Aberaeron • 1
Llanelli Town • 6
ANY potential banana skin for the visitors in their JD Welsh Cup first round tie at Aberaeron on Saturday (Oct 7) was safely negotiated by half time as they were by then four goals to the good, courtesy of an early Ross Jones header and the almost inevitable hat-trick by Lee Trundle.
The only downside for the Reds was the second half dismissal of Luke Jones for a needless push on goalkeeper Barry Edwards which sent him to the ground, and he now faces a probable three match ban.
Manager Andy Hill made a number of changes to the starting line-up with the two Joneses, Luke and Ross and Luke Morgan included, while Anthony Finselbach, Lee Bevan, Chris Thomas and Chris Jones were on the bench, while absentees due to injury and unavailability were Jordan Follows, James Loveridge, Richard Lewis and Sam Wade.
After some initial sparring between the sides, the scoring was opened when Liam Samuel did well to win the ball wide on the left before delivering a cross into the middle for Ross Jones to head past Edwards in the 6th minute.
Robert Thomas was shown an early yellow card by referee Aled Jones, who would turn out to be selective throughout the contest with his cautions, allowing several meaty challenges on both sides to go unpunished.
A further chance of increasing the lead then fell to Jordan Davies when he worked his way into a promising position, but for some reason he elected to play in Luke Jones instead of shooting, and the danger was eventually cleared.
Morgan was the next Reds` player to go into the referee`s book, before the home side had a great chance of levelling matters when the ball was lost in midfield and played through for Matthew Davies in space, but he delayed his effort with only Craig Morris to beat, allowing Joe Clarke time to bring off a saving tackle and save the day.
Aberaeron were made to pay for this when the Reds struck again on 25 minutes with Davies involved in the move before finding Trundle on the right, and he cut inside before unleashing a ferocious finish which gave Edwards no chance of saving.
Samuel directed a shot on the turn just wide, before the lead was increased further in the 37th minute when some more Trundle trickery in the box bamboozled the home defence, leading to a lunge by Sion Clarke which resulted in the award of a penalty.
Trundle himself stepped up to put away the kick, and within a minute completed his treble by winning an aerial duel on the edge of the area before gaining possession and directing his finish past the goalkeeper into the vacant net.
He then sent another attempt inches off target just before the interval which arrived with the visitors well in control, and it was more of the same after the restart, with Samuel seeing his goalbound shot cleared off the line.
Following this, Luke Jones received his marching orders after 52 minutes, while Finselbach was introduced in place of Samuel at the same time.
A second penalty was then awarded to the Reds when Trundle was again floored in the box, this time by Elwyn Edwards, and he fired home to notch up his fourth and fifth for the team in the 58th minute.
Chris Jones came on as a replacement for namesake, Ross, and he was the benefactor when the visitors racked up goal number six eight minutes from time, combining with Trundle before firing past Edwards.
A final change by the Reds led to Lee Bevan replacing Davies, but the home side had the final say with the award of a third penalty of the contest after 88 minutes following some pushing in the area, and this time Davies did find the net, although Morris got his hands to the kick but just could not keep it out.
Comfortable though to the second round, the Reds will now be hoping for a favourable draw, preferably at home, in order to progress in the competition.
On Friday evening (Oct 13), the Reds return to league action with a short journey to meet Afan Lido at the Marston Stadium, kick off 7.30pm.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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