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Old Gold hold on to go through

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CARMARTHEN TOWN overcame a competitive Trethomas side, who operate in the Cymru Ardal South East League (one level below the Cymru South), thanks to two smartly taken opportunistic goals from all-time top scorer Liam Thomas.

But, having largely monopolised the first hour of the game, and spurned several other decent chances, Town conceded a goal through careless defending and they were then forced to hold on to their narrow lead for the remainder of the match.

The Old Gold began the match positively as they launched a series of penetrating attacks that kept the Bluebirds largely pinned back in defence and starved of meaningful possession.  Yet while Town forced a series of early corner-kicks, they initially failed to test goalkeeper Luke Martin.

However at last after 17 minutes he was called into action when Kieran Howard sent a corner-kick into the crowded penalty area where Lee Surman, from 15 yards, fired a low drive that the ‘keeper comfortably gathered.    

Town continued to build pressure on the visitors’ defence and on 23 minutes they went close to scoring when Jordan Vickers easily outpaced two defenders along the right flank before firing an inviting cross into the goal area where Noah Daley directed his glancing header beyond Martin’s reach but narrowly beyond the far post.

But Carmarthen were very soon ahead. In the 27th minute Trystan Jones, with a fine pass along the left-wing, sent Daley racing forward before he drove the ball into the goalmouth – while Martin and his defenders hesitated, the ever-alert Thomas pounced and stabbed the ball into the back of the net.

The Old Gold, spurred by that success, straightaway put the visitors’ defence under even greater pressure.

On 35 minutes Surman, from the half-way line, produced a superb cross-field pass that reached Thomas on the corner of the penalty area – he struck a promising low angled shot into the goalmouth and beyond Martin’s reach but saw the ball slide just marginally past the far post.

Moments later Vickers made another lightning burst along the touchline before firing the ball into the penalty area where Thomas, from 10 yards, struck a crisp volley that flew just over the bar.

Then after 42 minutes Daley robbed the ball off of a hesitant defender just inside the penalty area before setting up a decent chance for Tom Dyson but from 15 yards he fired the ball too high.

That just about symbolised Town’s first-half performance – plenty of pressure and scoring chances but too many opportunities wasted.

After the interval Trethomas began far more positively and clearly anxious to level the score-line.  However Carmarthen’s defence, centred around the experienced pairing of Surman and Scott Tancock, remained unshaken and for a long period goalkeeper Scott James was never under any serious pressure.

Indeed the visitors’ first notable scoring chance of the second-half arose on 72 minutes when Tomas Rutherford sent a long cross deep into the penalty area where James Hill, from a good position, wastefully sent his header over the bar.

During this spell the Old Gold were still managing occasional visits into the opposition penalty area – albeit seemingly with little conviction or likely chance of success.  Yet after 75 minutes they extended their lead.  Tancock, from the half-way line, launched a long pass into the penalty area which Thomas eagerly pursued – despite the nearby presence of several defenders Town’s top marksman claimed the ball and from 8 yards clinically drilled it past Martin and into the back of the net.

Sadly however, that comfortable two-goal advantage did not last long. On 77 minutes, as the visitors swarmed upfield in search of late goals, they managed to reduce the deficit with the help of some sloppy Town defending when Gareth Tedstone fired an angled drive across the goalmouth where Hill, in clear space, tapped the ball into an empty goal.

However, thankfully for Carmarthen’s now increasingly anxious supporters their team managed to survive the closing stages of this match without further mishap.     

Carmarthen’s next fixture is away against Cwmbran Celtic on Saturday, September 11, k/o 2.30pm, while on the following Saturday, September 18, k/o 2.30pm Town play Cambrian & Clybach Vale BGC at Richmond Park; both are Cymru South League matches.

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Sport

Five-star Old Gold sink students

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AFTER Carmarthen opened their Cymru South League home programme some 12 days ago with a comprehensive victory over Llantwit Major they improved on even that performance with this crushing demolition of Swansea Uni who were kept deep under pressure in their own half for much of the match.

From the start Town launched a series of piercing attacks which the visitors struggled to contain.

On 5 minutes a sweeping move along the right-flank began with Jordan Vickers sprinting upfield and then playing the ball on to Liam Thomas who threaded a fine pass across to Matthew Delaney – from the corner of the penalty area he struck a fierce angled shot that goal-keeper Ben Edwards, at full-stretch, turned aside.

Yet soon afterwards the Old Gold took the lead. After 9 minutes Vickers passed the ball across Jamie Rickard who instantly sent it on to Thomas, inside the penalty area, and Town’s all-time top scorer clinically converted the opportunity.

Then on 12 minutes Delaney, from the right-wing, sent a fine long cross into the goalmouth where Scott Tancock saw his close-range glancing header fly just wide of the goal.

At this stage Town were dominating the game with their pace and movement. On 22 minutes Rickard threaded an excellent pass to Thomas on the edge the penalty area but with defenders nearby his hurried shot went marginally off-target.

In the 25th minute Vickers, a particular constant threat to the opponents’ defenders, fired an inviting cross into the goalmouth where Noah Daley was just unable to reach the ball for a simple tap-in opportunity.

The visitors, during all this time, had managed little in terms of creating a serious attacking threat. However on 30 minutes George Sellick broke clear from the centre-circle and struck a 25 yard volley which Carmarthen ‘keeper Ifan Knott, having raced some way out of his goal, first blocked and then claimed the loose ball.

But that was just a brief interruption to Town’s search for more goals and the certainty of three League points.

On 36 minutes Daley embarked on a remarkable solo run – having taken possession of the ball on the edge of the centre-circle he proceeded to pass 3 defenders and move into the penalty area then dismissively go around Edwards and drive the ball in to the empty net.

Soon afterwards, in the 39th minute, the Old Gold scored again when Thomas, on the half-way line, played a fine pass forward to Bradley Gibbings who raced free towards the penalty area where he neatly side-stepped Edwards, who was bereft of any defensive cover for the second successive time, and slid the ball into the net.

Then, to conclude a most productive 45 minutes a superb long pass out of defence was chased by Jaime Rickard deep into the visitors’ half – as Edwards came well out of his penalty area to challenge him Rickard neatly crossed the ball to Daley who converted an easy tap-in goal.

After the interval, with Carmarthen having such a commanding lead, neither team appeared to show much urgency in the blistering heat of the day. Yet in the 60th minute Town extended their lead with a well-worked move.

Vickers sprinted along the right flank before sending a deep cross to the far side of the goal area where Daley arrived with perfect timing and planted a powerful header past Edwards and into the back of the net.

The Old Gold continued to hold the advantage over the University team, in terms of both possession and territory, but the only further goalmouth action arose after 80 minutes – following a free-kick Rickard struck a promising 20 yard drive that Edwards, at full-stretch, turned around the post.

This was a most welcome result, not only in terms of the quality of the performance but also in that Town have now moved up into 5th place in the League table.

The Old Gold’s League programme now continues with a visit Goytre United on Friday, August 19, k/o 7.30pm.

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Wanderers win to keep promotion hopes alive

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CARMARTHEN Wanderers earned a big win on Saturday (Aug 13) as they beat Ynysygerwn by 162 runs.

The win keeps them in third place in Division 2 of the South Wales Premier League, 29 points off the top two. However, their next fixture is at home against league leaders Ynystawe.

On Saturday, Ynysygerwn won the toss and chose to field and they saw the Wanderers rack up 262-8 from their 50 overs.

Owen Bailey hit three early boundaries (1 six, 2 fours) before being run out on a score of 16 and Tom Davies reached a score of 25 before falling lbw to Emyr Lawrence.

Owain Binding made 17 before being stumped as the Wanderers were reduced to 82-3.

Gareth Thomas and Robbie Crawford took over and they shared 87 runs for the fourth wicket.

Thomas hit seven fours and two sixes in his score of 63 from 58 balls but he was then caught by Adam Davies off the bowling of Nathan Davies.

Carl Holding was also stumped and Liam Rogers fell on a score of 10 when he was caught and bowled by Nathan Davies.

Crawford then reached his half century as he and Eddie Byng added 34 runs for the seventh wicket but Byng became the third batsman to be stumped.

Ian Hughes was out for a third-ball duck before Crawford and Harry Conick finished unbeaten.

Conick hit a late six to finish not out on 8 while Crawford was unbeaten on 71 after hitting six fours and two sixes.

Ynysygerwn were in trouble early on in their reply as they slipped to 16-3. Ryan Sylvester made a score of 29 before falling lbw to Owen Bailey.

Adam Davies made a score of 15 for the home side but it wasn’t enough as they were bowled out for 100.

Binding was the pick of the bowlers as he finished with 5-22. Chris Turrell, Ian Hughes, Tom Davies and Owen Bailey all picked up a wicket each.

The Wanderers’ game with leaders Ynystawe starts at 12:30pm on Saturday, August 20.

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Sport

Ammanford seal place in top flight

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AMMANFORD sealed their place in next season’s top flight with a thrilling one wicket victory over Bridgend at the Park.

Bridgend won the toss and batted first, losing three quick wickets to the excellent bowling of Matthew Davies (2-20) and Dan Roberts (1-30).

However, captain Tom Baker joined opener Sam Wood at the crease and these two provided Bridgend’s main partnership of 81.

The hard track and fast outfield promised a big score but Ammanford’s bowlers stuck to their task and dismissed the visitors for 199 in their penultimate over.

Xavier Clarke bowled well for his 2 for 31 and Owen Davies cleaned up at the end with 3 for 61.

Ammanford got off to a poor start, losing regular wickets until, at 56 for 4, Rhys-Huw Davies joined opener Kurtis Marsh to provide a steadying half century partnership.

However, with the departure of Marsh for 42, three wickets fell for the addition of a single run, and Ammanford were staring down the barrel of another disappointing defeat.

Enter skipper Alun Evans, coming in at number 9 after recovering from a long afternoon in the field.

Evans and Davies added a quick 21 runs before Davies departed for an invaluable 33.

Ammanford were now well into the tail, 8 wickets down and still 68 runs short of their target. Their two last batsmen faced the daunting task of staying in with their skipper while he tried to knock off the runs.

Which, to their credit, is exactly what they did. First, Owen Davies (18) added 33 priceless runs with his captain while last man Matthew Davies (9no) courageously stuck in until the winning runs were scored. Evans finished a true captain’s innings unbeaten on 49.

Ammanford are now safe in 7th place, 60 points clear of bottom club Clydach whom they welcome to the Park next Saturday.

On Wednesday evening, Ammanford travel to Port Talbot to play the semi-final of the SWCA T20
knockout cup. Wickets pitched at 5.45pm.

Ammanford seconds lose by 67 runs

Ammanford seconds lost by 67 runs to Carmarthen Wanderers at Trinity Fields. Carmarthen batted first and were dismissed for 177 in the 42nd over

Top scorer was skipper Giles Thomas (41), supported by Oliver John (27) and James Connick (24).

Tomos Roach was Ammanford’s top wicket taker with 4 for 20. Cian Roach and Iwan Matthews picked up a couple of wickets each.

In reply, Ammanford’s batsmen just couldn’t stay in long enough to make an impression on the scoreboard. Cian Roach (27) and Steffan Williams (22) did their best but the overall response simply
wasn’t good enough and they were all out for 110 after just 25 overs.

Third XI lose by eight wickets

Ammanford thirds went down by 8 wickets to Llandarcy.

Ammanford reached 150 for 9 in their 40 overs, thanks to opener Steve Hagget (45) and skipper Neville Pritchard (35). Llandarcy’s Jon Pryce took 4 for 18.

Despite losing two early wickets, Llandarcy took just 22 overs to pass the Ammanford total, with unbeaten half centuries from David Noall and Gareth Richards.

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