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Cyclist Manon Lloyd in Women’s Tour

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CARMARTHEN cyclist Manon Lloyd is currently taking part in the Women’s Tour, which will reach its grand finale in Carmarthenshire on Saturday, June 15.

The tour started on Monday, June 10, with Manon crossing the line in 8oth place, but only 14 seconds behind the first stage winner.

The second stage will see riders around the Kent Cyclopark. Riders will also pass through Blenheim Palace, Warwick and Llandrindod Wells before heading to Carmarthenshire.

Manon, from Carmarthen, is hoping the strength of a home crowd will spur her on as she competes against the best female cyclists in the world as part of her team Drops.

A former member of Towy Riders, the 22-year-old started her track racing career on the historic Carmarthen Velodrome, where she will cross the line to start Stage Six of the UK’s biggest road race.

Dubbed one of the most challenging stages of the race, the 96 cyclists will compete against each other in a series of sprints and climbs taking in the breath-taking Black Mountains, and descending through the Amman and Gwendraeth Valleys before reaching the finishing line at Pembrey Country Park.

Thousands of people are expected to come out and line the route to cheer on the cyclists and give them and our visitors a warm Carmarthenshire welcome.

Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths, Carmarthenshire County Council’s Executive Board Member for Culture, Sport and Tourism, hopes the crowds will make their voices heard to help Manon make the most of her home advantage.

“This will be a very special race for Manon,” he said. “She has cycled all over the world competing for Great Britain, and to be selected by her team to race the Women’s Tour is just fantastic.

“Manon is proud of her roots in Carmarthenshire, her family live and farm near Kidwelly, and she always speaks fondly of her time with Towy Riders at our great Velodrome in Carmarthen.

“I know she’s taken advantage of coming home to train and familiarise herself with the Stage Six route which takes in some of our most wonderful scenery and goes through many of our communities.

“I really hope people will come out to cheer her on.”

Although helping her team win the Women’s Tour will be a challenge for Manon, she’s no stranger to taking the winner’s podium.

In 2014 she took first place in the team pursuit and points race at the European Junior Track Championships.

In 2016 she took two golds with her team (Madison) at the UCI Track World Cup, followed by a first in the team pursuit at the European U23 Track Championships, and bronze in another team pursuit at the European Track Championships.

In 2017 she took a mixture of third, second and third place positions, as well as silver and bronze medals, at European, National and World Track Championships.

In 2018 she was part of Team GB for the Commonwealth Games in Australia’s Gold Coast.

The OVO Energy Women’s Tour comes to Carmarthenshire for the first time, hot on the heels of the county’s successful hosting of the men’s Tour of Britain race last September.

The full route and information about road closures, local events and ways to get involved, can be found on the council’s websitewww.carmarthenshire.gov.wales.

Follow updates on social media using #OVOWT #CycleCarms and lend your support to Manon using #TeamManon on @CarmsCouncil and @manonlloyd96

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Mumbles beat Wanderers with three balls to spare

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MUMBLES picked up victory against Carmarthen Wanderers on Saturday (May 14) as they reached their target with only three balls to spare.

After winning the toss, the Wanderers chose to bat first and they scored 207-5 in their 50 overs.

Robbie Crawford and Owain Davies shared 30 runs for the first wicket but Crawford was bowled by Greg Handley on a score of 11 and soon after he had Davies caught by Sean Davies on a score of 12.

Jack Straw then had Gareth Thomas caught by Aneurin Norman as the Wanderers were reduced to 47-3.

Owain Binding and Tom Davies looked to get the Wanderers going again and they shared 52 runs for the fourth wicket.

Binding hit six fours in a score of 39 but he was caught by Richard Gibby off the bowling of Jamie Sheldon.

Tom Davies and Lewis Byng then shared 81 runs for the fifth wicket with Davies reaching his half century.

Davies hit four fours and five sixes as he reached a score of 72 but he was then bowled by Handley.

Byng went on to finish unbeaten on 26 while Owen Bailey hit three late fours to finish not out on 16 from 6 balls.

Owain Binding bowled Joe Phillips early in Mumbles’ reply and he also trapped Richard Gibby leg before on a score of 22 to leave their opponents on 31-2.

Scores of 47 (three fours) from Elliot Oates and 77 (eight fours, two sixes) from Gregory Thomas kept Mumbles in the game but the Wanderers continued to take wickets.

Sean Davies hit a four and three sixes in his score of 28 from 17 balls but he was caught by Iestyn Scourfield off the bowling of Gareth Thomas.

Jamie Sheldon was run out on a score of 10 by Lewis Byng, leaving Mumbles on 206-8.

In the last over, Greg Handley defended the first two balls and then hit a four with the third to win the game for Mumbles.

On Saturday, May 21, Carmarthen Wanderers host Llanelli.

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Ammanford bow out of Welsh Cup

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AMMANFORD made a swift exit from the Welsh Cup as they were beaten by seven wickets by Pontarddulais in a closely contested match at Ffosyrefail.

Ammanford batted first and reached a handsome 217 for 7 in their 40 overs, thanks to Kurtis Marsh (36), Xavier Clarke (30) and Alun Evans (48).

Former Ammanford star Matthew Fisher took four wickets for 37 in his first match against his old club.

Despite losing an early wicket, experienced opener Gary Arrowsmith began a solid Bont response, and a half century from Iestyn Rees put the home side well on the way to victory.

Despite a couple of wickets each from Alun Evans, Saihaj Jaspal and Fin Jeffries, Bont rteached their target with 3 overs and 3 wickets to spare.

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Ammanford lose out as Swansea post mammoth total

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SCORING their highest total for several seasons, Ammanford still managed to lose by 131 runs to a blistering Swansea batting line-up which has now scored over 1200 runs in 3 matches.

Ammanford’s acting captain Dan Roberts must have imagined that lightning couldn’t strike thrice when he invited Swansea to bat on a perfect St Helens track. It could.

And it did. Opening pair Brad Wadlan and Chris Gibson (82) put on 252 for the first wicket before Wadlan fell for 147.

Wadlan is just 14 short of 500 runs for the season and it’s still mid-May!

Swansea’s impressive batting line-up maintained the assault on Ammanford’s bowlers, Jake Roberts scoring 96 from 41 deliveries.

They closed on a gargantuan 425 for 4.

Ammanford’s priority was to secure maximum batting points by reaching 225, and this they did without any difficulty.

An excellent 88-run opening partnership from Rhodri-Huw Davies (51) and Kurtis Marsh (30) gave Xavier Clarke (112no) an excellent platform from which to launch a classy maiden unbeaten ton for Ammanford.

Dan Roberts (30) and Saihaj Jaspal (46no) continued the good work, and Ammanford closed on 294 for 3, a total which on most weekends would guarantee a win.

Whilst there was never any chance of getting near Swansea’s ridiculous target, Ammanford’s batsmen gave a thoroughly creditable account of themselves which looked promising for the rest of the season.

Next week they welcome Newport to the Park.

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