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Rampant Town flying towards seventh

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Mark Jones: smashes his first penalty home

Mark Jones: smashes his first penalty home

Aberystwyth Town 2

Carmarthen Town 4

CARMARTHEN TOWN, playing only their second game in six weeks, produced another highly-competitive performance.

Full of energy and commitment they came back twice from being a goal down against a strong Aberystwyth side to finish worthy winners of this typically keenly contested local derby.

Yet during the early stages of this match the play was both uninspiring and uneventful with neither side looking capable of creating any serious attacking threat.

Indeed, it was not until the 16th minute that the first notable chance arose when Jordan Knott, from the left wing, delivered a deep cross into the penalty area where Cledan Davies sent a poor defensive header straight to Lewis Harling but he fired his 15-yard shot just wide of the post.

However, gradually the Old Gold began to enjoy more possession and increase pressure on the home defence with a series of swift, incisive raids that so often stemmed from the vision and industry of Harling who was well supported by midfield partner Ceri Morgan.

On 21 minutes Knott launched a long throw into the goalmouth to reach Kyle Bassett who turned smartly past his marker before hitting a crisp close-range strike narrowly outside the post.

Then after 25 minutes Bassett’s determined run took him deep into the penalty area only for him to be brought down by a lunging tackle from defender Stuart Jones – but Town’s claims for what seemed to be a certain penalty were brushed aside by the referee.

And the visitors went close again in the 33rd minute when Dan Sheehan sent a right-wing cross deep into the penalty area to find Liam Thomas who headed the ball back to Harling but he saw his 15 yard effort fly marginally too wide.

During this initial period while Aberystwyth produced plenty of promising approach play, they were never able to trouble the home defence in any meaningful way – this was largely due to another impressive display from the burgeoning central partnership of Dwaine Bailey and Dave Vincent who remained assured and disciplined under pressure.

So it was a complete surprise when the home side took the lead on 42 minutes with their first on-target scoring effort. Jonathan Evans lifted a long cross from the right wing over to the far side of the penalty area to reach Craig Williams who sent the ball back into the goalmouth where Rhys Griffiths leapt above Bailey to plant his header firmly into the roof of the net.

After the interval the Old Gold made a positive start as they attacked with urgency and purpose in search of an early equaliser. And having quickly forced a series of corners they achieved their aim in the 51st minute when Morgan threaded a fine pass through to Harling just inside the penalty area – he instantly played the ball across to Mark Jones who skilfully swept it beyond the reach of keeper Mike Lewis and into the far corner of the net.

Spurred by that success Town increased the pressure on the home defence and on 58 minutes Bassett surged down the right wing before firing the ball high into the goalmouth where Harling, rising above his marker, saw his close-range looping header sail narrowly over the bar.

And moments later Morgan, from near the corner of the penalty area, produced what appeared to be a low cross which deceived Lewis who was undoubtedly relieved to see the ball drift just fractionally wide of the far post.

Then after 61 minutes Aberystwyth suffered a setback when Griffiths received a second yellow card in the space of five minutes, each time for a challenge on Bailey who had been shadowing him closely (and very effectively) all match, leading to his automatic dismissal.

Yet, despite their numerical disadvantage, the hosts soon went ahead once more – from the left wing Williams sent a dangerous cross into the goalmouth where Geoff Kellaway controlled the ball well under pressure from Knott and turned sharply before striking a smart angled drive past keeper Lee Idzi.

Carmarthen responded immediately to that setback as they launched another series of attacks and soon added to their scoring options by replacing defender Craig Hanford with striker Luke Prosser. And after 73 minutes they were back on level terms.

Harling, continuing his pivotal role at the heart of Town’s most productive action, cut inside from the left wing then easily drifted past two defenders before hitting a fierce shot from 10 yards that was deflected narrowly too high.

From the ensuing corner-kick Dave Vincent emerged from a crowd of players to produce a strong header that crashed against the bar but Knott quickly pounced on the loose ball and cleverly back-heeled it past Lewis for his first goal in Carmarthen colours.

And Knott was instrumental in the Old Gold taking the lead on 80 minutes when his 20-yard volley was deemed by the referee to have been handled inside the penalty area. Jones stepped forward and confidently drove the resultant spot-kick past Lewis.

In the closing stages Aberystwyth threw players forward in search of an equalising goal. Yet they became increasingly vulnerable to counterattacks and during added time a long clearance out of defence set Bassett bursting forward beyond the half-way line – as the sole home defender went to challenge him, he sent a marvellous cross-field pass to Jones who was completely in the clear but as he raced into the penalty area Lewis brought him down and was immediately penalised.

Jones exacted his revenge by again powering his spot-kick past the disconsolate keeper to complete his first hat-trick for the Old Gold since his pre-season move from, by curious coincidence, Aberystwyth.

Team: Lee Idzi; Daniel Sheehan; Dwaine Bailey; David Vincent; Jordan Knott; Craig Hanford (sub Luke Prosser 60); Lewis Harling; Ceri Morgan; Kyle Bassett; Mark Jones; Liam Thomas.

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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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Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay to visit Carmarthenshire

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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 newsroom.carmarthenshire.gov.wales

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