St Clears 10
Burry Port 32
A 22-MILE drive down the A40 and along the A484 is what separated two rugby teams on Saturday (Oct 29) as Burry Port took on St Clears hot off their 40-0 victory over Nantgaredig last week.
St Clears are a respectable fourth in the Division Three West A league and they have a long history of good players at the club, including former Welsh international Alan ‘Santa’ Reynolds, now first team manager.
A fair crowd had turned up to watch this cup game and a distinct whiff of beef burgers and sausages sizzling on a griddle somewhere filled the air.
With the second XV and Burry Port AFC playing on pitches nearby, whoever was cooking was going to be busy.
The Blues, it was, turned up the gas and were off the mark first following a lot of territorial advantage. They looked to have the measure of Burry Port and some lovely handling out wide after a turnover saw them run in a try out wide, which was converted by their fly half to take the score to 0-7 to the visitors.
It was a really hard fought first half, with both sides coming close but relinquishing possession through unforced errors or penalties.
Burry Port managed to work their way down the other end of the field and earned themselves a penalty. They opted to go for touch and the ensuing line out led to a catch and drive, and after some very impressive work from the home forwards, flanker Llyr Sims was able to bundle his way over out wide.
St Clears got a late first half penalty and went into the changing rooms with the score at 5-10, which must have generated some strong talk in the Burry Port changing room.
The Herald sports team went without a half time burger while catching up on the neighbouring football (association variety) game next door.
Perhaps the All Blacks had been fed raw meat, a sort of burger tartare, to get those primitive juices going. Whatever was said certainly fired up the home team and they were soon dominating play and focusing on field position rather than the stick it up your jumper approach in the pack.
The home team used their powerful catch and drive to see hooker Iwan Roberts find his way to the try line. The try was successfully converted by scrum half Ben Williams.
On the back of a number of darting runs and fine handling, Burry Port, playing in their familiar black kit, were storming away and saying tata to St Clears.
The fitness of the youthful Burry Port pack turned into dominance in the loose and after some nice handling out wide, second row Richard Parker cut through the defence to dive over for the teams third try of the match. Ben Williams once again converted. Soon after, Ben the Boot was once again successful with the boot as he kicked a penalty to stretch the lead further.
There was more to come from the All Blacks as a St Clears attack was intercepted by Burry Port Hooker Iwan Roberts, who dived over unopposed for his second of the game. The final score of the game was a very well worked score, and saw both forwards and backs combine with some beautiful handling and a late switch pass out wide saw Luke Ruddall score in the corner.
At one point, St Clears lost a player who was sin binned for what resembled a high tackle. It did look like St Clears had run out of gas and were in danger of conceding more tries and going home with the leftovers from the party. However, after a hard talking to under the posts from their captain, the Blues stemmed the flow of any more points from the in-form home side.
St Clears will be disappointed that they did not put away the chances they had in the first half and more so that they just didn’t get into top gear from the whistle at the start of the second half. Burry Port will be more than happy with their performance and in the words of Mr McClaren (not the Sex Pistols manager): “There’ll be a few barrels of beer being emptied in the bars of Burry Port tonight.”
Burry Port are at home to Brawdy Senior Men RFC in a Remembrance match on Saturday (Nov 5). Expect some fireworks for that one. Kick off is at 11am.
‘Seaside Kicks’ off to great start in Glanymor Ward!
A new project has been launched which is completely free for young people from across the Llanelli area.
‘Premier League Kicks’ run by Swansea City Community Trust started last Tuesday (14th January) and is already proving to be a success with both children and their parents.
Boys and Girls of all abilities are welcome to take part with sessions taking place on the brand new 3G pitch at Ysgol PenRhos.
Ages 8-12 take place on every Tuesday evening between 5.00pm and 6.00pm with ages 13-16 on every Wednesday between 8.00 and 9.00pm.
As well as the football sessions, activities will also include informative, educational workshops covering a wide range of issues including knife crime, county lines and online safety.
Craig Richards from the Swans Community Trust said:
“Nationally, ‘Premier League Kicks’ is one of the Premier League’s flagship community programmes. It has a long history of using the power of football and the value of sports participation to help youngsters in some of the most-high need areas.
“By engaging young people in constructive activities including football, coaching, educational and personal development sessions, communities up and down the country have been transformed with impressive football and sports participation rates, and authorities reporting significant reductions in anti-social behaviour in the areas in which it is delivered.”
Sean Rees, Llanelli Town Councillor for the Glanymor Ward added:
“It is a pleasure to link up with the Swans Community Trust, Police and Crime Commissioner, our PCSO’s, Llanelli Town Council and the Community Safety Partnership in bringing forward such an exciting project.
“Engagement has taken place with both local schools at Ysgol PenRhos and Ysgol Maes Y Morfa as well as strong partnership work with our existing sports clubs in the area at Seaside AFC and Bwlch Rangers too all of whom have been very supportive.
“It is fantastic to see so many youngsters turning out in great numbers with more expected next week. It gives them somewhere to go in the area and have fun with others within a safe environment.
“I now look forward to seeing this project go from strength to strength.”
Old Gold snatch vital draw
JD Cymru Premier League
Penybont 1 – Carmarthen Town 1
AFTER an impressive performance to defeat Penybont at Richmond Park on Boxing Day, expectations among the Town supporters who travelled along the M4 for this Cymru Premier League return fixture. Glad tidings of great joy were, however, in short supply this time around.
An uneventful opening period saw play confined to the pitch’s middle third, neither side threatening much in the way of attacking threat.
In the 11th minute, Penybont carved open the Old Gold defence in clinical fashion.
Nathan Wood fired a dangerous cross towards the far post where Daniel Griffiths rose high above Alaric Jones to head the ball back into the goalmouth. Kostya Georgievsky reacted quicker than any defender and planted his close-range header past ‘keeper Lee Idzi and into the net.
As Town appeared laboured and uncertain, on 31 minutes Penybont went close to stretching their lead when Wood released a fierce long-range drive that Idzi, with a flying full-length dive, turned narrowly wide of the post.
Carmarthen’s only significant goal threat during the entire first-half came in the 36th minute when a rasping effort from Luke Bowen was well-parried by home keeper Rhys Wilson.
The second half’s opening was no better than the quality of play in much of the first period. Both sides gave the ball away too easily, with careless misplaced passes a constant feature of their exchanges.
Midway through the second-half, Town gradually began to exert notable pressure on the Penybont defence.
On 77 minutes Declan Carroll fired a free-kick into the crowded penalty area where Jay Woodford, from 15 yards, curled a delightful shot over several defenders but saw Wilson produce a smart save to claim the ball.
Penybont defended deep in their own half while the Old Gold turned on the afterburners in search of an equaliser. Several powerful attempts on the Penybont goal were saved by the impressive Wilson. Against the run of play, Penybont squandered a late opportunity to make the game safe.
Having survived that scare, the Old Gold resumed their sustained assault on the Penybont goal – and they were duly rewarded.
Three minutes into added time Carroll sent a searching corner-kick into the packed goalmouth where Bowen saw his close-range header blocked on the goal-line by Wilson – but the experienced striker reacted immediately and positively by driving the loose ball past the ‘keeper and into the back of the net.
Once the Carmarthen players’ delirious celebrations had subsided the game restarted and then very soon afterwards the referee blew the final whistle, probably much to the relief of Town’s supporters!
Town’s next fixture, against Airbus UK at Richmond Park on Saturday, January 11 (k/o 2.30 pm) will be an important fixture if the Old Gold are to retain their Premier League status
County cling to win
JD Cymru League Division One (South)
Friday, January 3
Llanelli Town 0 – Haverfordwest County 1
A 5th-minute goal by the visitors` Nicky Palmer ultimately proved to be the difference between the sides at the close, a result which extended the home side`s winless streak to seven league matches. During this dismal run, they have picked up only two points, while their goal tally is equally depressing, scoring just 10 and conceding 21.
The strain showed in the reverse fixture, when despite a spirited performance, Llanelli were well-beaten in the end.
Again, Llanelli fielded a depleted side and included no fewer than five Academy members, with William Wang and Liam Thomas making their debuts, along with Liam Griffiths and Morgan and Jack Cutler.
With the Bluebirds heading the league table, the home team approached the game with hope but little expectation. However, the makeshift hosts pit up a decent showing and were not unduly overawed or outplayed.
The early opener by Palmer resulted from some slack defending when he met a cross from Marcus Griffiths to drive it past Scott Coughlan in the Reds’ goal.
The home keeper then did well to parry to safety a dangerous ball across the face of goal by Jack Wilson, before the home side came close to an equaliser following a James Loveridge delivery to the far post which was met by a header from Nathan Logan which came back off the upright.
The visitors were winning the majority of the second ball, and when a long throw into the goalmouth by Wilson caused problems for Coughlan and his defenders, Griffiths reacted first but was denied from close range by a block which resulted in a corner.
Despite determined defence, Llanelli struggled to establish a foothold in proceedings, and when a corner was partially cleared only as far as Ben Fawcett, he might have done better when he drove his finish wide from a promising position.
The home team were certainly more pro-active from the restart. The Bluebirds’ goal came under threat on several occasions, with a Loveridge back-heel setting up Logan for a strike which was diverted for a corner.
Logan then turned provider when he played a pass into Tim Parker in the area, but his effort on the turn lacked power and gave County goalie Kyle Stuart few problems.
The home team came agonisingly close again to an equaliser when Logan met a Liam Samuel ball but again could only find the upright, and when the ball ran loose, it was scrambled clear off the line.
The Bluebirds retaliated through Fawcett who drilled a free-kick inches off target, and then just failed to connect with a ball driven across the face of goal when the Reds made a complete hash of a short goal kick and conceded possession.
A minute from time, the problems for the hosts became even more acute when Loveridge and Kurtis Rees were involved in a flare-up, leading to the dismissal of both players by referee Daniel Richardson.
While the Bluebirds ran out deserved winners, there will be tougher games ahead and they will want to improve significantly on this showing to cement their place at the summit.
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