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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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Sport

Mumbles win well against Ammanford seconds

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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.

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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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Sport

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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