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Town back in play-off driving seat

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Carmarthen Town 5
Prestatyn 2

WITH RHYL slipping up at home to Connah’s Quay, the Old Gold took full advantage by dispatching of doomed bottom side Prestatyn, with the visitors reduced to nine men before half-time. It was a timely slip up from Rhyl, with them due to visit Richmond Park on the 11th April in what will surely be the decider for the play-off place.

With the Old Gold desperately needing three points from this game to boost their prospects of securing a UEFA qualifying play-off place at the end of the season, they made the worst possible start when the visitors, with their first attack, took the lead on 3 minutes. Jordan Davies sent his corner-kick into the crowded goalmouth and Jack Lewis was allowed the time and space to head the ball powerfully past keeper Lee Idzi.

Stung by that setback Town immediately pressed forward with a series of swift incisive raids and by the 12th minute they were back on level terms when Jordan Knott made good ground down the left wing before delivering a searching cross into the penalty area where Luke Prosser turned sharply and from 6 yards hit a crisp drive which was handled on the goal-line by James Stead. The referee straightaway awarded a penalty and, inevitably, dismissed the Prestatyn defender. Liam Thomas stepped forward and confidently drove the spot-kick past Scott Williams and into the back of the net.

While the Old Gold continued to enjoy the greater share of possession and territorial advantage, the visitors managed to break out occasionally on the counter-attack and after 15 minutes they almost repeated their earlier success when another Davies corner was met by Dave Hayes who rose high above surrounding defenders but his firm header slid just past the post.

Yet Carmarthen held the initiative and they deservedly scored a second goal on 20 minutes when Kyle Bassett sent a well-flighted corner into the penalty area and saw Jordan Wells meet it with perfect timing and place his header beyond Williams’ reach for his first goal in the Old Gold colours.

This spell of pressure continued with Bassett and Liam Thomas in particular using their lightning pace and mobility to torment the Prestatyn defenders while Lewis Harling, Ceri Morgan and Danny Thomas provided valuable support through their industry and vision in midfield. Meanwhile Town’s defence dealt capably enough with the visitors’ breakaways, despite a few worrying moments of hesitancy under pressure – but the key element here was the performance of Craig Hanford who throughout the game undertook his evident instructions to man-mark key striker Andy Parkinson so effectively that the goal threat normally posed by this dangerous marksman never materialised.

The hosts then went close to extending their lead in the 39th minute when Knott sent a sublime pass through to Liam Thomas who took the ball into the penalty area before releasing a smart angled drive that drew an equally impressive save from Williams to turn it around the post. Straight afterwards Bassett raced clear down the right flank to reach the edge of the penalty area but saw his fierce strike fly just outside the far post.

Then on 42 minutes Prestatyn’s prospects took another significant downturn when Ross Weaver, after having been shown a yellow card only shortly beforehand, was similarly cautioned following a bad challenge on Liam Thomas and, consequently saw the referee also brandish the red card in his direction.

Town immediately made good use of their enhanced numerical advantage by pressing forward with even greater intensity. After 44 minutes a neat exchange of passes between Danny Thomas and Chris Thomas on the edge of the penalty area finished with the ball being played back to Bassett but his well-struck effort went narrowly too high. But in added time their renewed pressure brought success when after a swift break by Prosser down the right flank he crossed towards the goalmouth where Bassett set the ball up nicely for Morgan and he gratefully rifled it home from 8 yards.

Following the interval any thoughts Town might have held that the game was already won were soon dispelled when on 49 minutes a long throw-in from Lewis led to a scramble in the packed goalmouth before Michael Parker, from close range, stabbed the ball past Idzi and over the line.

However the Old Gold were quick to respond and produced another sustained spell of pressure which the beleaguered Prestatyn defence struggled to deal with. After 56 minutes Liam Thomas raced forward to the edge of the penalty area before neatly sliding the ball across to the unmarked Bassett but he saw his promising drive denied by Williams with a fine reflex save. Then on 65 minutes substitute Jeff White sent a deep cross into the penalty area which reached Liam Thomas beyond the far post and from a tight angle he fired the ball past Williams only for Parker to recover swiftly and clear it off the goal-line.

But on 68 minutes Town’s lively striker was successful when he moved elusively across the goalmouth to meet Bassett’s corner-kick and direct a firm header past Williams and into the roof of the net. And moments later the Old Gold made their victory certain when following yet another Bassett corner the ball reached Prosser who swept it home from close range. From thereon Carmarthen were firmly in control of the game and while they created a few further scoring chances, Williams was never again seriously tested.

Team:

Lee Idzi; Jordan Wells; Craig Hanford; Chris Thomas; Jordan Knott; Kyle Bassett; Ceri Morgan (sub Chris Ham 74); Lewis Harling (sub Sacha Walters 74); Danny Thomas; Luke Prosser (sub Jeff White 71); Liam Thomas;

Unused subs: Paul Fowler; Hywel Llŷr; Glen Fearn;

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Mumbles win well against Ammanford seconds

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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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Sport

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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