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Trundle treble sees off Dinas Powys




Llanelli Town 5

Dinas Powys 2

Photo: Julian Hunt

LLANELLI TOWN remain firmly on course for promotion following a Lee Trundle hat-trick at Steboneath Park last Saturday (Mar 11).

It was Trundle’s seventh hat-trick of the season, taking his tally to an incredible 40 goals in 20 games since joining the Reds. Joe Clarke and James Loveridge also got on the scoresheet.

The 5-2 scoreline was harsh on a well-disciplined Dinas Powys side, managed by former Cardiff City and Newport County player Paul Giles and coached by Tony Bird (Ex Cardiff City and Swansea City).

On an afternoon when Llanelli Town lacked their distinguishing fluid dynamism, Dinas Powys came with a plan to defend deep in numbers, get tight, hit on the break, frustrate and niggle; that worked perfectly well for eighty minutes.

That three of Llanelli’s five goals came in the final ten minutes of the match, is an indication of the stubborn resistance of the Dinas Powys players who simply ran out of legs; leaving nothing left behind on the Steboneath pitch.

In a scrappy opening, the first real opportunity came on 11 minutes. Following corners by Trundle and Jordan Davies, Trundle’s low shot skimmed past the Dinas Powys goal. Shortly after, a Trundle free kick from some 35 yards out was only parried by Elliott Matthews. The follow-up by Jordan Follows lacked real purpose and the danger was cleared.

With Llanelli’s game lacking incisiveness, a Dinas Powys injury break on 20 minutes saw Llanelli Manager Andy Hill and Trundle in deep discussion in front of the home dugout.

With chances from open play at a minimum, it was no surprise that the opening goal, on twenty nine minutes, came as a result of a Trundle free kick. His initial attempt rebounded off the Dinas Powys wall but the experienced Llanelli striker made no mistake with the follow up, driving his strike over the despairing Matthews.

The Llanelli Town advantage lasted just eight minutes in to the second half. With the Llanelli defence dithering with the ball in their own box, Captain Lee Bevan brought down midfielder Liam Beddard. Following Bevan’s yellow carding, Beddard himself took the resulting penalty; driving the ball down the middle of the Llanelli goal.

Three minutes later, Llanelli Town were back in front. With Thomas heading a Trundle delivery back in to the Dinas Powys goalmouth, Clarke scrambled the ball home. Five minutes later, a further effort from Clarke flew just over the bar.

With the home crowd becoming increasingly frustrated with the lack of any real decisiveness in Llanelli’s play, Dinas Powys again levelled on 65 minutes. A breakdown the Llanelli right saw David Shallis beating slack defending from Kurtis March, prior to cutting inside and shooting across Craig Morris in the Llanelli goal.

Follows was replaced by Liam Samuel on 68 minutes and with their opponents visibly tiring, Llanelli Town finally began showing the kind of fluidity that has characterised their play this season. Davies was put through by Trundle on 75 and 77 minutes, only to be denied on both occasions by Matthews.

The same combination were involved in the Reds goal on 80 minutes, as Llanelli’s pressure eventually paid off. Davies again put through by Trundle, saw his shot saved well by the outstretched leg of Matthews, before Trundle, picking up the loose ball, evaded three challenges prior to skilfully slotting the ball in to the back of the Dinas Powys net.

Llanelli Town spent the last ten minutes of the match camped inside Dinas Powys’ half. Sam Wade replaced Thomas and within a minute of his introduction, the increasingly influential and confident Trundle put Loveridge through on goal. Cutting inside from the left, Loveridge fired low past Matthews.

Hill replaced Loveridge with Luke Morgan on 85 minutes and a further Trundle effort on eighty seven minutes nestled on top of the Dinas Powys net. The drama was not over and it was Trundle himself who wrapped the game up for Llanelli in stoppage time. Sent clean though with a high ball from Wade, Trundle fired past Matthews for his hat-trick.

This was a particularly tough result on Dinas Powys, who were resolute and who had halted Llanelli Town’s rhythm for eighty minutes.

The Reds were far from their best but with only ten matches remaining, Andy Hill will take more victories like this if it ensures promotion and ultimately, the Welsh Football League Division Two title.

Next up for the Reds: An away local derby with Ammanford AFC at the Manor Road Ground on Saturday, March 18. Kick-off 2:30PM.

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Errors prove costly for Raiders




West Wales Raiders 16

North Wales Crusaders 56

By Ian Golden at Stebonheath Park

NORTH Wales Crusaders’ play-off hopes took a boost on Saturday after taking advantage of West Wales Raiders’ many errors to earn to a large win.

The Wrexham-based side will go into their last two games full of confidence but know they’ll have a tougher outing at Newcastle Thunder in a fortnight.

Their first try came on 11 minutes when Ben Stead forced his way through, and the lead was soon doubled after Dave Eccleston dived through a gaping hole in Raiders’ back-line. Stead converted to put the score on 10-0.

West Wales were close to getting a try back midway through the first half after winning a repeat set near to the North Wales line. Ash Bateman was close following a good run from Archie Snook, but the ball was forced off him when diving for the line.

Crusaders made them pay. From the resulting scrum, a 90-metre set culminated in Warren Thompson scoring under the sticks and Stead converting.

Raiders hit back on the half-hour. Regaining the ball on halfway after Snook bravely collected a kick from close range, Phil Cowburn sneakily slipped the ball back to Mitch Shaw who dived under the sticks. Cowburn converted.

Photo by Darren Harries

Crusaders struck back when Steven Roper couldn’t believe his luck and even hesitated when he saw a gap he could easily run through to score a try. He added the extras himself.

There was controversy with the next score. The referee initially awarded a scrum to Crusaders but after consultation, he gave Crusaders a penalty and Matthew Reid scored from that set.

And it went from bad to ridiculous on the half-time hooter after Sam Baker spilled the ball inside his own goal area allowing Alex Eckley to touch down easily. Roper missed both kicks but Crusaders were 30-6 up.

They added to their lead on 47 minutes in a try they had to work hard for. Raiders were defending well but Joe Ryan finally managed to break through before Lewis Fairhurst converted.

Raiders were unlucky not to a try back on the hour when Baker was pushed into touch when diving for the line. Crusaders went straight back up-field and after winning a penalty, Dante Monte-Samuels crashed over. Fairhurst’s kick just made it through the posts despite the wind taking it wide and Crusaders were 42-6 up.

There were five full Wales internationals in the game, two of them with Crusaders, but it took until the 68th minute before one got on the scoresheet. Rob Massam, the North Wales winger was sent over in the corner. Fairhurst missed the kick.

Then, after regaining the ball from kick-off, one of the West Wales trio scored and it was typically Steve Parry, diving low from dummy half. Cowburn sliced the kick wide.

In the set after that was a rare Crusaders error. Snook did well to beat his marker to score, much to the delight of his mother on the PA system! Cowburn converted.

But it was Crusaders who ended on a high as Massam crossed for two more in the left corner. Shaw did cross for Raiders in the last move of the game but it was chalked off for a forward pass.

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Town too good for Dafen




DAFEN Seconds suffered defeat on Saturday (Aug 17) as they were beaten by Briton Ferry Town.

The game was reduced to 40-overs a side because of earlier rain and when Dafen won the toss they elected to field.

However, Briton Ferry racked up an impressive score of 225-4 in those 40 overs.

Amar Waseem and Neil Baggridge shared 146 runs for the first wicket as both reached their half centuries.

Waseem fell for a score of 68 and Baggridge for 63 as Dafen looked to hit back and keep the runs down.

Adeel Khan made a score of 22 while Aman Tasnem made 25 from 14 balls with a four and two sixes before he was run out.

Photo by Darren Harries

Adrian Mainwaring then finished not out on 27 as Dafen were set 226 to win the game.

Dafen lost Oliver Evans early on to the bowling of Nabel Iqbal and he also claimed the wickets of Harvey Jones (12) and Jonathan Griffiths (14).

He then claimed a fourth with the wicket of Luke Dunning as Dafen’s reply faltered.

Rhys Marchant made a score of 14 before being bowled by Mumtaz Hussain and he also claimed a further three wickets.

Aadil Mukhtar hit three fours and a six in his score of 22 but he was then bowled by Adeel Khan.

Andrew Herbert finished unbeaten on 15 but it wasn’t enough as Dafen were bowled out for 133.

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Llanelli close the gap




LLANELLI closed the gap to second placed Tata Steel on Saturday (Aug 17) as they beat them by eight wickets.

Llanelli elected to field on winning the toss and they were able to bowl Tata out for 117.

Chris Thomas trapped Kelvin Bartle leg before early on and Steven Devonald did the same to Rohan Herbert to leave the visitors on 13-2.

Morgan Jones and Martin Lewis then made a good partnership worth 57 runs.

That was brought to and end though as Lewis was caught by Rhidian Morgan off the bowling of Iwan Rees.

Jones had made a score of 38 but he was then bowled by Jac Rees as Tata slipped to 72-4.

That became 78-5 when Phillip Taylor was trapped leg before by Iwan Rees.

The same bowler then had Joseph Crocket caught by Morgan as wickets continued to fall.

The score soon read 94-7 as David Richards caught and bowled Sean Holley.

Photo by Darren Harries

Nathan Ferrell made a late score of 10 but then saw himself caught by Morgan off the bowling of Richards who then also had Adam Jardine caught by Devonald.

Richards then claimed his fourth as he had Damien Williams stumped by Morgan to finish with figures of 4-13.

That left Llanelli needing 118 for victory and although they lost Ioan Phillips early on in their reply they were never really troubled.

Iwan Rees and Craig Howells shared 87 runs for the second wicket to all but give the home side victory.

Howells hit eight fours and a six as he scored 50 but he was then caught by Morgan Jones off the bowling of Damien Williams.

Rees and Ryan Nicholas then saw their side to victory with Nicholas finishing unbeaten on 19 with two fours and a six from his 14 balls faced.

Rees finished not out on 33 as Llanelli reached their target with plenty of time to spare.

The win moves them to within 14 points of second placed Tata Steel with two games remaining.

The first of those games takes place on Saturday (Aug 24) when Llanelli travel to Bronwydd. They then finish the season at home to third placed Maesteg Celtic.

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