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TOWN LOSE GROUND IN PLAY-OFF PUSH

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Bangor City 1

Carmarthen Town 0

CARMARTHEN continued their largely unproductive Welsh Premier League second-phase programme with another generally disappointing performance at Bangor who snatched victory with a goal midway through the second-half that owed more to a moment of woeful Town defending than inspired attacking play.  Yet the Old Gold began quite brightly and with the benefit of a strong following wind they put the City defence under pressure for a lengthy spell but without, initially, looking capable of creating any serious goal threat.

Then with ten minutes on the clock Chris Ham from the right touchline sent a searching cross deep into the goalmouth where Cortez Belle stretched to stab the ball goalwards only to be denied by ‘keeper Connor Roberts with a fine reflex save.  Moments later Craig Hanford launched a long free-kick into the penalty area but Belle, rising high amongst several defenders, directed his header over the bar. Then after 23 minutes Liam Thomas chased a long forward pass to the by-line before crossing the ball to the far side of the penalty area where Kyle Bassett cleverly set up a wonderful chance for Belle but, from 15 yards and in clear space, he wastefully volleyed too high.  Up to that point the hosts had been confined to just occasional counter attacks but Town’s defence, featuring the central partnership of Hanford and Chris Thomas with Luke Cummings and Jordan Knott on the flanks, were playing with composure and discipline and the only notable scoring effort had been a speculative long-range drive by Sion Edwards that ‘keeper Lee Idzi dealt with comfortably.

But from now on City, having resisted that early pressure, began to enjoy a greater share of possession and look more of a threat going forward.  On 28 minutes Lee Healey cut inside from the right touchline and drove the ball towards the goalmouth where Liam Caddick connected with a smart close-range shot that was diverted wide of the post by Chris Thomas’ timely challenge. Then after 35 minutes Healey again raced down the right-wing and slipped past Hanford to reach the edge of the penalty area only for his crisp angled strike to fly over the bar.   Too often during the first-half the play was confined to uneventful midfield exchanges with neither side apparently possessing sufficient flair and invention to raise the entertainment level of the match to anything more than minimal – and after 45 minutes 0-0 was an entirely fitting score-line.

Following the interval the Old Gold had an early opportunity when Idzi sent a huge free-kick deep into the penalty area to reach Belle who headed the ball back to Liam Thomas but he saw his promising 20 yard drive blocked in front of goal by a defender. Bangor, now able to take advantage of the strong wind, held the initiative and were gradually building a worrying attacking momentum. Town meanwhile were forced to defend deeper and rely on their only apparent outlet, persisting with their earlier uninspiring ‘routeone’ strategy of pumping long balls upfield towards Belle in the hope that with his height and strength something favourable might happen – it never did.

In fact their best chance, on 58 minutes, began with an astute lofted pass by Sacha Walters which set Bassett free to burst forward from the halfway line in typically robust style but, having outpaced two defenders, as he reached the edge of the penalty area he took one touch too many on the ball and lost possession as Connor Roberts, advancing off his goal-line, dropped down smartly and smothered it. City immediately responded with defender Chris Roberts surging through the centre before releasing a fierce longrange drive that Idzi turned over the bar with a stylish save.

But they soon went ahead when on 65 minutes as Edwards sent an inviting cross into the goalmouth where, despite the presence of three defenders, Callum Morris was allowed the time and space to control the ball and drill it into the corner of the net from 8 yards leaving Idzi well beaten. Spurred by that success Bangor proceeded to control the rest of the game although they managed very few decent scoring chances.

In the 89th minute Healey raced forward to the corner of the penalty area but saw his sharp strike fly just wide of the post – then deep into added time he was involved again playing a fine pass through to Sam Faulkner who was in clear space and from 20 yards he tried to lift the ball over Idzi as he advanced from his goal but Town’s experienced ‘keeper stretched high to claw it away to safety. Carmarthen have now seen the comfortable nine point advantage that they held over Rhyl at the start of the WPL second phase reduced to nil with their rivals now occupying, on goal difference, the vital UEFA qualifying play-off place.

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Cwmamman United Juniors host end of season event

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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

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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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Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay to visit Carmarthenshire

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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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