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Vital win boosts Emlyn survival hopes



Strong set piece: Emlyn matched Tata at the lineout

Strong set piece: Emlyn matched Tata at the lineout

Newcastle Emlyn 19

Tata Steel 7

IN TERMS of their league season this was an important win for the red and whites as they look to try and ensure their participation in the Championship for next season. The weather ensured that it was never going to be a classic, free flowing encounter, unlike the previous game in Port Talbot which had been a great advert for open attacking rugby. A strong cross wind, allied with a heavy drizzle for most of the match meant that flowing three-quarter movements were almost non-existent.

Emlyn started purposefully and were soon nine points ahead courtesy of three penalties by winger Dan Davies within the first ten minutes. Two of the penalties were awarded at the ruck area as Emlyn tried running the ball at Tata Steel. The third was for a late hit on Emlyn full back Shaun Leonard on his own twenty-two metre line. Unfortunately for the visitors, Leonard had just kicked the ball and the penalty was awarded where the ball landed on Tata’s twenty-two in front of the posts. Tata obviously remembered the impact Leonard had on the previous encounter when he scored two tries and a drop goal and had decided to single him out for some special attention to their cost.

As far as the Emlyn supporters were concerned that basically was it as far as action and attacking rugby went for almost the remainder of the half. Tata Steel’s huge pack of forwards took complete control of the game, driving the lighter Emlyn pack back metres at a time in the scrum, and putting together some very effective driving mauls from the line out.

Emlyn had a certain amount of luck to go with their efforts. Tata looked certain to score a push over try but, as they approached the Emlyn line with the ball at their captain and number eight’s feet, scrum half Ross Pritchard decided he was going to score and in attempting to pick up the ball he knocked it on. Eventually the pressure had to tell and after thirty five minutes referee Stuart Kibble decided enough was enough and awarded Tata a penalty try converted by outside half Steve Lewis.

Reaching the half way line for the first time in a long time galvanised Emlyn into action, and when Tata were penalised at a line out Leonard was just wide with his attempt into the wind. From the drop out a high Emlyn kick was not caught initially by Tata but when it was cleared, they failed to find touch and veteran Emlyn hooker Bedwyr Davies charged down the touchline. Unfortunately when he was tackled some five metres from the line the Emlyn forwards were penalised at the ensuing ruck.

With half time approaching Emlyn were gifted a try by the visitors. From a line out in their own twenty two, for some reason, Tata decided to run the ball using their three-quarters. The pass from the outside half to the centre went behind him, Emlyn’s line speed in defence was first class and the Emlyn backs were quickly up on the mistake. Centre Mitchell Jones dribbled the ball over the line and fell on it for his first try for the club, converted by Dan Davies.

With the wind turning to more of a diagonal slant in Tata Steel’s favour and their pack very much in the ascendancy at the set piece, things looked ominous for Emlyn at the start of the second half. However, it was the Emlyn bench that proved to be the vital element in the host’s victory. In order to try and nullify Tata’s powerful scrum, coach Lloyd introduced prop Gethin Davies into the fray. The powerful scrummaging Davies had an immediate impact when after his first scrum Tata’s loose head Jon Ramsey left the field with an injury. His replacement Mathew Llewelyn, lasted about two minutes before he and Emlyn prop Dai Jones were held responsible for a huge punch up on the half way line and both were given a ten minute rest.

On his return Llewelyn lasted a very short time before he too left the field and the visitors had to opt for uncontested scrums which to be perfectly honest suited the home side more than the visitors. Emlyn coach Marc Lloyd then introduced flanker Gareth Patterson who had a huge influence on the match with his powerful driving through mauls; time and again he disrupted the Tata driving maul. Working effectively with his fellow flanker Joel James and with second row Dylan Davies dominating the front of the line out, Tata’s scoring options basically disappeared against a resolute well-organised defence. Two failed long range penalty efforts were all Tata had to show for a second half which, with the wind in their favour and territorial dominance, should have yielded more points.

Credit must go to the home sides’ defence which was disciplined and determined and was probably best summed up in the dying minutes of the game when Tata tried to run the ball at Emlyn on the half way line. Emlyn veteran outside half Barry Thomas timed his tackle to perfection and really crunched his opposite number to snuff out the attack before it could develop. With their pack unable to function in the same manner as the first half and their backs looking disjointed, Emlyn came a lot more into the game as the half progressed. With five minutes to go Emlyn extended their lead when Dan Davies kicked another penalty, which turned out to be the last score of the game.

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Cwmamman United Juniors host end of season event



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



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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Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay to visit Carmarthenshire



JOIN in the excitement as Carmarthenshire welcomes the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay on Friday, July 1.

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will be held from July 28 until August 8 and the Queen’s Baton Relay is currently travelling across the Commonwealth in an epic journey to all 72 nations and territories.

The journey brings together and celebrates communities across the Commonwealth during the build up to the Games.

The Queen’s Baton will arrive in Anglesey on June 29 as part of its five-day tour across Wales and will travel down the country and across South Wales providing the opportunity for communities to experience the excitement for Birmingham 2022, as the 11 days of showstopping sport nears ever closer.

A busy schedule of activities and events are planned and hundreds of Batonbearers, each with inspiring backgrounds and stories, will have the honour of carrying the Baton during the journey through Wales.

More than 150 schoolchildren will be at Pembrey Country Park on the afternoon of July 1 to welcome the Baton to Carmarthenshire along with Council Chairman Cllr Rob Evans, before being transported via toboggan, skis, bike and beach wheelchair to Cefn Sidan beach and into the safe hands of the RLNI who will take the Baton by boat to Burry Port Harbour.

The Baton will arrive at Burry Port Harbour at around 3.20pm to be handed to the Silver and Gold Sports Young Ambassadors from Carmarthenshire’s secondary schools who will take it in turns to run and cycle just over three miles along the Millennium Coastal Path arriving in North Dock in Llanelli at 4.15pm.

Here the Baton will be welcomed by Council Leader Cllr Darren Price along with a number of inspiring Carmarthenshire athletes who will be representing Wales at the Commonwealth Games.

Residents are being encouraged to get involved with the celebrations and embrace the arrival of the Baton, with a range of activities taking place at North Dock, organised by the council’s Actif sports and leisure team.

The fun will go on throughout the afternoon until 7pm with various activities to promote health and wellbeing including a junior aquathon, stand-up paddleboarding, aquafit classes, spin classes and beach-lifesaving sessions. 

Council Leader Cllr Darren Price said: “We look forward to welcoming the Queen’s Baton Relay to Carmarthenshire and I am sure local communities will join in the celebrations as the Baton travels from Pembrey Country Park to Llanelli’s North Dock.

“It is guaranteed to be an exciting day, especially with the Baton travelling to Burry Port Harbour by boat and then on to North Dock where there will a host of sporting activities to take part in.

“I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in organising such a momentous day for Carmarthenshire and its residents, again showcasing our beautiful county and what it has to offer to the world.”

Further information, including the timetable for the Queen’s Baton Relay in Carmarthenshire, can be found on the council website

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