Llanelli Town 1
Tredegar Town 0
PRIOR to the weekend fixtures, the Reds` dream scenario would have envisaged a home win against their highly placed visitors nearest rivals Ammanford and Lliswerry also promotion contenders, drawing and, most unlikely of all, Cwmamman United going down at Cwm Welfare.
Their expectations were realised as these results duly emerged – the only successful side in the top three being Cardiff Corinthians with an emphatic 5-1 win over Newport YMCA.
With their lead at the top of the table now extended to eleven points over Ammanford, they will be confident of going on to secure the championship title, although there are still a few tricky obstacles in the way in the shape of away matches at Lliswerry and Tredegar, while the home local derby with Ammanford could also prove crucial.
A scrappy, niggly game did not throw up much in the way of goalmouth action, with neither goalkeeper being seriously tested throughout.
The only direct effort on goal came in the opening couple of minutes when the home side attacked through Luke Jones whose infield pass picked out Robert Thomas, but his strike forced a sprawling save by goalkeeper Kris Morris at the expense of a corner.
As the home side, the Reds were the more dominant, but their opponents were content to sit back and absorb the pressure, resulting in few clear cut chances.
In fact, it was the visitors who went closest to establishing the lead when Reds` keeper, Craig Richards, made a hash of an attempted clearance, allowing Tomos Lynch to win possession before directing an effort across the face of goal before it was scrambled clear.
When the home side countered, a deep cross by Mark Napieralla found Steve Berry positioned on the edge of the area, and his first time volley flashed across the net and just wide of the far post.
A Richard Lewis corner found Luke Jones, but a defensive block denied him, but the best opportunity for the Reds to open their account came when some great wide play down the right by Bruno Forkuoh found Thomas in space, but he directed his finish wide from 20 yards.
On the stroke of half-time, Lynch did find the home net only for the effort to be ruled out for offside, but within a minute of the restart the Reds took the lead through Forkuoh with an exquisite backheel past Morris following some excellent build-up play from Anthony Owens.
Buoyed by this success, they came agonisingly close to extending the advantage with a Lewis free kick being met with a Lee Bevan header at the far post which rebounded off the underside of the crossbar before being cleared.
When the visitors were awarded a set piece, it was quickly taken by Morris who drove it down the middle where it deflected off Jamie Evans into the path of Lynch, but he took too long over his intended finish, and Evans was able to affect a clearance.
Most of the chances coming the way of Tredegar stemmed from ineptitude by their opponents, typified when a poor back pass by Napieralla was seized upon by Lynch, forcing Richards out of his goal to close down the threat.
A speculative attempt from Christopher Quinlan forced Richards to turn it over, while at the other end, persistence by Luke Jones forced Morris into a hurried clearance which only found Forkuoh, and he despatched a strike on target only for Gareth Stevens to intervene and prevent a certain goal.
Berry sent a first time attempt narrowly wide of the visitors` goal, but in stoppage time, they could well have levelled matters when another error, this time by Bevan, afforded Ian Pettit the chance, but again the finish was undecisive and Richards was able to gather safely.
A less than convincing win for the home side, but who nevertheless will be satisfied with the three points, and now face a potential tricky away game at Lliswerry on Saturday (Mar 7), kick off 2.30 p.m., before the visit of Ammanford to Stebonheath on Wednesday, 11th March, with a 7.45 p.m. kick off.
Foel’s Championship dream halted
FELINFOEL’s hopes of promotion to the WRU Championship were brought to an end on Sunday (May 12) as they were beaten in the play-offs by Ystalyfera.
Ystalyfera had won the first leg 34-28 on their home soil but Felinfoel were still very much in the tie and they had the backing of an 800-strong home crowd in the reverse fixture. Fans packed in to the ground and they witnessed an epic encounter.
Felinfoel held the lead at one time but their opponents hit back to seal a 20-30 win to win overall by 64 points to 48.
Felinfoel played some attractive rugby during the first half with wingers Eray Wilson and Elliot Dawe scoring tries wide out one of which was converted by Aled Roberts. Ystalyfera scored a penalty and a converted try making the half time score 12 points to 10.
The second half opened brightly for Felinfoel with Roberts kicking a penalty and Wilson scoring a further try. With the score at 20 points to 10, matters were looking favourable for the home team.
It was at this stage that the Ystalyfera forwards took complete control of the match denying Felinfoel of any possession for the final 20mins of the match. With a strong scrummage and dynamic driving maul they continued to exert pressure onto the home team.
Ystalyfera were rewarded with a further two converted tries, penalty goal and drop goal and deserved their victory 20 points to 30, and promotion to the championship.
Both teams are to be congratulated in the way in which the game was played. Both sides gave their all and provided an entertaining encounter.
Both sets of supporters gave loud vocal support to each team and were sporting throughout the match.
At the end of the match Felinfoel coach Mike King who is leaving after two years in charge was given a rousing send off by players and supporters alike.
After the game Felinfoel took to twitter saying: “After another successful season, it’s time to say thank you. Thank you to all sponsors for supporting the club throughout the season once again. Without you we would not exist. Thank you to all the supporters who have been with us through thick and thin.
“Lastly, thank you to head coach Mike King who will be leaving us. He has set the foundations of the club and has turned this club around for the better. All at Felinfoel RFC can’t thank you enough. We wish you all the best in the future.”
Morgan marches seconds home
DAFEN Seconds earned the bragging rights over Llanelli Seconds on Saturday (May 11) as they cruised to an eight wicket win.
Dafen won the toss but elected to field and that looked to be a good decision as they bowled their opponents out for just 118 inside 22 overs.
Aadil Mukhtar finished with excellent figures of 5-21 while Oliver Evans supported well taking four wickets for the loss of 40 runs.
Needing just thirty overs of their reply, Dafen Seconds eased to victory as Jac Morgan finished not out on 64 to see his side over the line.
The win for Dafen keeps them joint top of the table with Briton Ferry Town after two games while Llanelli sit bottom of Division 3 and are still searching for their first win.
On Saturday (May 18), Dafen Seconds are at home against Dyffryn while Llanelli Seconds are away to Neath thirds.
Jones duo sink Bronwydd
LLANGENNECH earned their first win of the season on Saturday (May 11) as they beat Bronwydd by 14 runs in a low scoring game.
Llangennech won the toss and elected to bat but they lost Chris Hickey early on when he was caught by Jacob Jenkinson off the bowling of Colin Tucker.
Matthew Jones scored 11 before he was caught and bowled by Tucker before David Williams was caught by Tom Gleeson off the bowling of Matthew Vaughan for a score of 14.
James Taube made the same score but was then caught by Phillip Howell off the bowling of Dafydd Morgan. Morgan also bowled Martin Gregory to leave Llangennech on 83-5.
Opener Scott Lloyd’s score of 30 had come off 127 balls and he was eventually caught by Vaughan off the bowling of Callum Collins-Davies.
Richard Clement was the third Llangennech batsman to make a score of 14 before getting out as he was caught by Jenkinson off the bowling of Gleeson.
Michael Jones was then run out before Gleeson claimed his second wicket as he had Simon Clement caught by Oliver Furneaux.
Vaughan then wrapped up the innings as he had Bav Patel caught by James Cale to leave Llangennech all out on 124. Photo by Darren Harries
Bronwydd’s opening pair of James Cale and Philip Howell shared 15 runs but Howell was out for a score of 8 to the bowling of Michael Jones.
Oliver Furneaux was next to fall when he was trapped leg before by Matthew Jones on a score of 11.
Chris Hickey then gave Owain Phillips his first wicket as he caught Jacob Jenkinson and the bowler then claimed his second as he had Cale caught by David Williams on a score of 17.
That left Bronwydd on 44-4 but Iwan Davies and Dafydd Morgan shared 40 runs for the fifth wicket to keep their side in the game.
Davies hit three fours and a six in his knock of 33 but he was then trapped leg before by Michael Jones. He then also bowled Callum Collins-Davies for a duck to reduce Bronwydd to 84-6.
Matthew Jones then had Dafydd Morgan caught on a score of 8 before then trapping Tom Gleeson leg before.
Hickey then took two more catches of Matthew Vaughan and Colin Tucker to give Matthew Jones his five-wicket haul and Bronwydd were all out for 110.
Gareth John had finished not out on 18 but it wasn’t enough for victory for the visitors.
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