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Carmarthen seconds seal promotion and cup final spot

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IN a top of the table clash, Carmarthen Athletic seconds faced Cardiff & Met fourths in what was sure to be a tough match.

With the away leg being Carmarthen’s only defeat so far this season, a draw at home would ensure the second XI’s promotion for next season.

The seconds were all in for the win though as not only would this give them a fighting chance at catching Met in the table with only two league games left to play, but the match was also going to be counted as the semi-final of the league cup.

From the off, intensity was high, play was fast and it was clear that this was going to be a close match. Both teams had early chances and neither could keep possession for long.

Midfielders Lucy Davies, Mari Davies, Kate Howell, Tirion Evans and Poppy Mackenzie-Jones worked tirelessly to keep the game under Carmarthen’s control and the ball out of the defensive quarter.

A missed opportunity by Met gave Carmarthen a quick break, with forward Yasmin Burgess-Williams receiving the ball, tapping it through the Met defenders and making a lightning-quick run towards goal before firing a shot past the keeper, 1-0 Carms.

The speed of play remained for the rest of the half, Carmarthen trying their best to slow the game down, but Cardiff’s abundance of substitutions were forcing the intensity higher.

Eventually, only minutes from half-time, Cardiff earned a short corner. The initial defensive effort got the ball out of the 23, but it quickly came back in and a lucky deflection gave Cardiff the goal they had been looking for. The score was even going into half-time.

Spirits were high in the Carmarthen camp going into the second half, the seconds knew they were starting to irritate Met with their solid press and triangle passes and the win was still very much up for grabs.

It was quickly apparent that Cardiff had adapted their press to completely cut off Carmarthen’s transfer options, but movement from the seconds broke it up nicely. 

Pressure from Carmarthen’s forwards Siriol Richards, Charlotte Harries, Ffion Raymond and goalscorer Burgess-Williams kept the pressure firmly on Met with several short corners awarded to the home side.

Finally, a blocked shot fell to Richards who deflected the ball into the net, Carmarthen were back in the lead, 2-1.

The game was far from over though, Cardiff advanced yet again and after a couple of top-drawer saves from Carmarthen keeper Lowri Davies, a loose ball was picked up by a Met attacker and nobody could stop her short-range tap in at the post, 2-2.

The match was winding down, fatigue was well and truly setting in and Carmarthen defenders Ellie Routley, Emily Stibbs and Delyth Rees were doing everything they could to keep Cardiff at bay.

The thought of always stressful penalty flicks to decide the result started to loom in the minds of both teams. But then, another period of attack by Carmarthen saw the ball find its way to youngster Mackenzie-Jones right at the top of the ‘D’, and, with her signature slap hit of the ball, she sent it rocketing through the Cardiff defence and onto the backboard, 3-2 with minutes to go.

Cardiff threw their all in, a massive defensive effort from the entire Carmarthen team denied them a goal from open play, but just as the final whistle was about to blow,  they won a short-corner.

This was the final play of the game, Cardiff sent it to the top, slipped it out wide and let off a shot which was picked up by Stibbs and swiftly directed at the foot of the Cardiff attacker, ending the match.

Promotion is now guaranteed for the seconds, and a place in the league cup final too.

Carmarthen second XI’s next matches will be their penultimate league match, at home on Saturday, March 21, against Whitchurch Saints 6s and the Challenge cup semi-final on Sunday, March 22, in Cardiff against Gwent 4s.

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Canolfan Carwyn Sports Centre and Brynamman Lido to be transferred to a community groups

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A MULTI- SPORTS facility, at the heart of the Gwendraeth Valley, has been taken over by a local sports group, the Baton Twirlers.

The management of Canolfan Carwyn Sports Centre, which is owned by Carmarthenshire County, has been transferred to the Baton Twirlers Association Cymru (BTAC) via a lease agreement and will allow the public to continue to use the facilities at the centre.

Whilst Canolfan Carwyn Sports Centre is now the official home of BTAC its facilities are available for the local community and sports groups to be used.

An official reopening of the Centre, which bears the name of one of the Gwendraeth Valley’s most famous sons, under the new management of the BTAC was held on Sunday, October 2.

Speaking at the event, Jessica Shore Director of the Baton Twirlers Association Cymru (BTAC) said:

“We are thrilled to have worked with Carmarthenshire County Council to secure this sports centre on behalf of the local community and it’s a pleasure to welcome the public here today. We are looking forward to working with and hosting various community and sports groups at the Carwyn James Sports Centre.

“It also was very important to us to provide a home for baton twirling in Wales, and we will make great use of the excellent facilities here.”

Cllr. Gareth John, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Leisure, Culture and Tourism said “This is a great success story for the BTAC, the Gwendraeth Valley and the council as we have secured the future of the Carwyn James Sports Centre for the local community.

I would like to thank Baton Twirlers Association Cymru for their work and enthusiasm during the process of transferring management of the Sports Centre to them, as a community group, and I wish them the very best for the future.”

Plans approved to transfer management of Brynamman Lido

On Monday, October 3, the council’s Cabinet approved plans to lease the Brynamman Lido, which is held in trust by the Carmarthenshire County Council, to Brynamman Lido Limited under its asset transfer programme.

Under the proposed lease, Brynamman Lido Limited will take over the management of the lido with the intention to reopen the swimming pool for sporting, recreational and leisure activities.

Following the approval of the plans by the Cabinet, Cllr. Gareth John commented:

“We are pleased to be working with the local group in Brynamman to transfer the management and maintenance of the lido to the community.

“The transfer of this asset will allow Brynamman Lido Ltd to apply for funding via grants that would not be available to the County Council, and we will continue to work with them and provide support along the journey to reopening the lido to the community.”

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Latest recruit to Llandeilo’s Ashmole & Co team ‘converts’ his spare time into being a rugby referee

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Ashmole & Co have scored a try with their newest Trainee Accountant. The firm is delighted to announce that Aled Jones has recently started working for the successful accountancy team in the Llandeilo office.

Aled, who lives in Pontyberem, is a community rugby referee in his spare time. He referees senior rugby games on Saturdays and Junior rugby games on Sundays including cup matches. He is also involved in the Scarlets Cup Final at Parc y Scarlets and the Carmarthenshire cup finals.

Before joining Ashmole & Co Aled was a Personal Banker with Barclays Bank for five years. He studied AAT Level three at Coleg Sir Gar. Aled went to primary school in Pontyberem and secondary school in Ysgol y Gwendraeth.

Day to day with Ashmole & Co, Aled prepares and inputs clients’ sales and purchase invoices onto the accounting software; completes clients’ VAT returns and assists senior members of the team with the preparation of accounts. The most rewarding part of the job for Aled is hearing that the clients are happy.

Welcoming Aled to the team, Ceri Llwyd, Partner in the Llandeilo Ashmole & Co office, said, “We are delighted that Aled has joined our team in Carmarthenshire. He has fitted in well and is a pleasure to work with. I’ve told my rugby mad sons that they have to behave now when they play rugby on a Sunday in case Aled is their referee! It is great that he gives up his spare time to help local rugby clubs in this way.”
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Aled said, “I am grateful to Ashmole and Co, who are one of the most established and largest teams of chartered, certified accountants and auditors in south and west Wales, to give me this opportunity.”

Ashmole & Co offer financial support to a significant number of junior and professional sports teams across south Wales. The Llandeilo office has recently shown its support to Llandeilo RFC by contributing towards new tops for the juniors.

Ceri added, “As a rural firm that works with businesses in the area it is a pleasure for us to be able to lend our support to local sports teams.”

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Llangennech prove too strong for Penclawdd

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LLANGENNECH earned their fourth win in as many matches on Saturday (Oct 22) as they beat Penclawdd 38-10.

Jordan Saunders got the scoring underway with the first try of the game and Thomas Davies added the extras.

Penclawdd then levelled the scoring with a try from Daniel John Guarneri and Marcus Brown added the extras.

It remained 7-7 until half time with conditions proving tricky for both sides.

In the second half, Aaron Howles got the try to put Llangennech ahead but the conversion was missed.

Joseph Hutchings then extended the visitors’ lead with their third try and Davies added the extras to take the score to 7-19.

Penclawdd then responded with a penalty from Brown as the home side looked to get back into the game.

However, Llangennech soon had their fourth try and a bonus point as Howles touched down for his second try of the game and Davies added the extras.

Louis Rees then scored an unconverted try before replacement Hefin Jones went over for Llangennech’s sixth try, converted by Davies.

On Saturday, October 29, Penclawdd travel to Aberystwyth for their second game in the Division 1 Cup.

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