CARMARTHEN Town, starting their first game in five weeks due to the latest pandemic lockdown, began brightly enough with Adam John causing problems for the home defence with some neat footwork which nearly produced an early goal in the 5th minute when his cross was neatly plucked out of the air by home ‘keeper Cameran Clarke just before Liam Thomas was about to pounce.
Cambrian’s tactics were based on the long-ball approach and accompanied with some heavy, robust tackling which resulted in several free kicks being awarded to the Old Gold. But it was from open play that they created their first notable scoring chance on 10 minutes when Matthew Delaney sent a diagonal cross into the penalty area and saw the effervescent top scorer Thomas glance a header just over the crossbar.
Then, in the 15th minute, great work by Delaney led to Jordan Vickers firing a 20 yard drive that cannoned off the bar.
Soon afterwards the hosts produced their first scoring opportunity when ex-Merthyr player Ryan Prosser forced his way through but fired well over the bar from the edge of the penalty area.
Then, in the 20th minute, a loose pass from Scott Tancock almost let Prosser through but he recovered well and managed to dispossess the frontman with consummate ease.
The game was developing into a midfield tussle with Town too often treating the ball like a hot potato but with the home team imposing themselves with some dubious tackling this was understandable.
It was the defensive unit of Vickers, Tancock, Lee Surman and Trystan Jones that gave the visitors a springboard to launch their attacks as they capably held the Cambrian forays. And behind them seventeen year-old goalkeeper Ifan Knott, making his League debut, belied his youthfulness when he confidently claimed a free-kick fired deep into the penalty area.
On 30 minutes a controversial incident arose when Tom Dyson set Liam Thomas racing through into towards the penalty area only to be brought down by the last defender, Dai Thomas, who was only shown a yellow card much to Town’s frustration – from the resulting free-kick Vickers saw his low shot avoid the defensive “wall” only for Clarke to complete a neat save.
In the 40th minute a cross from Delaney saw Thomas lay off a deft header into the path of the effervescent Greg Walters who struck a low drive that flew narrowly wide of the post with Clarke stranded.
Then just before half-time the hosts nearly broke the deadlock when a cross from Craig Wilcox was met on the volley by Liam Reed but the ball flashed wide of the post.
However early in the second-half Cambrian managed to edge themselves in front when on 49 minutes when they were awarded a free-kick out on the right flank – the ball was floated into the goalmouth and partially cleared but it ffell nicely for Prosser who, from 8 yards, gave Knott no chance with his driven shot.
Yet another controversial incident occurred in the 51st minute when Knott, in clearing a back-pass, was seriously injured as a result of a very late and dangerously high tackle by Chris O’Sullivan – again the punishment, a yellow card, seemed extremely lenient. After a lengthy delay for treatment to his injury Knott was forced to leave the field and substitute striker Ben Steele came off the bench and took over in goal.
For the remainder of the match Town’s defenders stood up to protect Steele whenever the ball was in the goal area and although they managed well to keep crosses and shots away from him Steele coped capably throughout.
The introduction of Bradley Gibbings in the 65th minute spiced up Carmarthen’s attack with immediate effect as his darting runs often caused panic in the home defence and in the latter stages they led to several decent scoring opportunities.
On 75 minutes Noah Daley, after being put through by Dyson, held off several defenders but his shot was easily held by Clarke.
Moments later Thomas broke down the left flank then sent a fine cross into the goalmouth where Gibbings struck a fierce shot that crashed against the underside of the bar before the ball was hastily cleared to safety.
But the young striker made amends in the 82nd minute when after receiving a pass from Walters he twisted past two defenders before driving the ball past the stranded ‘keeper albeit with the help of a slight deflection.
Substitute Sean Pemberton made a late appearance to make his debut for the Old Gold after his transfer from Haverfordwest and looked very comfortable in an unfamiliar role in central midfield.
This was a thoroughly deserved point for Town whose strength of character shone through despite facing some very physical challenges throughout the game.
Mumbles win well against Ammanford seconds
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.
Cwmamman United Juniors host end of season event
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.”
Depleted Ammanford beaten by seven wickets
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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