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Emphatic win for Ammanford

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AMMANFORD secured an emphatic eight wicket victory in an emotionally charged match against Pontarddulais at the Park on Saturday (July 10).

Following a minute’s silence, Ammanford were determined to put on a good show in memory of their much-missed scorer Gary Phillips who died last Saturday.

Put in to bat, Bont lost wickets regularly, and despite a half-century from Richard Grant, were all out for 139 in 46 overs.

Matthew Fisher (3-34) and Josef Davies (3-21) were Ammanford’s leading wicket takers, ably supported by Owen Davies, (2-42) and Matthew Roberts (2-18) who was making a welcome return to the club.

Bont were hopeful when they dismissed Ammanford’s other returnee, opener Elis Richards, with the score on 23.

Their hopes quickly dissipated when man of the match Matthew Fisher was joined by Dan Roberts.

These two took the score to within 23 of their target before Roberts was dismissed for 40.

Fisher carried his bat for a masterly 79 and Ammanford polished off the victory in style with eight wickets and 25 overs to spare.

This precious win lifts Ammanford two places clear of the foot of the table, though only seven points separate the bottom three.

Next week, Ammanford welcome to the Park in-form Bridgend, who currently occupy fourth place in Premier One.

Seconds beaten in high scoring game

AMMANFORD seconds went down by eight wickets in a high-scoring match against Pontarddulais at Ffosyrefail.

Put in to bat, Ammanford scored 256 for 9, thanks mainly to a second wicket partnership of 151 between Matthew Davies (33) and Callum Croft who scored an excellent century.

Ammanford’s impressive target proved a good challenge, particularly with some tight bowling early on, but the Bont batsmen were able to pace their response to overtake Ammanford’s score with just 2 overs to spare.

Cameron Davey (91) and Lewis Edwards (84no) provided the match-winning 159 run partnership, while Matthew Williams (40no) came in to see out the eight wicket victory with Edwards.

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Thomas strikes to earn win for Old Gold

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AFTER a decidedly disappointing start to the season in both the League Cup and Cymru South League with goals and League points near impossible to secure, the turnaround in Carmarthen’s performances over the last five matches has been so significant that supporters now have genuine reason to believe that even better times are ahead.

And that was clearly evident against Risca. Town made a positive start to this match as they swarmed forward in search of an early goal – and they went close to scoring after only 3 minutes when Matthew Delaney threaded a fine pass upfield to reach Liam Thomas.

He then sprinted along the right flank before driving a dangerous cross into the goalmouth but saw Ben Steele just fail to connect for a promising tap-in chance.

Then on 7 minutes Trystan Jones, from near the left touchline, launched a huge cross that reached Thomas on the far side of the penalty area but, under pressure from defenders, Town’s prolific goal-scorer fired the ball into the side-netting.

Moments later Delaney embarked on a surging run, almost the length of the pitch, before crossing the ball into the goalmouth only to see Noah Daley wastefully send his shot high over the bar.

Risca too were enjoying their fair share of possession and the game continued to flow from end to end at a frantic pace.  However, while the Old Gold were frequently stretching the visitors’ defence, the home defenders, well-marshalled by experienced centre-backs Lee Surman and Scott Tancock, were coping comfortably – goalkeeper Scott James was never seriously tested.

In the 12th minute Town twice made promising breaks in quick succession only for Daley and Steele to waste both opportunities with poor shots that Risca ‘keeper Joseph Massaro claimed easily. Then on 19 minutes Cameron Berry raced upfield from the half-way line before crossing the ball into the penalty area where the luckless Daley, from just 8 yards, fired his volley wide of the target.

Carmarthen were largely dominating the play but wasting that effort and advantage due to their failure to convert any of the chances that they were creating.

After 35 minutes the United defenders failed to deal with Delaney’s corner-kick and the loose ball fell nicely for Surman who, sadly, saw his close-range volley fly just over the bar.  Then, in the closing stages of the first-half, Thomas sprinted along the right-flank and into the corner of the penalty area before striking a fierce angled drive that Massaro turned aside.         

By contrast, James in Town’s goal had been needed only rarely in the first-half and nothing had arisen which was too challenging for the experienced ‘keeper.

After the interval the Old Gold immediately returned to the fast attacking football that had exemplified their first-half performance.  On 48 minutes Berry embarked on a determined sprint from the half-way line, then from the corner of the penalty area he released a fierce drive that Massaro turned aside with an impressive, full-length save.

Then after 65 minutes Bradley Gibbings took the ball to the by-line and then crossed to the near post where Thomas, under pressure from a defender, saw his glancing shot slide narrowly wide.

However, Carmarthen’s all-time top goal-scorer was not to be denied in the 77th minute. From the wide edge of the penalty area Delaney fired his free-kick into the packed goalmouth where Thomas was quickest to react and arrived with perfect timing then from 10 yards drove the ball into the back of the net.

From there on Risca poured forward in search of a late equaliser but the Old Gold defence, despite being under significant pressure, remained well-organised and resolute while James was never seriously tested.

This current run of promising results has lifted the Old Gold closely in reach of a number of mid-table teams, several having played one game more – the prospect of better things to come is a reality.

Carmarthen’s next fixture is away against Newtown for a Welsh Cup (Round 3) tie on Saturday, September 25, k/o 2.00pm and then the following fixture is away against Goytre United on Friday, October 1, k/o 7.30pm for a Cymru South League match.

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Cefneithin hold off Cwmgors for second win

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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.

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Amman United too good for Betws

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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.

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