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Scarlets back on track

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AFTER defeat to Edinburgh in their previous game, Scarlets got back to winning ways on Friday (Nov 23) as they beat Ulster 29-12 at Parc Y Scarlets.

The clash against Ulster is the first of three against the side in the next four weeks with the Northern Irish side their European back to back opposition in rounds three and four of the Heineken Champions Cup.

Friday’s win kept up the Scarlets’ excellent home record and the bonus point victory sees them move back in to second position in Conference B.

The opening fifteen minutes was scoreless with Ulster keeping Scarlets in their own half despite the home side enjoying a decent share of the possession.

Photo by Darren Harries

Scarlets got up in to Ulster’s 22 after a grubber kick from Johnny McNicholl and the chase from Kieron Fonotia forced Ulster in to touch. A line out saw Scarlets ship the ball wide, the attacking phase looked promising but crossing by number eight Uzair Cassiem saw possession handed back to Ulster who kicked down field.

Ulster got back in to Scarlets territory and Henry Speight made the hard yards before passing back inside to the scrum half who crossed the whitewash. Fly half Billy Burns added the conversion.

Scarlets soon hit back with a penalty from Dan Jones after Ulster are penalised on their own 10 metre line, 3-7.

After some great work from Scarlets forwards, Will Boyde won the ball at the top of the line out and the ball was moved to Ed Kennedy who made a break for the try line but slipped. They maintained possession and with plenty of support, the ball was recycled with Werner Kruger claiming the try! Jones adds the conversion.

Jones kept the Scarlets playing in the right area of the field with kicks to the corner. A kick to the North East corner gave Marc Jones an opportunity to throw to the line. The ball was won at the top and the home side went on the attack through the forwards. The ball was shipped wide and Asquith spots a gap and goes over but the try was disallowed after the TMO spotted blocking.

Despite that the Scarlets continued to come forward and after another line out and the try eventually came from Fonotia with Jones just missing the conversion to leave his side with a 22-7 half time lead.

Daf Hughes replaced Marc Jones at hooker for the second half with Dan Davis remaining on for the injured Ed Kennedy.

Only five minutes in to the second half and Scarlets made decent progress in to Ulster’s 22. McNicholl made a break as he dances around their defenders, making it look easy. They won a line out and the forwards did a great job in edging them ever closer to the try line and Kruger thought he had scored his second but it was ruled out after the referee said the ball had been held up.

The Scarlets continued to have a foothold in the game and piled the pressure on but a number of errors saw them miss out on potential points.

Another move from the home side saw them inch closer to the line and the ball was played across for Tom Prydie, making his return to action for the first time since early October, who crossed for the try which was then converted by Jones for a 29-7 lead.

Ulster did not give up and capitalised on a lack of concentration from the Scarlets when Johnny Stewart scored their second try of the game but the conversion was missed.

Scarlets kept the pressure on Ulster in the final ten minutes of the game and despite a late comeback by the opposition in the final seconds of play Scarlets kept them away from the whitewash and brought the game to a close happy with the five points.

On Saturday (Dec 1), Scarlets travel to Scotland to take on Glasgow Warriors before their Champions Cup double header against Ulster.

The first of those takes place on Friday, December 7, at Parc Y Scarlets with a 7:45 kick off. The return fixture takes place a week later with the same kick off time at the Kingspan Stadium.

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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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