Llanelli Town 2
Pontypridd Town 2
THE COMBINATION of torrential rain and extreme body heat made photography conditions difficult at Stebonheath on Friday (Dec 9), as Llanelli Town took on Pontypridd Town in what was to be a repeat of the last niggly match the two clubs played.
There is no love lost between these two teams and before you could say ‘Turkish bath’, the steam had built up to a point where someone had to blow the whistle.
That man was referee Aled Jones and, according to the Reds’ Manager Andy Hill, he cost them the win.
Home support was boosted by the presence of Cor Meibion Llanelli as they belted out ‘Yma o Hyd’ from the covered stand.
Others observed the football through the steamy windows of the media suite, including the one and only Wales, Swansea and Spurs legend Cliff Jones and his family, who were enjoying the festive hospitality profiteroles, nibbles and some local beverages.
The Herald opted to join the Reds TV cameraman up in the media tower, which provided scant cover from the wind and rain, which was blowing in more directions than the abuse the ref was taking from the angry Stebo faithful.
Numerous handballs went unpunished, offside rulings were suspect and the numerous hospital tackles went without cards of any colour for most of the game.
The ferocity of the game itself, the red of Llanelli and the white of Pontypridd took one back to the halcyon days of football and it looked like a Liverpool v Leeds game, complete with a couple of Tommy Smiths and Billy Bremners.
Welsh legend Cliff Jones appeared to be enjoying it anyway and The Herald managed to sneak in an interview with the Swansea and Spurs veteran at half time as well as pocketing a sneaky profiterole and a glass of pop.
It was back up a wet ladder for our cameraman and that profiterole appeared to add vim and vigour to his stealth on the ascent.
Pontypridd had come to play but they had also brought a bucket of glue, the contents of which they applied to at least four men and positioned them around Lee Trundle for the entire game.
There is no doubt that the Ponty plan worked as a frustrated Reds team could not free Trundle from his markers. Luke Morgan got the first goal in the first half when he broke free down the left hand side of the field, sweeping into the box and belting the ball passed the Ponty keeper.
Not long afterwards, Trundle somehow weaved his way out of the grips of his markers and curled a belter into the left hand corner of the Ponty net.
It was Pontypridd who came out playing the better football in the second half and they used the full width of the Stebo field well on at least two occasions when their strikers showed some real pace to skin the Reds defence and secure two great goals.
The Reds continued to try and feed Trundle and Samuel but the long searching balls failed to find them.
It could have been the very slippery surface making the tackles look particularly savage but, even so, the ref reached for his yellow card a number of times and eventually his red as he sent one of the Ponty players off.
It must have been a wondrous sight for Cor Meibion Llanelli – as friendly a group of men you’d ever meet – as they watched 22 grown men pushing and shoving each other soaked to the skin, covered in mud and with steam rising from their bodies. If only they had broken into that Tina Turner number ‘Steamy Windows’, the night would have been complete.
The game ended Llanelli Town 2 – Pontypridd Town 2.
The Reds continue a 19 game unbeaten run.
Lighthouse to Lifeboat station swim a huge success
A LLANELLI man has completed a grueling swim across the Loughor estuary from Whiteford Lighthouse to Burry Port Harbour to raise funds for the Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI).
Matthew Jenkins completed the swim on Sunday, July 26.
Speaking on the challenge he set himself, Matthew said he set his sights on the swim to give him something positive to focus on during these unprecedented times and raise vital funds for Burry Port RNLI.
The Swim was a family effort with Matthew’s two daughters also pitching in to sell RNLI cupcakes to supporters and bystanders near the lifeboat house.
The conditions were far from ideal on the day with a 7.2 metre tide accompanied by whitecaps waves and a south to southwesterly wind behind Matthew of approximately 20 mph.
However there was plenty of support from safety teams in the area to step in if needed with jet skis, kayaks and boats all keeping within safe distance.
Matthew set off on his challenge at approximately 10.45 and shortly afterwards supporters could see he was already past the halfway point.
The support shown from the beach was huge and it was obvious to all that Matthew was able to hear the chants of support and praise from those at the beach.
On completion of the challenge Matthew raised his hands as a thank you gesture for all of his support throughout the journey.
This small event has brought back a familiar feeling without the town of pre-pandemic days where events like these would be hugely supported by the community.
It was clear to see the support for both Matthew and Burry Port RNLI throughout the day.
A grand total of £822.25 was raised through Matthew’s Just Giving page.
Matthew has praised all of those who have supported him through the journey both in the water and on land and said he feels very ‘thankful’ for the support and the opportunity to complete the challenge.
Swans grab last gasp play-off spot
WAYNE ROUTLEDGE’s last-gasp header saw Swansea City secure a play-off spot with a handsome away victory over 10-man Reading on a dramatic Wednesday night (July 22).
Steve Cooper’s side knew they had to win at the Madejski Stadium to have any hope of a top-six finish, and Rhian Brewster’s 10th goal of the season gave them an ideal start.
The sending off of Yakou Meite then gave the Swans a man advantage, but the Royals equalised before the half through a George Puscas penalty.
The Swans restored their lead through a classy finish from substitute Routledge, before Liam Cullen showed great composure to steer in his first goal for the club.
And when Routledge popped up at the death to complete his brace it put the Swans into the top six as Forest suffered a 4-1 defeat at home to Stoke, meaning Swansea got into the play-offs on goal difference.
The Swans started on the front foot, with centurion Connor Roberts having particular joy down the right-hand flank.
Brewster then nearly threaded Conor Gallagher in on goal after fine work by Andre Ayew, before Roberts hit a strike into the ground and over the bar after Jake Bidwell had made the overlap on the opposite flank.
The hosts responded by having a good spell of possession, probing and asking a few questions of their own.
But the visitors hit the lead in the 16th minute through Brewster. The striker picked the ball up some 30 yards out and got the ball out of his feet before smashing a long-range drive that completely deceived Rafael in the Reading goal.
John Swift curled a free-kick over at the other end, while more good work by Roberts could not quite end with Bidwell getting on the end of a deep cross before Rafael made a hash of dealing with a Gallagher cross.
Swift headed straight at Erwin Mulder from a good counter on the half-hour mark, with Ayew quickly advancing up the field to work Rafael again.
Opportunities were coming at both ends, with Mulder called into action again as Meite took aim from the left side of the area.
Swansea were riding their luck a little and had a let-off when a sliced clearance landed on top of the bar.
Matt Grimes had a free-kick pushed away by Rafael before the home side were reduced to 10 men after Meite had pushed Mike van der Hoorn in the face after a tussle for the ball.
But the hosts made light of the numerical disadvantage by levelling after Bidwell was adjudged to have fouled Andy Rinomhota, with Puscas beating Mulder – who got a hand to the strike – from the spot.
However, the Swans should have led at the break. Ben Cabango’s shot was blocked and fell to Jay Fulton, but the Scot pulled his shot wide of the target.
Rafael pushed away an Ayew drive right on half-time, with Swansea frustrated that referee Stephen Martin did not award them a penalty of their own as Fulton went down under a challenge from Omar Richards.
With Cardiff winning and Nottingham Forest losing, Cooper knew goals were needed and he made two changes at the break.
Yan Dhanda came on for Fulton, while Routledge replaced van der Hoorn, and they were immediately on the front foot.
With Swansea committing so many players forward, Reading looked to sit deep and play on the break and they proved resolute as the visitors battled to find a way through.
Grimes curled a free-kick wide of the target and Gallagher also threatened from distance, but the hour mark came and went without any clear-cut chances to show for their dominance of possession and territory.
However, when they did craft a sight of goal they took the chance clinically. Grimes produced a lovely ball, and Routledge controlled superbly to loft the ball over Rafael and into the net.
Unfortunately for the Swans, that goal went in moments after Forest had equalised against Stoke, which appeared to put a sizeable dent in their playoff aspirations.
Nevertheless, Cooper’s side continued to search for more goals in the hope events in the East Midlands would turn back in their favour.
They so nearly made it 3-1 with 17 minutes to play as lovely link play from Rutledge and Bidwell ended with Ayew steering just wide.
The situation was changing all the time, and Stoke retook the lead at Forest to leave the door ajar for the Swans.
And, when Stoke scored a third at the City Ground and Cullen coolly fired home his first senior goal for the club with six minutes remaining, they suddenly only needed a goal to finish in the play-off places.
Grimes had a deflected shot tipped over but the Swans then got the goal they needed in stoppage time as Routledge popped up to nod in at the far post, with Stoke’s fourth goal putting the matter beyond doubt a few moments later to spark delighted celebrations among Cooper, his players and his staff.
Glamorgan launch new kit
GLAMORGAN Cricket has unveiled its new Vitality Blast playing kit for the 2020 season.
Designed by the Club’s official kit supplier, Masuri, alongside Glamorgan’s management, players and coaches, the brand-new Vitality Blast strip contains a subtle Welsh twist.
Fitting Glamorgan’s traditional colour schemes, the top is dark navy with a tonal dragon across the front – a nod to the old Glamorgan nickname and the Welsh identity – while a sharp yellow trim on the neck and sleeves frames the top.
The famous ‘Daff’ sits on the heart of the shirt, with MiPost’s strong Welsh brand centre-stage. Appearing on the collars are the logos of ‘Official Players Car Partner’, Mon Motors and Welsh company, Philtronics Solutions, with Discover Leeks on the right sleeve and SA Group on the back.
The famous Aston Martin logo features on both side of the Glamorgan T20 cap, as they continue their ongoing support of the club.
Head of Commercial, Huw Warren, said: “We’ve enjoyed working with Masuri throughout the design process and together developed an exciting new kit we’re sure our supporters will love with its strong connections with Wales.
“Our Masuri kits have always been hugely successful with players and fans alike and we look forward to continuing our commercial partnership with them.
“We can’t wait to see our players wearing the new kit when the Blast gets underway later this summer.”
Masuri CEO, Sam Miller, said: ‘’Once again it has been a pleasure working with the team at Glamorgan to bring this year’s kit to life, and we are looking forward to seeing it in use during the much anticipated Vitality Blast this year.’’
News1 week ago
Assurances from Welsh Government on new Llanelli school
News3 days ago
Llanelli Neighbours Celebrate with Lottery Win
News3 days ago
Llanelli Mayors First Engagement
Politics1 week ago
Conservatives take aim at own Achilles Heel
News2 weeks ago
Eat Out to Help Out Launches today – with Government paying half on restaurant bills
News4 days ago
Conviction for an illegal waste operator in south west Wales
Farming1 week ago
Beef calf registrations increase
News1 week ago
Restrictions on Ammanford man jailed for sexual touching