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Old Gold’s second half blitz sinks Lido

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CARMARTHEN TOWN continued their impressive unbeaten run in the Cymru South League with this comprehensive victory over a competitive Afan Lido side due to a second-half goal blitz that eventually overwhelmed the visitors’ defence.

The Old Gold began the match at a frantic pace putting the Lido goal under immediate pressure – Matthew Delaney made a strong run along the right-wing then fired the ball into the packed penalty area where in quick succession Liam Thomas, Adam John and Tom Dyson had promising shots blocked by defenders or goal-keeper Gareth Couch.

Moments later a long pass from Kieran Howard set Jordan Vickers racing to the corner of the penalty area before releasing a fierce angle drive that Couch, at full-stretch, turned around the post.

The visitors too were a threat on the counter-attack and on 6 minutes Joshua Webber made a quick break along the left flank then sent a fine cross into the penalty area where Cameron Harris struck a smart 15 yard shot that goal-keeper Scott James, diving quickly down, punched away to safety.          

However the Old Gold quickly regained the initiative. In the 8th minute Howard sent a corner-kick into the crowded goalmouth where Scott Tancock timed his arrival perfectly and planted his firm header beyond the reach of Couch but, sadly, narrowly beyond the far post.

Then on 19 minutes Howard produced a sublime long pass that set Vickers sprinting along the right-wing to reach the corner of the penalty area before dispatching a powerful drive that Couch turned aside at full length.

From the ensuing corner-kick Thomas struck a fierce angled shot that the increasingly busy Couch turned over the bar in spectacular fashion.

Town continued to enjoy the greater share of possession but as the first-half continued they were unable to penetrate the Afan defence in any meaningful way – certainly Couch was not seriously tested again during this spell.

Indeed the only notable goalmouth action arose at the other end of the pitch when on 45 minutes Luke McDonald, from near the left touchline, fired a free-kick into the goalmouth only for Cameron Harris, in a good position at the far post, head the ball wide of the post. 

After the interval Carmarthen began brightly and put the opposition defence under immediate pressure with a series of sharp raids – and on 51 minutes they were rewarded when Delaney moved smartly infield from the right-wing to the by-line then slid the ball into the goalmouth where John, with defenders close-by, fired a crisp volley past Couch and into the roof of the net.

Then after 57 minutes Lido, stung by that setback, wasted a good chance to draw level – Ioan   Evans crossed the ball invitingly into the goalmouth only for Jordan Edwards, in free space, to blaze the ball high over the bar from 8 yards.

And that failing became even more costly soon afterwards.  In the 67th minute Delaney sent a fine long pass forward to reach John who sprinted past his marker and into the penalty area before crisply firing the ball past Couch and into the far corner of the net.

Town, and in particular John, continued to torment the Lido defence. On 79 minutes the lively winger moved infield from the left-touchline, passing several bewildered defenders in the process, to reach the penalty area then slid the ball across to Liam Thomas who turned sharply and from 15 yards struck a low angled drive beyond the ‘keeper’s reach and into the far corner of the net to continue his rich vein of scoring form.

Then finally, as the match moved into added time, Carmarthen completed their second 4-0 defeat of Afan Lido in the League this season when, at the end of a delightful sequence of passing involving several players, Jac Walters slid the ball through to Noah Daley who from close-range promptly fired it past Couch and into the net. Town’s 13 match unbeaten run, which began against Swansea University in late August, has now lifted the Club up to 6th place in the League and their supporters can now look forward, with some optimism, to the next two fixtures against Ammanford over the festive season – away from home on December 27 and at Richmond Park on New Year’s Day (both k/o 2.30pm).

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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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