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Neath loss leaves Drovers rock bottom

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Steffan Marshall: Fly-half notched one conversion (Pic. Riley Sports)

Steffan Marshall: Fly-half notched one conversion (Pic. Riley Sports)

Fosters Challenge Cup

Neath 34

Llandovery 14

ALTHOUGH Neath have lost all their eleven games this season in both league and cup, leaving them cast adrift at the foot of the Principality Premiership, of late they have been promising to blow a side away, as numerous winning opportunities from improved performances narrowly escaped them.

On this occasion, everything came together for the hosts, and indeed they did blow away a Llandovery side that has been riding high in the league, with many tipping them as an outside bet for this years Premiership title.

However, as this is the newly formed Fosters Challenge Cup, both sides were depleted, with Llandovery losing a large chunk of their side to the Scarlets Select squad that was in action in the British and Irish Cup. Neath (with 21 players unavailable, 18 through injury) were forced to change out of necessity, but it was the Welsh All Blacks who came out on top by a comfortable 5 tries to 2 margin.

Llandovery started well enough but when Neath got the ball they sustained possession well and they were rewarded with a try at the posts by livewire hooker Ieuan Dobbs, Iwan Evans adding the conversion points.

Neath scored again when full back Ashley Evans and No.8 Steffan Jones ran well off a midfield scrum move and impressive scrum-half Reuben Morgan-Williams was on hand to outpace the defence and claim his second try against Llandovery this season.

Llandovery responded as wing Jacob Clement raced clear before he grubber-kicked ahead for scrumhalf Rhodri Davies, but with the diminutive nine on the brink of the line, he was hauled down by the scrambling Neath defence.

The Blacks should have added to their score but Evans missed a penalty chance and then Ashley Evans dropped a scoring pass off speedy winger James Roberts. At the resultant scrum, Neath were harshly penalised but they countered with a superb third try.

Winger Ian Ellis made the running on the let before Iwan Evans, looping around both his props, made space for flanker Leon Ward to crash over.

Both centres Cameron Morris and Dean Howell threatened but, with support slow to reach the former, Neath were penalised again and their defence didn’t regroup quickly enough to prevent Llandovery scoring at the other end where centre Craig Woodall got the touchdown and it was 20-6 at half-time.

The home side started the second-half scenting victory for the first time this season and the bonus point was soon registered when good combined play by backs and forwards ended in lock Jonny Griffiths pile-driving over for the fourth try at the posts and Iwan Evans’ conversion made it 28-6.

Griffiths was yellow-carded midway through the half as Neath conceded a string of penalties. Visiting flanker Andrew Green went over for one of those lineout and drive tries that are fast becoming a blot on the Premiership game and outside-half Steffan Marshall converted superbly to make it 28-14.

As both replacements’ benches were emptied, ironic cheers greeted the awarding of Neath’s first penalty of the second-half in the 78th minute and, after a long stoppage for an injury to visiting centre Rhodri Wall, Neath struck on time with their fifth try by replacement full back Lewis Evans.

Neath supporters were delighted to see the barren spell ended but followers of the Drovers will be concerned that the side have it all to do if they are to progress from the pool as they have serious ground to make up in their next round of fixtures which will take place in December.

Teams:

Neath:

15 Ashley Evans; 14 James Roberts, 13 Cameron Morris, 12 Dean Howell, 11 Ian Ellis; 10 Iwan Evans, 9 Reuben Morgan-Williams; 1 Nicky Downs (captain), 2 Ieuan Dobbs, 3 Marc Jones; 4 Jon Barley, 5 Jonathan Griffiths; 6 Leon Ward, 7 Alun Jones, 8 Steffan Jones.

Replacements:

Roy Jones, Adam Nation, Jack Davies, James Bain, Tom James, Lewis Evans, Ryan Evans

Llandovery:

15 Lee Rees; 14 Jacob Clement, 13 Rhodri Wall, 12 Craig Woodall, 11 Mike Evans; 10 Steffan Marshall, 9 Rhodri Davies; 1 Bradley Davies, 2 Thomas Ball, 3 Scott Jenkins; 4 Jake Baker, 5 Colin Markham; 6 Andrew Green, 7 Richard Rees, 8 Joe Powell.

Replacements:

Berian Watkins, Dean Howells, Bryn Griffiths, Shaun Miles, Dafydd Hughes, Rhys Gealy, James Davies, Dan Brooks

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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.”
[More follows…]

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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