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9-Man Town Miss Out on Top 6

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Luke Cummings: Player of the Month saw red late on (Pic Riley Sports)

Carmarthen Town 1

Rhyl 1

CARMARTHEN went into their final match of the Welsh Premier League first-phase programme knowing that to secure a coveted top six finish they had to take three points off Rhyl while hoping that at least one of the two teams just above them, Connah’s Quay and Newtown, would lose their corresponding final fixture.

To this end, Town began with clear positive intent, launching a series of piercing raids with energy and urgency that put the visitors’ defence under immediate pressure. And this exciting strategy was duly rewarded with a vital early goal after only 5 minutes – a long forward pass from Dan Sheehan set Luke Cummings free and he raced into the penalty area then crossed towards the goalmouth where Mark Jones, having seen his instant shot blocked by keeper Terry McCormick, reacted quickly to reach the rebound and neatly slide the ball across to Kieran Lewis who from 10 yards curled it sweetly beyond McCormick and into the back of the net.

Straight afterwards Lewis Harling, with a clever lofted pass, gave Cummings the opportunity to test McCormick with a fierce 20 yard effort but the experienced keeper was well placed to gather the ball safely.

During this spell Rhyl were confined to just occasional counter-attacks, which the Old Gold defence were dealing with capably. But the visitors eventually went close on 11 minutes when David Mannix sent his corner-kick deep towards the far post to reach Greg Stones who struck a smart drive that drew an impressive reflex save from keeper Lee Idzi.

Town immediately responded to that unwelcome interruption to their game-plan – Craig Hanford fired a long ball forward that McCormick, coming out of his penalty area, returned but his clearance was intercepted by Harling who produced an audacious 40 yard volley which was blocked in front of goal by defender Chay Dysart.

The play continued at a frantic pace with Carmarthen in the ascendency as they poured forward at every opportunity. Yet, increasingly they were failing to penetrate the strong and determined Rhyl defence or seriously trouble McCormick.

Then, worryingly, in the 35th minute the visitors threatened when Mannix, from near the left touchline, delivered a dangerous free kick into the packed goalmouth where John Owen was allowed the time and space to produce a glancing header that clipped the top of the bar.

Yet in the closing stages of the first-half the Old Gold went close to extending their lead. On 43 minutes Hanford made a rare excursion forward then fired the ball into the goalmouth only for Cummings, under pressure from defenders, to stab it narrowly wide.

Moments later a dazzling run by Liam Thomas took him past two defenders before he slid the ball through to Jones who released a crisp drive that McCormick denied with a fine full-length save. Then from the resultant corner-kick Jones saw his deft glancing header once more defeated by the keeper who clawed the ball away from the top corner of his goal.

But in added time Rhyl got back on level terms when the Town defence, having not learnt any lesson from their earlier scare, failed to deal with Mannix’s long cross into the penalty area and left Zac Corbett with the opportunity to head the ball into the far corner of the net leaving Idzi well beaten.

After the interval the Old Gold again started promisingly and on 50 minutes Lewis directed a 30-yard free-kick into the goalmouth where Jones, amongst a crowd of players, managed a close-range shot that was blocked by a defender – and while the ball fell nicely for Thomas, his instant strike was beaten away by McCormick.

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Kieran Lewis: Scores Town’s only goal

However the game soon developed into a more open, evenly balanced affair as Rhyl began enjoying much more possession than in the first-half. After 59 minutes Levi Makin received the ball just outside the penalty area and dispatched a promising drive that Idzi skilfully resisted. Then on 73 minutes, the hosts once more went close when, from a Lewis corner, Ceri Morgan emerged from a packed goalmouth only to see his firm header fly marginally wide of the post.

By now, with Town’s players perhaps beginning to tire after their earlier exertions, the visitors were playing with more urgency and freedom and looking a greater threat than at any earlier stage of the game. After 76 minutes Connor Bell burst forward into the penalty area and released a powerful strike, which Idzi spectacularly turned over the bar. From the ensuing corner Makin found Dysart but his close-range effort went too high. Then on 83 minutes Ibou Touray surged forward down the left flank and into the penalty area yet from a good position he fired just wide of the post.

Shortly after that spell of goalmouth activity came the incident that effectively shattered any lasting belief the Old Gold might have had about securing a late winning goal. In the 85th minute Cummings was immediately shown the red card for a reckless challenge on Touray – there followed an ugly confrontation involving several players from both sides after which Hanford was similarly dismissed having received his second yellow card of the match. And to compound Town’s misery, the referee also ordered manager Mark Aizlewood to leave the dugout.

After that unsavoury episode Rhyl’s significant numerical advantage allowed them to attack with freedom and keep Carmarthen pinned back on defence – in added time Bell created a good chance for himself with a strong run into the penalty area and a stunning drive that the ever-alert Idzi defeated with another marvellous save.

But in the end, despite all the anticipation and excitement through to frustration, anxiety and eventual despair that Town’s supporters had endured during this crucial match, it was all academic since both Connah’s Quay and Newtown won their games to qualify comfortably for the last two top-six places.

Team: 

Lee Idzi; Dan Sheehan (sub Ceri Morgan 67); Chris Thomas; Dwaine Bailey (sub Dave Vincent 77); Craig Hanford; Jordan Knott; Kieran Lewis; Lewis Harling; Luke Cummings; Mark Jones (sub Jeff White 79); Liam Thomas;

Unused Subs: Danny Thomas; Glen Fearn.

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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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