Llanelli Town AFC 4
AFC Porth 0
IT WAS touch and go as to whether the Reds’ game against AFC Porth got underway on Saturday (Jan 21), following an evening of heavy frost.
Eddie Donne and his team did a remarkable job of heating up the pitch with Heath Robinson materials and just before 2pm, the officials gave the thumbs up for the game. It was still bitterly cold despite the beautiful sunshine and blue sky over Stebonheath as the Reds took on AFC Porth in what looked on paper to be a tough match for the Reds.
As most visiting teams have found out this season, what it looks like on paper and what it looks like on the beautifully green Stebonheath turf is a completely different story. New signing James Loveridge was on the bench and that man Lee Trundle was in the starting 11. It didn’t take long for Trundle to bring some warmth to the Stebo crowd.
Despite being marked by at least three men wherever he went and after being bundled over a couple of times, he was gifted a free kick on the edge of the box. He curled the ball around a few players and although it looked like it may have taken a slight deflection off a Porth player, Trundle was credited with the goal.
Jordan Follows looked a little more comfortable and confident on the ball with the return of his more physical partner in crime and just before half time, Follows found plenty of space down the left running at pace to belt the ball past the Porth keeper to make it 2-0 to Llanelli AFC at half time. The unbeaten run didn’t really look to be in much danger and despite Porth sitting close to the top of League Division 2, they really looked to be the underdogs and lacked the bark and bite to worry the in-form Reds side.
Following a welcome cup of tea and a cheeky garibaldi, the supporters and the teams ventured back out into the cold but sunny stadium for the second half. James Loveridge came on as substitute and it was easy to see why he had been signed. He showed plenty of pace and made some blistering runs in front of the stand, much to the approval of the home fans. He combined with Trundle on a couple of occasions and came close to scoring and if it weren’t for the skills of the Porth keeper, he could have had at least two goals. ‘Coulda shoulda woulda’, as my deputy editor says, is not good enough. It was Lee Bevan who put his head to a beautiful cross, sending the ball past a grasping Porth keeper for the third goal of the match. The Reds ‘coulda’ been forgiven for taking their feet off the gas with a 3-0 lead but this team wanted to totally defrost the crowd as they turned up the heat another notch as gas mark number 10 Lee Trundle slotted home the final goal to make the final score Llanelli Town AFC 4 – AFC Porth 0.
Following the game, The Herald spoke to some of the people involved at Stebo, including Director David Craddock. We asked him what the prospects for the Reds were, given their unbeaten run. He said: “It was an excellent win against tough opposition. They were very physical but we played exceptionally well.
“Next week, we will have to run and run against a good professional outfit, The New Saints. James Loveridge is a new signing and he has pace. I have known him and his family for a number of years. He is a Llanelli boy and that is important for us.
“The club is very buoyant and everything is going well. We have some great staff in the background. This is our best ever season. We are hoping to get the academy going next year and we hope to incorporate 15 teams next year – boys and girls.”
Speaking after the game, Llanelli manager Andy Hill said: “There was a bit of doubt about the pitch this morning but Eddie did a great job in getting it ready.
“It was a good win and we are really pleased. We have had three clean sheets on the bounce but the game against New Saints will be a massive task. James Loveridge looked sharp today and hopefully he can get more game time.
“We are training twice this week to prepare for the cup match. We have a full strength squad and that is a great position to be in.”
Lee Trundle is available for Llanelli duty next week. Speaking to The Herald after the game, he said: “We expected a tough game from one of the top league clubs but we dominated from start to finish.
“James Loveridge showed some presence when he came on. He hasn’t had any games and he hasn’t had much training time but with a couple of games under his belt, he will be a great signing.
“I am available to play next week because the Swans are playing on Sunday. We will go to the Saints believing that we can win the game. “
Llanelli are now unbeaten in the league and in the cup. They sit at the top of League Division 2 with 37 points.
Felinfoel edged out
FELINFOEL just missed out on victory on Saturday (Jun 15) as opponents Skewen edged to a three-wicket win.
Skewen won the toss and elected to field and that looked to be a good decision as they were able to bowl Felinfoel out for 155.
Felinfoel lost Andrew Thomas early on when he was trapped leg before by Steve James.
Craig Richards and Rhys Jones shared 55 runs for the second wicket before James struck again as he bowled Richards on a score of 34.
Rhys Jones scored 32 before he was bowled by Luke Martin and Julian Griffiths scored 25 before he suffered the same fate as Jones.
Martin also bowled Ian Meredith and he then trapped Rober Nangalia leg before.
When Dean Kriescher trapped Rohan Nangalia leg before it left Felinfoel on 128-7, having seemingly been in a good position at 118-3.
Stuart Parmenter was then bowled by Kriescher and he then took the catch to dismiss Stephen Jones.
Rhys Harries batted on while he watched his team mates fall but he was eventually out for a score of 26 to the bowling of Kriescher.
That meant that Skewen would need 156 to win but Felinfoel did their best to derail their run chase.
Anthony Matthias bowled David Jenkins and Craig Richards had Callum Davies caught by Andrew Thomas as Skewen slipped to 17-2.
Richards then claimed his second wicket as he had Daniel Rees caught by Ian Meredith and Johnny Morris was bowled by Julian Griffiths.
That left Skewen on 49-4 but Dean Kriescher and John Jones swung the game in their favour with a stand of 57 for the fifth wicket.
Rhys Harries then bowled Jones on a score of 25 and he also had Jordan Jones caught by Stuart Parmenter.
Julian Griffiths then bowled Andrew Rogers but Kriescher was the hero for Skewen as he finished unbeaten on 76 with nine fours and a six to see his side over the line.
Dafen fall short
DAFEN fell 24 runs short of their target on Saturday (Jun 15) as they were beaten by Division 1 leaders Cowbridge.
Dafen elected to field on winning the toss but they watched on as Cowbridge scored a good total of 228-5 in their 46 overs.
Cowbridge started well reaching fifty in the first eight overs as openers Thomas Merilaht and Ben Wright shared a stand of 93.
Philip George made the breakthrough for Dafen as he had Merilaht caught by Kai Rees on a score of 36.
Jonathan Randell had Chris Willey caught by David Dunfee before Wright, who had hit ten fours and two sixes in his knock of 81, was caught by Daniel Vaughan off the bowling of Rees.
Chris Hudson trapped Jack Cropper leg before on a score of 15 and then had Tom Williams stumped by Vaughan to leave Cowbridge on 172-5.
Brad Evans and Yodhin Punja batted on to take their side past 200 runs.
Evans smashed six fours and two sixes as he finished unbeaten on 51 from 41 balls to set a challenging target for Dafen to chase.
Dafen got off to a bad start in their reply however as they lost four wickets early on.
Jonathan Randell was first out as he was bowled by Brad Evans and George Lavender scored 16 before he was caught by Tom Williams off the bowling of Sam Russell.
Matthew Evans was then trapped leg before by Yodhin Punja and Chris Davies was also bowled by Russell.
That left Dafen on 43-4 but Matthew Donoghue and David Dunfee restored some order as they shared 64 runs for the fifth wicket.
Donoghue scored 25 but he was then bowled by Evans. Dunfee hit five fours and two sixes as he scored 48 but he was also bowled by Evans.
Evans then claimed his fourth as he had Kai Rees caught by Ben Wright to leave Dafen on 126-7.
Dafen then lost Daniel Vaughan to the bowling of Nicholas Wood as they slipped to 143-8.
Scott Phillips took it upon himself to add to the scoring as he hit two fours and smashed nine sixes in a score of 71 from just 34 balls.
Unfortunately for Dafen, he was then caught by Brad Evans off the bowling of Tom Williams.
Phillip George was then run out by Wright as Dafen ended up all out on 204.
Raiders well beaten by Town
By Ian Golden at Stebonheath Park
WORKINGTON Town eased to a 58-12 over West Wales Raiders in Llanelli on Saturday (Jun 8) with their ten tries all coming from different players.
The away side did enough to win the game despite their many errors that would cost them a lot more against a higher placed side.
Town took an early lead after Gordon Maulding found a gaping hole in the Raiders’ backline and easily ran 10 metres to score. Carl Forber converted.
From kick-off, they doubled the score. No Raiders’ player had the answer to Fui Fui Moi Moi’s strength as he burst past the back-line. No issues again for Forber.
A short kick-off worked well for Raiders as they regained possession from kick-off and they nearly scored. Steve Parry was held a metre from the line on the final tackle of the set.
As frustrations started to boil over, the referee stopped his watch on 25 minutes to give Raiders a team warning for persistent offending, and now was the time for Town to take advantage. Stevie Scholey was close, but from the next tackle, Sean Penkywicz dived over. Forber converted.
Town scored their fourth on the half hour. Perry Singleton was on the end of a good passing move, straight from a scrum on Raiders’ ten-metre line. Forber’s kick was just wide.
Then just before half-time, after winning a penalty on Raiders’ 40-metre line, Stevie Scholey ran through for Workington’s fifth. Forber converted again for a 28-0 lead at the break.
Town had an early second half try chalked off for a forward pass but after Raiders gave away a penalty for off-side, Ryan Fieldhouse twisted his way over the line for a try that Forber improved.
Then on 51 minutes, Raiders finally broke their duck for what was the best try of the game. Phil Cowburn broke from the half-way line, offloaded to Ashley Bateman who lost the ball under pressure, but Cowburn was on hand to pick up the loose ball, score under the sticks and convert his own try.
However, following another Raiders dropped ball and a penalty from the next tackle, Workington addressed the balance as Declan O’Donnell crashed over underneath the sticks and Forber easily converted.
From kick-off, a Welshman finally got on the scoresheet after Sam Hopkins catching his own chip and run to the line for Town’s eighth try.
Forber kicked the goal, then set up the next try, opening up a gap for Oliver Wilkes to celebrate his 100th career try. Forber converted.
Raiders weren’t giving up. They won another goal-line drop out and continued to put on the pressure. Steve Parry was held up over the line and from the next tackle, Morgan Evans ran through a hole in the Town defence. Cowburn converted.
But after Town won the ball from kick-off, they went over from their tenth and final try of the afternoon as debutant Blain Marwood eased his way past the tiring home defence with his first touch of the ball for the club after another good Forber offload.
The man of the match converted to cement the win.
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