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Raiders no pushovers in friendly defeat



By Ian Golden at Stebonheath Park

PRE-SEASON friendly matches don’t often tell us too much, especially when sides use so many substitutes, but one thing’s for certain, West Wales Raiders don’t look like they’ll be pushovers this year.

Sure, there are a few creases to iron out before they face Coventry Bears in a fortnight in the League 1 opener, but already one can see a far more solid defence, conceding just six tries in this 34-0 loss to an extremely well-drilled Wigan Warriors “reserve” side, who rightly showed quality in every position.

Out of the 23 players named by the Raiders, only nine turned out last season, one of those being new skipper Ashley Bateman who made just a solitary appearance at the start of 2018 before requesting a move to Coventry.

But this is a new Raiders, new season, new coach and plenty of new recruits from both Wales and abroad, and the difference showed straight away as they pounded Wigan’s backline throughout the first five minutes. An interception cost them a second minute try and good defence prevented the Welsh on the next time they had the ball.

It took eight minutes for Wigan to get into the Raiders’ half, scoring on their first attack. Winger Cian Tyrer did well to leap onto a grubber to ground in the corner.

Again Raiders looked for a try, again they couldn’t finish it. Mike Connor was held up over the line, and Dan Maiden missed an opportunity to leap onto a bouncing ball.

Wigan scored their second try on 19 minutes. From an interception, Joe Brown raced 30 metres to score. Callum Green converted.

Fighting for a third, Ethan Havard was held up over the line. Morgan Smithies was also stopped in his tracks when going for the whitewash.

Photo by Darren Harries

Finally, Brown broke for the line with two minutes to go in the half for Wigan’s third, Green converting again to put the half-time score on 16-0 to the Super League youngsters.

Raiders once again applied the early pressure when the second half started. Twice in five minutes was winger Sam Baker was blocked by the solid Wigan defence after the Raiders won a repeat set.

But once again when Wigan got into their opponents half, they scored. Big prop Ben Kilner forcing his way over and Green converting.

From kick-off, Corey Hall scored Wigan’s fifth, grounding in the corner from Ryan Forshaw’s kick, with Green adding the extras again.

As the game entered its final stages, Raiders continued to fight hard to get on the board. After winning a penalty on Wigan’s ten-metre line, they had another determined set of six, but again the Warriors backline stood painfully firm.

The final say went to the Warriors as Jack Kennedy finished off a length of the field move for them to score their sixth of the afternoon. Joe Shorrocks converted.

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Mumbles win well against Ammanford seconds



AMMANFORD seconds suffered a heavy 125 run defeat at the hands of Mumbles at Marespool.

Winning the toss, Ammanford invited Mumbles to bat first, and a terrific 188 run partnership for the second wicket, featuring Ben Jones (94) and Stuart Seaton (77), helped the home team to a healthy 221 for 4 in 45 overs.

Several Ammanford batsmen got into double figures but none were able to stay long enough to make any impression on the run chase. Eirian Morgan top-scored with 25, but the Ammanford innings finished disappointingly on 96 all out.

Gethin Morgan and Phil Roche each took three wickets for Mumbles.

Thirds beaten by Landore

Ammanford thirds travelled to Landore only to lose their match by 50 runs.

Ammanford skipper Carl Griffiths put Landore in to bat, and the home team scored 148 for 9. Landore
skipper Terry Summerfield top-scored with 33.

Ammanford’s Tom Davies was chief wicket-taker with 4 for 38.

Despite a solid 30 from opener and man-of-the-match Tom Davies, Ammanford failed to get anywhere near the required target and folded their innings on 98 inside 34 overs.

The defeat dropped them out of the top half of division six on the SWCA.

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Cwmamman United Juniors host end of season event



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



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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