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Games away from promotion

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Llanelli Town AFC 5

Newport City 0

THE PRESSURE is mounting at Stebonheath as the Reds edge another step closer to promotion and academy status.

Despite winning 5 – 0 against Newport City on Saturday (Feb 18), Red’s manager Andy Hill said he wanted more. Speaking to The Herald after the game Andy said: “It was a convincing win but a bit frustrating that we didn’t get a few more goals. They came to defend and they did that well. It was their game plan from the start. We have a tough match against one of the top clubs next week and we have to win that one.”

The Reds can be confident given that they remain unbeaten in the league and they still have the goal machine Lee Trundle in fine form.

Before the match all players lined up at the centre circle for a minute’s applause for former Reds player Robbie James on the anniversary of his death , and for the father of Reds groundsman , Eddie Donne , who had recently passed away. It was clearly a very emotional moment for Eddie as he lined up with t he Reds.

When the game got underway under the gaze of Welsh legend, former Wales player and manager Terry Yorath , it took a mere 15 minutes before the closely marked Trundle was brought down in the penalty area. Referee Pascal Neale pointed to the spot and Trundle punished the visitors with a pin point strike into the bottom left corner of the net to put Llanelli ahead.

James Loveridge looks like he is beginning to settle in at Stebonheath and he is a force to be reckoned with on the wing. He came close a couple of times hitting the post and crossbar.

The Reds are also fortunate enough to have the diminutive but powerful Jordan Davies in the squad. He can always be relied on to run at the opposition and set up goal scoring opportunities.

It was the Davies and Loveridge combination which netted the second goal for The Reds and despite a few attacks by the visitors it was The Reds who began to dominate the first half with City’s keeper doing well to deny Trundle and Loveridge on a few more occasions.

The second half really was frustrating for The Reds as Newport City dug their studs in and remained camped in their own half as if their lives depended on it. That did not bode well for entertainment value and they may have represented themselves better if they had taken risks rather than putting a curtain of players around the goalmouth. Trundle is unstoppable when he gets the ball in the goal area. It is a joy to watch his control, strength and skill on the ball, which inevitably ends up in a goal. So it was when he burst through the midfield and blast a shot at goal only for the City keeper to parry it out. This time Trundle was there for the rebound and side kicked it to Jordan Follows who managed to find the net for the home side’s third goal.

Within five minutes Jordan Follows got another goal, this time after a stray shot had struck him and rolled off into the goal. He won’t be complaining about the way in which it went in.

The Herald was fortunate enough to be positioned behind the City goal during the last few minutes of the match. As we pointed the camera lens towards Trundle on the edge of the goal area, he curled the ball and for one moment it appeared to be landing straight onto the camera lens. Thankfully the goal got in the way for his second and a fifth for t he Reds. The Reds are expecting a large crowd at Stebonheath tonight (Feb 24) with the visit of second-placed Briton Ferry Llansawel. This result could be crucial in deciding who wins the title.

Kick off 7.30 p.m.

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Sport

Stars earn first win

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Run: A Stars player sets off on another run in their win over Llandeilo. Photo by Darren Harries​

New Dock Stars • 17
Llandeilo • 10
League 3 West B

THE N​EW DOCK STARS earned their first win of the season ​last Saturday (Sept 30) as they beat Llandeilo 17-10.

The game was held up for around half an hour as Matthew Daniels had to be taken to hospital with a broken leg. The Herald understands that Matthew has had an operation on his leg and all at the Herald wish him a speedy recovery.

The Dock took the lead after 20 minutes with a try in the corner by centre Gareth Williams and the conversion by Liam Doran was successful.

They extended their lead to 12-0 shortly after with a try from number 8 Dylan Jones.

The game was then held up as Daniels was hurt shortly before half time and he had to be stretchered off the field.

Llandeilo hit back to make it 12-10 before a barnstorming run by the highly impressive flanker Jordan Evans which was finished by winger Spencer Thomas.

On Saturday ​(​Oct 7​)​, New Dock Stars are at home again as they welcome Burry Port in the second round of the WRU Bowl.

Llandeilo are also in action in the Bowl as they travel to Penybanc.

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News

Llanelli rugby club scores donation

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A THRIVING Llanelli rugby club is celebrating after receiving a cash boost from a leading house builder.

New Dock Stars RFC has been handed a £750 donation from Persimmon Homes West Wales to help pay for coaching.

The club has been running for around eight years and provides rugby for children aged between six and 14.

The donation comes as part of Persimmon’s Healthy Communities scheme.

Jon Harries, of the club, said: “We’re thrilled to receive this generous donation. We play matches on a Sunday around Carmarthenshire and Swansea and we train on Wednesday evenings on our field.

“During the winter months we try to secure indoor training at the barn at Parc y Scarlets to ensure the children can continue to receive high quality coaching during the wet and cold months.

“This experience does cost a considerable amount, so donations like this are vital.”

Every month sports clubs and individuals in each of Persimmon’s 30 operating areas receive donations of £750 – a total of £22,500.

In January 30 finalists from each region will be selected and a public vote will follow, with prizes of £200,000, £50,000 and £5,000 up for grabs.

The Healthy Communities scheme runs alongside Persimmon’s Community Champions initiative for non-sports clubs, which sees more than £700,000 dished out to good causes each year.

Sharon Robinson, sales director at Persimmon Homes West Wales, said: “We are extremely proud of our charity schemes, Healthy Communities and Community Champions. It’s terrific to be able to support sports clubs and charities across West Wales with tens of thousands of pounds every year.

“New Dock Stars RFC is a great club which provides excellent coaching and facilities for kids in the area. We hope that this money will help them continue over the winter.”

Persimmon Homes is currently very active in and around Llanelli with its Cwrt Y Bedw, development in Pontarddulais and Llys Meredith in Gorseinon. Prices start at £109,995 for a two-bedroom property, perfect for first time buyers.

To find out more or to enter the competition, visit www.persimmonhomes.com/charity.

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Sport

Reds maintain winning start

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Goal: The Reds celebrate yet again

Llanelli Town • 3
Ton Pentre • 0

FIVE games, five wins – Llanelli Town are proving to be the pacesetters so far in Welsh League Division 1, although their latest success at the expense of their Rhondda Valley opponents was not as clear-cut as the result suggests.

Ton are known as the Rhondda Bulldogs, and to their credit they displayed the tenacious tendencies attributed to the breed, causing their opponents plenty of problems, particularly in the first half, before the Reds gradually took control and finally ran out winners thanks to a Jordan Davies brace and a third from Liam Samuel.

Missing some key players, including the unavailable Lee Trundle, the hosts were certainly lacking the intensity displayed in their last outing at Penybont where they were in the ascendancy throughout and dominated proceedings.

They started off well, with James Loveridge putting in a strong run down the right before delivering a ball beyond goalkeeper Ryan Griffiths into the goalmouth, but Jordan Follows, at full stretch, agonisingly failed to make contact for a certain opener.

Another Loveridge assist this time found the head of Chris Jones, but again the finish drifted just wide.

After these early opportunities, chances at either end were at a premium, although a well struck effort by Follows who beat two defenders to set himself up, was fumbled low down by Griffiths, and the ball rebounded off the inside of the post and on to the line before being grabbed by the relieved keeper.

When the visitors countered, a shot from distance by Leon Jacka stung the hands of Scott Coughlin in the Reds` goal who managed to keep it out.

Overall, the half was an untidy affair with neither side able to exert the upper hand, and it was no surprise when the interval arrived with the game scoreless.

Whatever was said in the home dressing room during the break seemed to have the desired effect when the contest resumed, as the Reds were far more positive and looking the more likely to break the deadlock.

Follows failed to get any power into his strike on target and Griffiths saved easily, and when he set up Jones, his finish fizzed across the goalmouth and just wide of the far post.

Ton responded through Sam Small whose shot on the turn sailed narrowly over the top, and he went even closer when Jacka crossed to the far post, his goal bound header being brilliantly turned over by Coughlin.

The game was still evenly poised, and it seemed as if the side to score first would probably go on to win, and to the relief of the Reds, two goals in as many minutes swung the result in their favour.

The first arrived on 65 minutes following a well-worked move involving Loveridge and Follows which culminated in a backheel to set up Davies who beat Griffiths with firm shot into the bottom corner.

Two minutes later, the lead was doubled with Follows again involved, this time finding Davies in space in the box who again finished clinically past the keeper and give the Reds some breathing space.

Davies then turned provider, setting up Jones for a shot which again whistled fractionally wide.

Follows was replaced by Liam Samuel, who within ten minutes of his arrival notched up the third goal after Griffiths could only deflect an effort by Jones into his path, and he made no mistake by smashing it home in the 83rd minute.

At the close, another three points and a clean sheet for the Reds in front of a decent 401 attendance, but they were made to work hard for the win against opponents who belied their lowly league position.

The Reds travel west on Saturday (Sept 23) when they meet Haverfordwest County, kick off 2.30pm.

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