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Town seize play-off driving seat

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Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 11.37.03Carmarthen Town 2

Rhyl 0

AFTER A lacklustre home defeat against Bangor last time out, Carmarthen responded in emphatic fashion, producing a thoroughly entertaining display of adventurous, attacking football, which particularly during a mesmerizing firsthalf left Rhyl overwhelmed and justifiably soundly beaten.

They began with clear positive intent, launching a series of piercing raids with energy and urgency that put the visitors’ defence under immediate pressure.

The first chance came within sixty seconds when Mark Jones, with a quick throw-in, set Luke Cummings free down the left flank.

He swiftly played the ball across to Kieran Lewis on the edge of the penalty area who struck a crisp drive that slid wide of the left post.

Then Cummings, who was returning to the team following a three-game ban, was once again involved. He raced forward to the byline and fired the ball across the face of goal but saw it cleared off the line by a defender.

Yet Town’s exciting strategy was duly rewarded with a vital early goal after just ten minutes. A poor clearance by Rhyl keeper Terry McCormick went straight to Jordan Knott who sent a fine pass through to Jones and he released a stunning 25 yard shot that flew into the top corner of the net leaving McCormick well beaten.

The play continued at a frantic pace with Carmarthen in total ascendency as they poured forward at every opportunity. In the 18th minute Lewis sent a long free kick into the penalty area to find Jones in clear space but McCormick was well placed to deal with his firm header.

Moments later another promising attack finished with Jones setting up a decent chance for Thomas but, under pressure from defenders, his sharp 10 yard volley struck the underside of the bar and, agonisingly, the ball rebounded back into play.

Then after 26 minutes Lewis once more delivered a searching free-kick into the packed penalty area – Cummings collected a weak clearance and hit a 20 yard effort that was also blocked and eventually Dave Vincent managed a close-range shot that went through the crowd of players but narrowly wide of the post.

Such was Town’s dominance during this initial period that the visitors had not once got within shooting range of the home goal – the Old Gold defence had remained strong, assured and disciplined, while keeper Lee Idzi had been untroubled.

But at last on 29 minutes Rhyl threatened when the ball was played forward to David Mannix just inside the penalty area and he was denied a clear scoring opportunity only by Knott’s excellent recovering tackle.

Soon afterwards Connor Bell broke into the penalty area and dispatched a smart angled drive that Idzi, at full-length, tipped on to the post and Town’s experienced keeper then reacted swiftly to deny John Owen’s instant follow-up close-range strike.

But the earlier pattern of play was soon restored as the Old Gold regained control of the game. As before, Lewis, displaying impressive vision and energy, was the key architect of Town’s attacking play – and again he had enthusiastic support from fellow midfielders Cummings and Ceri Morgan.

And unsurprisingly it was Lewis who initiated the host’s second goal in the 39th minute when he produced a sublime through ball that sent Jones racing clear of the Rhyl defence – the in-form striker went forward to the corner of the penalty area then confidently rifled the ball past McCormick and into the net for his fifth goal in three matches.

The Old Gold should then have gone further ahead just before half-time but after Knott finished a determined run down the left flank with an inviting cross into the goalmouth Morgan wasted a good chance by firing marginally too high from close range.

Carmarthen resumed their refreshing positive approach after the interval when on 48 minutes Kyle Bassett surged along the right-wing then sent a low cross towards the goalmouth where Thomas clipped a neat glancing shot just a fraction wide of the near post.

But in contrast to the first-half the visitors were clearly playing with greater confidence and purpose. In the 55th minute a long clearance upfield reached Bell who raced forward and took the ball around Idzi, who had advanced well out of his goal, and then struck a promising goal-bound drive only to see Dan Sheehan make a timely, late intervention and clear the danger.

Increasingly the play became more open and evenly balanced with scoring opportunities less frequent. On 65 minutes Lewis, from just outside the penalty area, sent a fine pass across to Bassett who released a powerful 15-yard drive that McCormick managed to beat away. Rhyl then responded after 79 minutes with Bell smartly curling a 20-yard free-kick which drew an equally impressive flying save from Idzi.

Carmarthen Town manager Mark Aizlewood was delighted with his team’s emphatic win against relegation haunted Rhyl at Richmond Park last Saturday. “They should have scored seven or eight,” he said. “It was like they were a different team after the previous week’s defeat against Bangor City.”

Team: Lee Idzi; Daniel Sheehan; Dwaine Bailey; David Vincent; Jordan Knott; Luke Cummings (sub Craig Hanford 81); Kieran Lewis; Ceri Morgan; Kyle Bassett; Mark Jones (sub Jeff White 90); Liam Thomas.

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Sport

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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