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Old Gold earn narrow win over Swansea Uni

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CARMARTHEN overcame both an unyielding University team and relentless difficult weather conditions to extend their unbeaten sequence in the Cymru South League to 17 matches – a sequence that began in August against these same opponents.

The match began with a fierce, swirling wind blowing the length of the pitch and in the early stages both sides struggled as passes and crosses were frequently over-hit ensuring that barely any cohesive attacking play from either side arose.

Yet gradually the players became more accustomed to these conditions – and, in particular, the home side began to put some noticeable pressure on the Old Gold defence with several spirited raids.

However, the experienced central defensive pairing of Lee Surman and Scott Tancock looked sound and secure as usual, while Jordan Vickers and Trystan Jones gave them valuable support on the flanks.

Behind them Ifon Knott once again demonstrated safe-handling and good positioning whenever he was called upon.

In addition, ahead of the defensive unit were midfielders Greg Walters, Tom Dyson and Jamie Rickard who, with their industry and vision, eagerly provided a further layer of defensive cover whenever necessary, while always remaining alert to any opportunity for breaking forward and launching an attack.

As a result, during this spell of pressure the only significant goal threat arose on 29 minutes when George Sellick sent an inviting cross into the Town goalmouth only for two well-placed strikers to fail to reach the ball.

And that failing proved even more costly for the hosts since it was immediately followed by a further period of Old Gold ascendency – a far more productive one.

After 31 minutes Adam John sent a corner-kick into the packed goalmouth where Rickard saw his close-range glancing header slide narrowly outside the post. This was swiftly followed by a series of promising attacks that stretched the home defence but, sadly, initially failed to penetrate it.

However, in the 35th minute Carmarthen were at last rewarded for their persistence and invention – Rickard, from near the left touchline, launched a searching free-kick into the crowded penalty area where Surman, rising high above several defenders, headed the ball towards the goalmouth and Town’s all-time top goal-scorer Thomas gratefully converted the opportunity.

Town continued to dominate the remaining stages of the first-half but, with the fierce high winds seeming to strengthen, they were unable to create any further scoring opportunities.

After the interval the Old Gold quickly resumed their search for more goals. On 53 minutes John fired a corner-kick deep into the penalty area only for Surman to direct his strong header narrowly outside the post.

Moments later a delightful exchange of passes along the left flank led to the chance for John to dispatch a sharp angled volley that finished in the side-netting.

Then on 63 minutes John sent another corner-kick deep into the packed penalty area and saw Tancock’s close-range header blocked on the goal-line before the ball was cleared by a defender.

After that flurry of goalmouth activity the match became more settled and confined to the midfield with the Old Gold enjoying most of the possession. But in the closing stages the home side twice went close to snatching an equaliser.

On 86 minutes former Town favourite Tim Hicks launched the ball from near the touchline and saw it carried by the strong wind into the goalmouth forcing ‘keeper Ifon Knott to turn the ball aside.

Then deep into added time Adam Orme struck a powerful free-kick that Knott, with another spectacular flying save, resisted.

Carmarthen’s unbeaten run has seen them progressively move up the League table following a disappointing start to the season – however, with just 8 matches left to play and given that none of the teams above us are showing signs of seriously fading in form, any prospect of promotion now seems remote.

Town’s next match should provide a better clue – on Saturday March 5 they travel to Llantwit Major (k/o 2.30pm) who have been at, or close to, the top of the League table virtually all season.

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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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Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay to visit Carmarthenshire

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JOIN in the excitement as Carmarthenshire welcomes the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay on Friday, July 1.

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will be held from July 28 until August 8 and the Queen’s Baton Relay is currently travelling across the Commonwealth in an epic journey to all 72 nations and territories.

The journey brings together and celebrates communities across the Commonwealth during the build up to the Games.

The Queen’s Baton will arrive in Anglesey on June 29 as part of its five-day tour across Wales and will travel down the country and across South Wales providing the opportunity for communities to experience the excitement for Birmingham 2022, as the 11 days of showstopping sport nears ever closer.

A busy schedule of activities and events are planned and hundreds of Batonbearers, each with inspiring backgrounds and stories, will have the honour of carrying the Baton during the journey through Wales.

More than 150 schoolchildren will be at Pembrey Country Park on the afternoon of July 1 to welcome the Baton to Carmarthenshire along with Council Chairman Cllr Rob Evans, before being transported via toboggan, skis, bike and beach wheelchair to Cefn Sidan beach and into the safe hands of the RLNI who will take the Baton by boat to Burry Port Harbour.

The Baton will arrive at Burry Port Harbour at around 3.20pm to be handed to the Silver and Gold Sports Young Ambassadors from Carmarthenshire’s secondary schools who will take it in turns to run and cycle just over three miles along the Millennium Coastal Path arriving in North Dock in Llanelli at 4.15pm.

Here the Baton will be welcomed by Council Leader Cllr Darren Price along with a number of inspiring Carmarthenshire athletes who will be representing Wales at the Commonwealth Games.

Residents are being encouraged to get involved with the celebrations and embrace the arrival of the Baton, with a range of activities taking place at North Dock, organised by the council’s Actif sports and leisure team.

The fun will go on throughout the afternoon until 7pm with various activities to promote health and wellbeing including a junior aquathon, stand-up paddleboarding, aquafit classes, spin classes and beach-lifesaving sessions. 

Council Leader Cllr Darren Price said: “We look forward to welcoming the Queen’s Baton Relay to Carmarthenshire and I am sure local communities will join in the celebrations as the Baton travels from Pembrey Country Park to Llanelli’s North Dock.

“It is guaranteed to be an exciting day, especially with the Baton travelling to Burry Port Harbour by boat and then on to North Dock where there will a host of sporting activities to take part in.

“I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in organising such a momentous day for Carmarthenshire and its residents, again showcasing our beautiful county and what it has to offer to the world.”

Further information, including the timetable for the Queen’s Baton Relay in Carmarthenshire, can be found on the council website newsroom.carmarthenshire.gov.wales

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