By Ian Golden at Stebonheath Park
A HAT-trick of tries from Sam Grant gave London Skolars a 28-18 victory in a tight game against West Wales Raiders in Llanelli on Saturday (Feb 23).
The Welsh side are still looking for their first victory as a semi-pro club but the effort was there as they put in an improved performance than the effort in Coventry last week.
Until Raiders win a game, everyone will be looking at 2018 matches and commenting on “improvement”. For the record, last season’s encounter here was a 62-12 win for the Skolars, but all the Raiders will be thinking about is how this game got away.
Skolars took the lead after just two minutes when Sam Grant scored in the corner. Neil Thorman converted.
Raiders levelled three minutes later. After being awarded a penalty on Skolars’ half-way line, Dan Maiden crashed over and Tyler Hunt converted.
The Welsh almost scored again straight away, but Ronnie Palumbo’s pass when near to the line, missed all targets and flew into touch.
After that, chances were few and far between in the first half. Dan Hindmarsh nearly got Skolars second try, but was held up over the line. From the next play, Gideon Bofao was shoved into touch by an mass of Raiders players when trying to ground in the corner.
Raiders were close to taking the lead on 33 minutes but it ended up being Skolars who regained their advantage. Grant intercepted a stray pass on his own 10 metre line and ran the full 90 metres to score under the sticks. James Barron added the extras and Skolars, with a little bit of good fortune, were 12-6 up at half-time.
Only good defence prevented Raiders from scoring early in the second half with Rowland Kaye short by centimetres on the final tackle of their first set after the restart.
They did level ten minutes in when Dalton Desmond-Walker went over from close range and Hunt converted, but the scores weren’t even for long. Seven minutes later, Sam Grant notched his hat-trick, scoring in the corner, Barron converting well from the touchline.
That was when Skolars showed that they had a little bit extra in the tank than their plucky hosts. Five minutes later, the lead increased further after Omari Caro scored in the corner, this one going unconverted.
They clinched victory with eight minutes remaining. Matthew Ross was held up over the line and Jordan Williams was over from the next play. Barron converted.
But Raiders had the last say. Ronnie Palumbo crashed over in the final minute with Tyler Hunt’s conversion coming five seconds before the hooter.
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.”
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.
Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay to visit Carmarthenshire
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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