HAVING already suffered a 3-0 home defeat at the hands of their opponents on the opening day of the season, Llanelli Town came off even worse in the return at the Rec on Saturday (Apr 30).
In their final game, after a fairly even first half the Reds wilted badly, allowing the home side to assume complete charge in the second period, and in the process easily ensuring their league survival.
Needing a win and for other clubs in the relegation fight to drop points, Ammanford achieved their aim in some style, condemning Risca United to the drop along with Undy and Port Talbot Town.
It was almost an old boys` club reunion, with the home squad containing no fewer than six players who had previously worn the famous red shirt, with Craig Morris, Richard Lewis, Tristan Jenkins and Lee Trundle all starting, while Liam Samuel and Lee Bevan were named on the bench.
An early attack by the hosts forced Exauce Dimonekene in the Reds` goal off his line to head clear when Trundle lofted a ball towards the area, and when Jenkins attempted a shot on target, a deflection took it over the top.
Having survived these opening threats, the visitors almost snatched the lead following a Callum Saunders free kick into the Ammanford box which was met by Louis Gerrard whose header rebounded off the underside of the bar, although Morris might also have got a touch.
Overall, the Reds were managing to keep their opponents at bay although were also guilty of gifting the ball away with some careless passing, and it took a saving tackle close to goal to scramble it clear at the expense of a corner.
Ammanford were still dictating matters, but the opening goal was a soft one on 25 minutes when a Brett Enoch corner was met by Euros Griffiths with no decent challenge from the defenders, allowing him to guide his finish past Dimonekene.
The home side grew even more threatening as the half progressed as they sought to increase the advantage, and it took good block in the box by Dimonekene to deny Jenkins when he was played into a scoring position.
Although outplayed, the Reds did at times put together some decent moves, one of these involving two or three players and culminating in Gerrard being offered a shooting chance from the edge of the box which he fired inches wide of the intended target.
Despite their overall supremacy, the home side only found themselves leading by the solitary goal at the break, although only some last-ditch defending by the visitors had led to this outcome.
The second half proved to be a far different affair with Ammanford at last finishing off their almost constant attacks by notching up a further four successes, with the second arriving just six minutes after the restart when some poor midfield play by the Reds gifted away possession before being seized upon by Owyn Airey, and his superb through ball found Jenkins who made no mistake b slotting his finish past the helpless Reds` keeper.
In an attempt to somehow shore up a contest that was slipping away from their grasp, the visitors made a couple of changes with Owain Phillips-Taylor and Josh Newman replacing Gerrard and Fraser Finlay respectively, but they proved to be ineffective as the hosts assumed complete control of the
contest, and went further ahead on 61 minutes when Trundle notched up his inevitable goal, brushing aside the attentions of a couple of defenders before firing into the net just inside the near post.
Ammanford then also rang the changes with Enoch being replaced by Callum Thomas, while the Reds brought on Chris Thomas for Saunders.
It was now a case of damage limitation for the visitors, but it took another fine save by Dimonekene to prevent matters becoming worse when he kept out a close range header following a corner, but five minutes from time he was beaten again after Dylan Williams failed to cut out a through ball allowing Jenkins to gain possession and notch his brace with a clinical finish.
A rare Reds attack forced Morris to divert over a near post deflection following a run by Miles John, before Ammanford completed the demolition when Ryan Kostromin notched up his debut goal for the club, heading home after Dimonekene had parried a vicious Trundle free kick in stoppage time.
A thoroughly deserved win for the hosts which assured both clubs will be locking horns again when the 2022/23 season gets underway.
Mumbles beat Wanderers with three balls to spare
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.
Ammanford bow out of Welsh Cup
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.
Ammanford lose out as Swansea post mammoth total
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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