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New heights for Harriers

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Strong performances: Carmarthen Harriers take home a strong medal haul after competing in this year’s West Wales Indoor Championships and British Athletics Cardiff Cross Challenge

OVER 25 Carmarthen Harriers put in comprehensive performances at this year’s West Wales Indoor Championships and British Athletics Cardiff Cross Challenge, which took place last weekend (Jan 21-22).

Held at Swansea University, the Indoor Championships saw a record 315 athletes take part, with Carmarthen coming away with a total of nine medals over the two day competition.

Glen Elsdon put in winning performances for both the senior men’s hurdles (8.33) and the 60m final (7.05). Meanwhile, on the field there were further gold medal performances from Danielle Jones in the under 17 women’s shot (11.04m), Olivia Haines in the under 20 women’s triple jump (9.85m), Lili Church in the under 15 girls’ high jump (1.58m), and Zara Evans in the under 13 girls’ long jump (4.06m).

Adding to the tally, there were also three bronze medals won thanks to Haydn Davies in the under 17 men’s 60m hurdles final (9.07), Zak Daly in the under 17 men’s 60m final, and Olivia Haines who won her second medal of the day, this time in the long jump (4.52m).

In the younger age groups, Sophia Reid-Thomas made it all the way to the under 13 girls’ 60m final, where she finished sixth with a time of 9.04. Meanwhile, the upcoming and talented year six athletes Harri Howells and Owain-Hari Davies sprinted strongly to finish seventh and eighth respectively, both achieving a time of 9.30 and just missing out on a place in the final.

In the same event, Mia Lloyd, Jessica Lee, Siwan Jones-Evans, Stephen Reed and Haydn Davies all represented the club and performed well in their heats, whilst in the shot, Nia Williams – having moved up an age group – threw 8.02m to finish in seventh position.

Meanwhile, the cross country runners headed for Cardiff for the fourth series of the British Athletics series, where they tested themselves against the best in the UK.

In the primary school races, the boys won the overall trophy for the second successive year, thanks to Jack Thomas who won individual bronze and was supported by Iwan Jones in fifth, Steffan Davies in 17th, Jake Lynock in 32nd, and Brynmor Peters in 44th. In the girls’ race, Emma Brazier and Bessy Hill finished 22nd and 23rd respectively.

Ben Thomas, having been selected to represent Wales in the under 17 Celtic Cross Country International, following an impressive set of results over the past few months, finished as the third Welsh scorer in 12th. Behind him, Thomas Jones secured 36th position and competing in the women’s event, Ellie Kiff ran well to take 33rd place.

Daisy Thompson, having already competed in the previous two race series’ at Liverpool and Milton Keynes, again kept up with the leading pack, eventually coming in fifth. Also putting in a strong performance, Phoebe Williams crossed the line in 22nd.

In the corresponding boys’ age group, Liam Edwards finished in sixth and Dafydd Jones had his best race for the club to date, finishing in eighth. Dyfed teammate Iori Humphreys from Pembroke finished in between (seventh). Frank Morgan unfortunately had to pull out during the race.

First in for the Harriers in the under 15 boys’ race was Tomos Rees, who had a great run to take home sixth place. Following him was Archi Morgan in 14th and Gareth Morgan in 22nd overall. Meanwhile, the under 15 girls’ event saw Beca Roberts secure 47th position, and Siwan Jones–Evans 54th.

Finally, in the senior categories, Louise Jones-Evans won her F45 age group in a great time, while Gordon Orme continued his fine form this season to take fifth.

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LLANELLI TOWN AFC VS PENRHYNCOCH FC

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LLANELLI TOWN AFC VS PENRHYNCOCH FC

LLANELLI TOWN 0 PENRHYNCOCH 1

A blast from the past in the form of former Reds` favourite, Antonio Corbisiero, ended their interest in the JD Welsh Cup for another season in this second round tie.

His stunning 19th minute volley demonstrated he has lost little of the craft which he used to employ to such good effect in the more heady days of the club`s history, and how they could do with him now as he was head and shoulders above anyone on either side.

Another patched-up home outfit, once again missing several key players, were, quite frankly, abysmal, struggling to establish any meaningful pattern to their play, particularly in the first half, with far too many errors allied with some careless passing which gifted possession to their opponents.

They were reduced to firing hopeful long-range efforts which seldom looked capable of reaching the intended target, with Kyle Copp in the forefront of this tactic, to no great effect.

The visitors also seemed incapable of any worthwhile attacking ploys, and it took Corbisiero`s strike to lift the contest out of mediocrity when he met a delivery from the right by Jack Rimmer on the edge of the box to volley sweetly past the despairing clutches of Scott Coughlan in the home goal.

Even this setback did little to stir the Reds out of their lethargy, and while they continued to enjoy plenty of possession, they seldom looked capable of levelling matters.

Ryan Hurlow had a tame effort easily dealt with by the Roosters` keeper, Leigh Jenkins, while he also parried and gathered an effort from distance by James Loveridge.

With a forgettable first half over, the Reds did up the anti after the restart, and were certainly more forceful in their efforts to secure the goal which would level matters, but once again wrong decisions at the vital time proved costly, typified by Morgan Cutler opting to pass inside when he had a viable shooting opportunity.

Their best, and as it turned out, only real chance arose when Jenkins opted to come off his line to challenge for a ball on the edge of the box but instead allowed it to run loose, affording Tim Parker a clear strike on the vacant net, but he failed to connect cleanly, allowing Jonathan Foligno to scramble it off the line and away from danger.

This was about as good as it got for the hosts, and even with their opponents visibly flagging as the game progressed, they still were unable to press home the advantage.

In fact, it was the other end of the field which provided the best chances when the visitors broke, with Gwion Pugh-Jones first failing to convert a ball bobbling about in the area, while Tomos Evans missed a

good chance at the far post following a run and cross by Steffan Davies.

Parker did have an effort deflected for a corner when he was found by Zac Brown, and Liam Samuel curled his finish just wide.

The Roosters then should have put the result beyond doubt when Evans was put clear in acres of space, but with only Coughlan to beat he directed his finish at the keeper who gratefully diverted it away.

As the contest entered its closing stages, an increasingly desperate home outfit did manage a couple of efforts on target, but these were capably dealt with by Jenkins, and the final whistle signalled the end of the Reds` further involvement in the competition.

Some serious work is needed if their season is not to descend into mediocrity, and the visit of Undy Athletic on Saturday could yet provide the springboard needed for a revival in fortunes. Kick off is at 2.30 p.m.

LLANELLI TOWN; Coughlan; M. Cutler (J. Cutler, 82); Brown; Thomas; Bevan ©; Griffiths; Copp, Samuel (Rees, 90+2); Parker, Loveridge, Hurlow.

PENRHYNCOCH; Jenkins; Rimmer; Pemberthy; James ©; Foligno (Gittins, 81); Corbisiero; Jones (Morgan, 84); T. Evans; Davies; J. Evans; Pugh-Jones. Subs. not used; Rees; Burrel; Meredith.

SCORER; Penrhyncoch; Corbisiero, 19.

YELLOW CARD; Penrhyncoch; Rimmer.

REFEREE; Daniel Richardson.

ATTENDANCE; 141.

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Llanelli Town 1 Cwmammam United 0

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A second meeting between the sides in just over a week brought a further win for the Reds following their success against the same opponents in the first round of the JD Welsh Cup, but once again they made heavy weather over visitors languishing at the foot of the table with just two wins all season.

The home side have some talented players in their ranks, but many of them are playing far below their potential, resulting in results being ground out rather than achieved in a manner pleasing to the eye, and the latest game was typical of the way the season has so far progressed, with possession being conceded far too easily, and decisions wrongly taken when opportunities present themselves.

A strong wind and frequent rain showers sweeping across the ground did little to raise the overall play by both sides above the mediocre, and the game will not live long in the memory. 

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Welsh Athletics celebrate success

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MORE than 200 people from all four corners of the country headed to the Vale Resort Hotel in Hensol, Vale of Glamorgan on Saturday evening (October 19) to attend the annual Welsh Athletics National Celebration Awards Dinner for 2019.
The evening celebrated all the successes and achievements that happened across the sport of athletics in Wales over the last 12 months with a large number of athletes, coaches, officials, volunteers and club & group representatives in attendance.
There were twenty-eight awards up for grabs with an expert panel deciding on who the worthy winners were for each one. The awards were across a variety of categories…from clubs, groups and volunteers to officials, coaches and athletes.
Altogether, 22 individuals, 5 clubs and 1 group shared the awards on offer and were welcomed to the stage to be recognised for their contributions.
Hosts for the evening was ever-present Rob Cole and joining him on the stage this year was Mica Moore. Sam Gordon, Jeremiah Azu, Steve Perks, Matt Newman, James Williams, Dafydd Trystan and Kelly Southerton were others who spoke throughout the evening.
It was fantastic to receive confirmation a fortnight ago from the new Chair of Welsh Athletics, Steve Perks that Carmarthen & District Harriers Athletics Club had been nominated to receive the Welsh Athletics Junior Off-Track Club of the Year award at this year’s awards dinner in the Vale Resort Hotel.
Present from the athletics club on the evening and joining other deserving winners from across Wales were Jake Morgan (Club Chairman), Cressy Morgan (Club Secretary), Richard Jones (Club Treasurer), Alison Thomas (Officials Secretary), Neil Thomas, David Toogood, Carol Jones and Delyth Brown (Club Endurance Coaches), Dafydd Jones and Frank Morgan (Club under 15/17 Endurance Athletes) and Nathan Jones (Club Media Officer).
Cross Country and Road Running successes in 2018 and the start of 2019 from endurance young members contributed to the club winning this award in 2019.
The Welsh Athletics Clubs Cross Country Championships came to Pembrey Country Park in Carmarthenshire for the first year back in February and saw the under-11 boys, under-13 boys, under-15 boys and the Female Master 40 teams come away with gold medals on home turf whilst there were bronze medals for the under-11 girls.
The under-13 boys and under-15 boys were victorious at the 2018 Welsh Athletics Road Relay Championships to match their cross-country championships titles. Back in September, the under-11 boys and under-13 boys came away with comfortably victories at the recent 2019 edition of the Road Relays Championships and have got off a great start to the 2019 winter season in October.
The under-11 boys and under-13 boys also became John H Collins Gwent Cross Country League team champions backed up by second place for under-13 girls and third for the novice girls.
Two of Carmarthen Harriers’ endurance athletes Dafydd Jones and Frank Morgan, both pupils at Ysgol Gyfun Gymraeg Bro Myrddin were there to go up and collect the award on behalf of the whole club.
Another to be recognised locally in West Wales was coach Kevin Evans who continues to coach athletes at the track in Carmarthen and a great supporter of the club. After collecting the Endurance Performance Coach of the Year in 2018, Evans was the recipient of the “International Performance Coach of the Year” this time around.
President the award on stage was local Carmarthenshire athlete and one of Kevin’s training group, Dewi Griffiths who hopes to be back to full fitness soon.
International athletes in Wales voted for their “Athletes’ Athlete of the Year” and announced as the winner was Pembrokeshire Harriers’ Heather Lewis, who enjoyed a great season on the race-walking circuit. Elsewhere, James Tomlinson was the “Junior Track & Field Athlete of the Year.” It was a double success here with his coach Paul Jensen, the “Track & Field Performance Coach of the Year”.
Swansea Harriers picked up both the “Off Track Club of the Year” in the older categories whilst the juniors enjoyed success too and as a result, won the “Junior Track & Field Club of the Year”.

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