following a challenge, and it was obvious from the outset that he had taken a severe blow, and after lengthy treatment by the physios on both sides, he was forced to leave the field with Tristan Jenkins coming on as his replacement in the 59th minute.

Despite these setbacks, and having used their only two substitutes, the Reds began to look the more dangerous of the sides, and Loveridge should have done better when Follows set up a great chance, but again his finish was wayward.

A deflection for Llandudno into the box was seized upon by Harry, but Davies threw himself at his feet to smother the ball and prevent any serious damage.

Then came the game-changing moment on 77 minutes when Follows gained possession on halfway where his run took him past a couple of defenders, and he left Pearson grasping thin air with a superb finish high into the net from just outside the box.

With the contest seemingly slipping out of their grasp, the hosts laid siege to their opponents` goal, but despite all their huffing and puffing, their finishing left a lot to be desired, whilst they came up against a resolute defence which was determined not to concede, while Davies also played his part, turning around a far post attempt from Owen.

With just three minutes of normal time left, but a substantial amount of stoppage time to be added due to the Jones injury, the visitors` cause became even more difficult when March was red-carded for a high challenge on Mike Pearson.

With eight minutes of additional time to be played and at a numerical disadvantage, the Reds endured a number of heart-stopping moments up to the final whistle as their opponents attempted desperately to salvage something out of the contest, but they held firm to secure three precious points, and make the long journey home seem all the sweeter.

If they can replicate that effort on Friday evening (Oct 12) at Stebonheath with the visit of Cardiff MU, then a rise up the table could be on the cards. Kick-off is at 7.45pm.

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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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Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay to visit Carmarthenshire

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JOIN in the excitement as Carmarthenshire welcomes the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay on Friday, July 1.

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will be held from July 28 until August 8 and the Queen’s Baton Relay is currently travelling across the Commonwealth in an epic journey to all 72 nations and territories.

The journey brings together and celebrates communities across the Commonwealth during the build up to the Games.

The Queen’s Baton will arrive in Anglesey on June 29 as part of its five-day tour across Wales and will travel down the country and across South Wales providing the opportunity for communities to experience the excitement for Birmingham 2022, as the 11 days of showstopping sport nears ever closer.

A busy schedule of activities and events are planned and hundreds of Batonbearers, each with inspiring backgrounds and stories, will have the honour of carrying the Baton during the journey through Wales.

More than 150 schoolchildren will be at Pembrey Country Park on the afternoon of July 1 to welcome the Baton to Carmarthenshire along with Council Chairman Cllr Rob Evans, before being transported via toboggan, skis, bike and beach wheelchair to Cefn Sidan beach and into the safe hands of the RLNI who will take the Baton by boat to Burry Port Harbour.

The Baton will arrive at Burry Port Harbour at around 3.20pm to be handed to the Silver and Gold Sports Young Ambassadors from Carmarthenshire’s secondary schools who will take it in turns to run and cycle just over three miles along the Millennium Coastal Path arriving in North Dock in Llanelli at 4.15pm.

Here the Baton will be welcomed by Council Leader Cllr Darren Price along with a number of inspiring Carmarthenshire athletes who will be representing Wales at the Commonwealth Games.

Residents are being encouraged to get involved with the celebrations and embrace the arrival of the Baton, with a range of activities taking place at North Dock, organised by the council’s Actif sports and leisure team.

The fun will go on throughout the afternoon until 7pm with various activities to promote health and wellbeing including a junior aquathon, stand-up paddleboarding, aquafit classes, spin classes and beach-lifesaving sessions. 

Council Leader Cllr Darren Price said: “We look forward to welcoming the Queen’s Baton Relay to Carmarthenshire and I am sure local communities will join in the celebrations as the Baton travels from Pembrey Country Park to Llanelli’s North Dock.

“It is guaranteed to be an exciting day, especially with the Baton travelling to Burry Port Harbour by boat and then on to North Dock where there will a host of sporting activities to take part in.

“I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in organising such a momentous day for Carmarthenshire and its residents, again showcasing our beautiful county and what it has to offer to the world.”

Further information, including the timetable for the Queen’s Baton Relay in Carmarthenshire, can be found on the council website newsroom.carmarthenshire.gov.wales

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