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Athletes excel in tough conditions

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Club runners: Iestyn Williams, Ellie Kiff, Delyth Brown (Team Manager & Coach) and Thomas Jones

FEATURING clubs runners from Carmarthen, a squad of 8 were selected to represent the Welsh team at the 12th WMRA International Youth Cup Mountain Running at Gagliano del Capo Puglia, Italy on Saturday, June 24.

With temperatures soaring towards 100 degrees Fahrenheit, the event was a good opportunity for 16-17 year-old athletes to compete on an international stage against athletes of a similar age and perhaps aim towards representing Great Britain in the future.

The girls race consisted of an up and down two lap course of 3850m while the boys over 5300m went round a total of three times. The heat certainly affected the athletes, while some coped better than others in the relentless heat and paced their race according to the conditions out in Italy.

The first race saw the girls compete on a 3850m/+250m/- 130m course which included narrow up and down technical, rocks sections.

The Welsh girls, in attempting to pace the race, found themselves, as did many others, held up at a bottleneck near the start as everyone had to negotiate a quite sharp right turn onto a narrow, single file, rocky uphill section which was less than 300 metres from the start.

Ellie Kiff along with her team-mates stuck together during the race to finish in 44th in a time of 24 minutes 36 seconds.

The boys race, described as over 30 degrees, saw talented Thomas Jones well placed with 500 metres to go but, the heat took its toll as Jones was assisted to the finish line. Iestyn Williams claimed the first Welsh finisher in 29th position with a time of 27 minutes followed by the remainder of the team.

In the team competition, Wales placed 10th and 11th respectively with up to 15 countries represented. Both races and team competitions were won by Italian athletes who made the most of the home ground advantage.

Team Managers Arwel Lewis and Delyth Brown commented that the athletes had learned a lot from the experience and acquitted themselves very well in difficult conditions.

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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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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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