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TOWN SHOW PROMISE IN NARROW CARDIFF DEFEAT

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carmstownvcardCarmarthen Town 0
Cardiff City 1

A LARGE crowd packed into Richmond Park to welcome Championship side Cardiff City to west Wales and the feast of attacking football that they were served up didn’t disappoint them, as Mark Aizlewood’s side produced a show of great promise and, but for some bad luck in front of goal, perhaps could have won the game.

Despite this Carmarthen suffered a narrow defeat in a thoroughly entertaining pre-season fixture against the professional side, who will hope to be challenging for promotion to the Premier League in the coming campaign, who fielded two entirely different teams for each half comprising a significant number of players with first-team experience. However Town, to their credit, produced a spirited and skilful display, especially during the second half when they went close to scoring on several occasions.

The game soon developed into an open, end-to-end affair with both teams swiftly breaking forward from deep positions at every opportunity although initially neither side was able to create any meaningful scoring chances with each defence looking comfortable under pressure.

However on 10 minutes City took an unexpected early lead when an uncharacteristic slip by Jordan Knott enabled City’s lively winger Dylan Rees to break clear down the right flank and from the edge of the penalty area he struck a fine angled shot beyond the reach of keeper Lee Idzi and into the far corner of the net. The former Tenby player was back in west Wales and showed just why he is regarded as one of the capital city club’s hottest young prospects.

Yet the Old Gold responded well and, after a series of probing counter-attacks, they were denied an equaliser in the 17th minute when Ceri Morgan, having won possession off a defender, instantly released a stunning 30 yard drive that left keeper David Marshall well beaten but agonisingly the ball crashed against the post and bounced safely away.

Then after 30 minutes defender Chris Thomas surged upfield from the half-way line before sending the ball through to Jeff White who turned sharply past his marker just inside the penalty area but fired marginally wide.

While Cardiff continued to press forward on frequent occasions, the home defence, well marshalled by the experienced central partnership of Thomas and Craig Hanford, performed with such discipline and determination that Idzi was never seriously tested.

After the interval the visitors fashioned the first decent chance when on 51 minutes a slick exchange of passes set Eli Phipps clear well inside the penalty area but his smart close-range shot was resisted by Idzi with an impressive reflex save.

Yet soon Carmarthen began to take the initiative, playing with more urgency and adventure than before and stretching the City defence with a series of penetrating attacks. In the 55th minute Luke Cummings drifted easily across the edge of the penalty area, evading defenders, before firing an angled cross-shot over substitute ‘keeper Joe Lewis but the ball clipped the bar and went safely behind.

Moments later half-time substitute Sacha Walters cut inside from the right wing and crossed into the goalmouth where Mark Jones set the ball up for Cummings who saw his 20 yard strike fly narrowly over the bar. Then Knott sent a delightful long ball through to Jones, in free space just outside the penalty area, but while his drive defeated Lewis it slid fractionally wide of the far post.

The Old Gold continued to maintain this momentum and on 72 minutes an astute headed pass from Lewis Harling, always an influential figure in Town’s midfield activity, allowed Jones to race forward to the edge of the penalty area where he turned neatly past his marker but managed to volley the ball just outside the post.

Cardiff, although under pressure, were still launching promising counter-attacks but were never able to create clear enough opportunities to trouble Idzi or, latterly, substitute ‘keeper James Kirkwood. Yet equally, as the game reached its closing stages it seemed that, despite Town’s persistent pressure and scoring efforts, an equalising goal would elude them.

Indeed their best chance arose in the 90th minute when a long cross-field pass from Dan Sheehan reached Rhodri Morgan on the left wing and he cut swiftly inside, completely bewildering the full-back with deft footwork, and from the by-line drove the ball into the packed goalmouth where Jones reacted quickest to stab the ball goal-wards only for Lewis to deny him with a superb reflex save.

Manager Mark Aizlewood will have been pleased with his side’s performance, as there were many positives to take from the game ahead of the forthcoming Welsh Premier League campaign. The fact that they only conceded one goal and then restricted Cardiff to only half chances will have been very pleasing, but the way in which his players attacked will have been the biggest positive the former Cardiff man. Especially dangerous in wide areas, the Old Gold produced several chances, and perhaps should have won the game.

Teams:

Carmarthen Town: Lee Idzi (sub James Kirkwood 65); Dan Sheehan; Chris Thomas; Craig Hanford (sub Rhodri Morgan 76); Jordan Knott (sub Sam Handy 69); Kyle Bassett (sub Chris Ham 66, sub Ceri Morgan 82); Lewis Harling; Luke Cummings (sub John Lumb 80); Ceri Morgan (sub Sacha Walters 46); Mark Jones; Jeff White (sub Luke Prosser 61)

Cardiff City: Marshall / Lewis; Nugent / Watkins; Blasé / Menayse; Totonsa / Abbruzzese; Barnum-Bob / Baker; Veale / Burdidge; Kiss / Southary; O’Sullivan / Noor; Rees / Rothe; Guerra / Velkion Ja; Le Fondre / Phipps.

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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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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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