CARMARTHEN HARRIERS indoor and cross country athletes were out on the road in Cardiff and Newport on Saturday, February 18.
In an action packed weekend in the indoor Welsh Championship which attracted nearly 600 juniors from across Wales, 3 Harriers struck gold to be Welsh Champions and the tally was added with a further 2 bronze.
Frank Morgan had possibly the most comfortable win of the day, bettering his silver medal from last year his winning time of 4:47 gave him the 1500 metres gold by over 100 metres from his under 13 rivals. In doing so he moved top of the UK indoor rankings for his age.
Another outstanding performance was Lily Church who dominated the under 15 age group in the high jump. Jumping a big 1 metre 63 the bronze medallist from last year confirmed her position as one of the country’s best.
The teams form in the high jump then continued in sensational form with William Edwards once again passing 2 metres to win the under 20 men’s title. To round of the jumps Olivia Haines made the podium to take Bronze in a best jump of 10 metres 17.
Finally in the 1500 metres for under 17s Iestyn Williams ran a dogged race to stay in contention in a fiercely contested last lap to be rewarded with a bronze medal.
Other notable performances included under 13 athlete Sophia Reid-Thomas who in the younger year of her age group qualified for the B final finishing 3rd in a blanket finish in a very quick 9.13 seconds. Zak Daly and Tomos Rees also had good runs in the 200m heat and 3000 metres. Meanwhile in Sheffield, Glen Elsdon and Aled Price were up against the best in Britain in the UK 60m hurdles event and recorded times of 8.32 and 8.53 seconds.
The cross country runners battled the bitterly cold wind at the fourth round of the Gwent Cross Country League at a new course in Newport. In the Novice Boys which started the programme, Ifan Bowen did not disappoint as he maintained his 2nd place finish.
Iwan Thomas secured another top 10 finish and is on course for an individual medal. Jac Thomas 16th, Steffan Davies 38th and Jake Lynock in 56th competing in the same race scored valuable points for the team.
There was another top 3 placing in the Under 13 boys category, this time being Liam Edwards who kept up the pace with the leading pack and he was closely followed behind by Dafydd Jones in 6th – both will now be eying an individual prize in a few weeks.
The third scorer for the squad was Dafydd Thomas, who crossed the line in 21st position.
The Under 15 age group had five representatives – Archi Morgan was the first Harrier home in an improved 6th and supported him was Gareth Thompson in 12th and Casper Farquhar. In the girls, the ever reliable Eva Edwards and Maddie Morgan had good performances in 20th and 31st respectively.
In the older age groups, Ben Thomas continued his fine form running alongside talented English athletes in the U17s while in the seniors, Gordon Orme won his 70+ category with Gill Edwards and Lisa Forest also doing well in a large field.
The under 11 boys and under 13 boys teams are on course to win a team medal next month while the under 15 boys are also in with a good chance, currently just outside the top 3 in the standings.
The 5th and final round of the league for the first time in many years will be hosted at home by Carmarthen Harriers & West Wales, in conjunction with the County Council at Pembrey Country Park on Saturday, March 4.
The league – formed in 1963 has continued across South Wales and South West England every year since then and attracts the best cross country runners from Wales and England.
Llanelli AC round off season
LLANELLI Athletics Club junior members from under 11’s upwards rounded off their track and field season with the annual end-of-season Inter Club Competition at the Pemberton Athletics Track on the final Tuesday of August.
Events held were 75m, 100m, 800m, High Jump, Long Jump, Javelin and Shot.
48 hours later, it was the turn of the under 17, under 20 and senior athletes to participate in the track championships situated next to Parc Y Scarlets.
They were great evenings of friendly competition in front of family, friends and coaches as members now look forward to the cross country, road and indoor season in Wales and further afield in England.
Thirty-five under 11, under 13 and under 15 athletes took part on the first evening whilst more than a dozen of the club’s under 17, under 20 and senior were in action at the second event.
Age Group winners will be announced at the club’s annual presentation evening later this year.
Elsewhere, there was a good representation of senior and master athletes at the recent Cardiff Metropolitan University 10K in the Welsh Capital.
Out of the twenty-six running from the club, twelve recorded new personal bests over this distance in an event which saw more than 6,000 runners finish as it continues to grow year on year.
Finishing times: Dai Keenan (34:02), Nick Sheehan (34:04), Dean Summers (34:22), Jimmy Watkins (34:37), Jamie Stedman (36:29), Alan Davies (36:57), Simon Rees (38:36), Rob Davies (42:55), Mike Halsall (44:16), Jordan Chappell (45:27), Tahir Altimimi (45:47), Craig Hopkins (46:10), Roxanne Turner (47:36), Luigi Bonifacio (52:56), Vanessa Buckler (53:35), Andrew Stephens (55:02), Andrew Bowen (55:27), Emily Denmark (56:11), Heledd Jones (59:48), Hannah Gale (59:49), Rachel Evans (60:29), Zoe Jermin-Jones (63:14), Lisa Campion (67:40), Rob Campion (67:42), Vicki Turner (71:22) and Amanda de la Hey (74:29).
Carmarthen’s David Jones crossed the line as the 63rd male home, in a time of 34 minutes 45 seconds.
Stars batter Bynea
New Dock Stars 91-0 Bynea
NEW DOCK STARS earned their first win of the season on Saturday as they thrashed Bynea 91-0.
The home side ran in thirteen tries in an impressive display which saw Jason Baxter convert ten of those.
Jordan Evans, Josh Harris and Luke Morris all scored twice as did Joe Scott and Stu Taylor.
Luke Edwards, Kieron James and Levi Roots also bagged themselves a try each as they showed no let up against their opponents.
Baxter also added two penalties for an excellent personal haul of 26 points.
The result lifts the Stars up to third in the table while Bynea remain bottom.
On Saturday (Sept 21), Bynea will look to bounce back when they face Laugharne in the first round of the WRU Bowl.
The Stars will be full of confidence after their big win and they face Tumble in the first round of the Bowl.
Trim too good for Furnace
Furnace 8-21 Trimsaran
TRIMSARAN travelled the short distance to Furnace on Saturday (Sept 14) for what was an entertaining derbt clash.
This was the first meeting between the two teams for a few years as Furnace were promoted along with Penygroes last season after finishing second in League 3 West Central C last season.
The cherries won their first game last week against Bynea by 55-8 so were on a high coming into the game after also having a successful pre-season which saw them win all 3 of their games.
Trim also made a winning start to the season last week after a narrow victory over Cefneithin by 18-15.
Trimsaran were under no illusions how difficult this game would be and knew they would have to give 110% if they wanted to stop the cherries.
Trim kicked off and after a handling error Furnace had the early initiative with a scrum near halfway.
Trim showed their intention from this scrum driving Furnace back 10-15 meters and getting awarded the early penalty.
This was the start of a period of 20 minutes where Trim were pressuring the Furnace defence and in the home teams territory constantly.
Furnace did show some strong defence and had secured a couple of turnover but it wasn’t long until Trim took a well-deserved lead after second row Emyr Evans crossed the whitewash to open the scoring after some good build up work by Trim.
Furnace ill-discipline allowed Trim to get the territory and within the next 10 minutes Trim had extended their lead to 11-0 after two penalties by fly half Corey Phillips.
Furnace came into the game now after a loose return kick from the kick off and had a run of possession and territory, this allowed them to break down the wing and score their first try of the game in the corner against the run of play. The score was now 5-11 to the visitors with 10 minutes of the first half left.
Trim were back pressuring the home team deep in their 22 and set up a driving maul from a lineout but some good defence from Furnace turned the ball over and allowed them to clear their lines.
However, some more ill-discipline for being offside allowed Trim to again get territory and after a few good phases of play from the forwards the ball was passed out to winger Callum McCormack who touched down for his teams second try in the corner.
The difficult conversion was nailed over by Corey Phillips and with only 5 minutes of the first half remaining the score was 5-18.
From the kick off Trim cleared their lines only to be told it was kicked out on the full so Furnace now had an ideal attacking lineout just before half time to hit back. The cherries were awarded a scrum 5 yards out after the ball became unplayable and had one more chance as the ref called last play to get some sort of points.
Furnace tried to power their way through but Trim held them out before they spread the ball wide and were tackled into touch to bring the first half to an end. Trim were happy with the outcome at half time but knew Furnace would come back at them in the second half all guns blazing.
Furnace kicked off the second half and were the team to pressure first. They were awarded a penalty of their own which they kicked at goal to reduce the deficit after 5 minutes of the second half.
Trim pushed for another score to extend their league but a pass was intercepted by the Furnace hooker and he booted the ball back down deep into the Trim 22.
A shove from the Cherries number 9 off the ball resulted in a yellow card for him as the ref had finally had enough of the penalties conceded after numerous warnings. This allowed Trim to clear their lines and retain possession from the lineout.
The game started to turn a bit scrappy now with both teams failing to retain possession for enough phases to trouble the defensive lines. Furnace did have a break down the wing but the green and blacks defence was strong enough to keep them out only for Furnace to be awarded a penalty and a shot at goal which was unsuccessful. 5 minutes later it was Trim who were extending their lead thanks to a drop goal from hooker and captain Ryan Edwards to make the score 8-21 with 20 minutes left.
Trim had a further chance through a penalty to take the game beyond the home team but the shot at goal was just missed. Furnace had more possession and territory in the final 10 minutes of the game but the green and blacks held firm in defence and managed to hold out everything the cherries threw at them. When the ref called last play of the game full back Dan Griffiths booted the ball off the field to secure an impressive win for Trimsaran and to make it two wins out of two.
On Saturday (Sept 21), Trimsaran host Amman United and Furnace travel to Cardigan in the first round of the Specsavers National Bowl.
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