BEFORE a ball was kicked on Friday evening (Mar 29) at the Recreation Ground, the Committee, Players and Supporters of Ammanford AFC extended a very warm welcome to “Football Ground Hopper” Mr John Stancombe who was visiting his 1707th Ground.
John, who is totally blind, had travelled from his home in Lowestoft in East Anglia to be at the game.
Sadly, John lost his sight back in 2006 but this hasn’t stopped him from embarking on his favourite past time.
John fell in love with the beautiful game when his Dad took him as a youngster to watch Wimbledon Football Club at Plough Lane and his love affair with football has continued to this day and he doesn’t allow his disability to interfere with his passion.
John asks detailed questions about every Ground he visits and will meticulously record the facts of his visit and requests photos to add to his extensive collection.
Ammanford Chairman Rob Thomas guided John around the Recreation Ground and provided the dimensions for John’s statistics.
Rob also provided John with commentary on the match against Briton Ferry Llansawel.
John enjoyed his visit to Ammanford AFC and thanked everyone for their hospitality and wished the club continued success for the future.
Well over 700 spectators have watched Ammanford’s last three home games – a tremendous achievement in keeping with the club’s ongoing ground improvements.
Ammanford AFC are in a good run of form and their last outing against Haverfordwest County saw a highly entertaining game with the home side producing a fine performance to earn a well deserved victory.
Ammanford Club Captain Rhys Fisher summed up the season so far by saying: “The season has been a bit of a rollercoaster. The first 3 games we didn’t win and people wrote us off but soon as that first win the whole spirit changed!
“We are going in to tonight on the back of probably our best team performance and we are just loving playing in front of our crowds. Big buzz around the club so hoping to carry it on through till the final game and see where it takes us”.
Carl Shaw’s Briton Ferry Llansawel arrived at the Rec on the back of a defeat to leaders Penybont and were looking to get back to winning ways.
The game turned out to be in stark contrast to the last few home games at Ammanford as both sides produced a stalemate of a first half with both goalkeepers having very little to do.
It wasn’t until the latter end of the first half that Ammanford produced their best attacking chances of the game.
Ammanford’s Richard Lewis picked up the ball and weaved his way past the visitors defence and unleashed a shot that was just narrowly wide of the goal.
A few minutes later a Craig Frater shot looked goalbound all the way but a timely deflection took the ball just over the crossbar.
In the second half both teams endeavoured to break the deadlock but with quarter of an hour gone it was the visitors who broke away on the right flank with Stephen Davey showing his electric pace. He fired in a fierce low driven cross which took a wicked deflection off the unfortunate Ammanford centre back Nick Arnold who tried to clear but the ball veered off his foot into his own net.
Minutes later, the visitors nearly doubled their advantage when again Stephen Davey raced away and put in a pin point cross which was met by striker Gareth Jones who saw his headed attempt sail over the bar.
The visitors were beginning to take control of the game and Davey was the dangerous outlet for their attacking play.
Ammanford Manager Gruff Harrison reacted and used all his three substitutes in an attempt to get back into the game.
It nearly worked when Mathew Fisher shot from the edge of the box and it looked for all intense and purposes that it was beating visitors keeper Conah McFenton but the ball struck the back legs of substitute Bruno Forkouh and rebounded to safety.
It summed up an evening of frustration for the home side.
The Briton Ferry Llansawel defence well marshalled by Rob Thomas held firm and it was the visitors who celebrated at the final whistle.
Ammanford are next in action on Wednesday, April 10, when they travel to Llantwit Major.
Cefneithin hold off Cwmgors for second win
Cwmgors 22-31 Cefneithin
LOOKING for their first WRU Bowl victory since the restart, Cwmgors welcomed Cefneithin to Parc y Werin, the hosts kicking off playing towards Ysgol y Waun.
The visitors notched the opening score with an early converted try, before Andrew Mason sent a penalty over after 12 minutes for the home side.
The Cherries scored an excellent try on 20 minutes, a fine break from the impressive “Owz” resulting in a well-worked try; the resulting conversion unluckily came off the post, but ‘Gors led 8-7.
Some great work by the forwards brought due reward as Cwm grabbed a second touch down which Mason converted; but before the interval, Cefneithin hit back with a try of their own, to leave them trailing by just a point at the break.
Cefn then took the lead early in the second half with a penalty, and missed another minutes later, before breaching the Cwmgors defence to record a third try of the afternoon on 50 minutes.
Minutes later, the ever-industrious “Owz” popped up again, another clinical break and good support which saw Ioan Jones crash over the whitewash for the try; Andrew Mason’s conversion meant Cwm were just two points adrift.
But, ten minutes from the end, home hopes soon evaporated by a late try from the visitors which gave the Cherries too much to do and they ultimately went down to a valiant defeat.
Cwmgors travel to Tumble this Saturday (Sept 25) while Cefneithin host Amman United.
Amman United too good for Betws
AMMAN United earned their fourth win of the campaign on Saturday as they beat Betws 43-13.
After a short delay following the late arrival of the referee, it was Betws who opened the scoring when outside half Aled Rees Jones slotted an early penalty.
But the home side were soon on the attack; backrow man Alun Lewis’ jinking run opened the defence and his perfect pass put in supporting scrum- half Alex Williams to grab the try.
Following Dan Jones’ excellent run, Betws were penalised, and outside half Tom Caddell made no mistake with the resulting kick. A well struck penalty from the boot of Betws placekicker Jones made it 8-6 after 17 minutes.
Newly-married Iwan Davies showed no sign of flagging and was in the thick of things as his superb run typified his all-round effort, along with impressive centre Hacuna Bezzara.
Craig Ratliffe’s break then created space, and Rhodri Lewis’ pass put in Dan Jones for try number two, Caddell’s conversion making it 15-6.
Amman’s purple-patch continued as wing Eurig Morgan crossed for a fine corner try, but Betws showed their sheer grit, despite being down a man by now, peppering the Amman try-line before Rory McGhee forced his way over for a deserved try which Aled Rees Jones converted on the stroke of half time.
A gallant Betws defence was breached early in the second half as Iwan Davies’ pass put in centre Bezzara for a Caddell-converted try.
A superb individual try from Alex Williams which saw him sidestep in for another Amman try began taking the match out of the visitors’ grasp on the hour mark.
Eurig Morgan’s ‘try’ was then ruled out for a forward-pass, just before Alex Williams incurred the referee’s wrath, yellow-carded for a dangerous tackle.
Betws almost took advantage of the 14 men as scrum half Ryan Tancock, who had a solid game, made a searing midfield break which sadly earned no end reward.
Betws’ tiring defensive legs conceded a further score as Alun Lewis provided a try on a plate for replacement Liam Poole to gallop over with minutes remaining.
Caddell’s conversion completed the scoring on an entertaining encounter.
Amman make the trip to Cefneithin on Saturday (Sept 25), while Betws are next in action on October 2.
Ynys prove one hill too far
Cwmamman Utd Reserves 2-4 Ynysygerwn
AFTER two 5-1 wins Cwmamman Reserves, playing their second game in 3 days, put up a brave fight against an Ynysygerwn team with lots of first team experience while also having to play 70 mins of the match with ten men.
The last thing they needed on tired legs was the dismissal of Brieg Matthews after 18 mins for an off the ball incident and it had been a tight match to that point.
But then on 23mins a through ball to Rhys Brewer saw him open the scoring for Ynys.
The 10 men of Cwm fought hard and Ashley Twigg was causing problems on the flank while Olly Dymond was brought down for a strong penalty shout but the referee waved play on.
Grant Rees and Stuart Dunn were strong at the centre of defence. Then just on half time a failure to clear at a corner saw Josh Davies slot it home for the equaliser for CWM.
The second half saw Ynysygerwn increase their possession as Cwm tired and in the 50th minute Tom Phillips flicked in a corner which was quickly followed by a goal in the 53rd minute when a ball over the top saw Charlie Farrell make it 3-1 for Ynys.
Again Cwm came back with Rhys Williams and Rhydian Jones making strong runs and Cam Isaac who had been a safe pair of hands for Cwm in goals but playing out for the last 15 mins score a great individual goal for 3-2.
Cwm pressed and had another strong penalty appeal before themselves conceding a penalty in the last minute which was converted by Nathan Davies to seal a hard fought 4-2 win for Ynysygerwn.
Cwm will enjoy the week’s rest before entertaining Briton Ferry next Saturday (Sept 25).
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