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Sport

Town slip up in title bid

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LLISWERRY 3

LLANELLI TOWN 1

A WEEK can be a long time in football, Llanelli Town will be the first team to tell you this. Rewind seven days to an important home win against Tredegar and all was looking rosy. Especially as all their promotion rivals were dropping points.

Fast forward seven days and following a poor display at Spytty Park on March 7, it`s squeaky bum time again. Town’s third away defeat of the season was compounded by second placed Ammanford thumping Cardiff Grange Harlequins 5-1 on their home patch and Cardiff Corinthians inflicting a similar scoreline at Treharris Athletic Western.

With Ammanford also racking up a 3-1 win at today’s opponents Lliswerry in midweek, the gap between them and the Reds has now been reduced to five points and Ammanford still have three games in hand. The meeting between the sides at Stebonheath on Wednesday is now a massive fixture for both teams, and could well have a crucial bearing on the ultimate destination of the league title.

The Lizards were reduced to eight players during their clash with Ammanford following three red cards, and the Reds might have taken heart from this, but instead failed to display any flair or imagination in their overall play and can have few complaints at the final outcome. They barely tested Ross Davies in the home goal, their only success stemming from the penalty spot in the second half.

By that stage they were already three down, with the first home goal arriving after just 8 minutes when a far post cross by Dan Edwards found an unmarked Joe Gibson who directed his header past keeper Craig Richards.

Seven minutes later the lead was doubled. A cross-field ball which was not dealt with by the visitors defence found its way into the path of Edwards, and he unleashed a 30 yard rocket into the bottom corner.

Little had been seen of the Reds as an attacking force, their nearest effort stemming from captain and central defender, Lee Bevan, whose shot from distance rebounded off the crossbar.

Luke Jones saw an effort deflect off a home defender for a corner when Mark Napieralla found him in the box, before Lliswerry stretched the lead further six minutes from the break when Joe Howells did well to keep the ball alive before crossing into the middle, where some more slack marking allowed Safian Skupinski a free header beyond Richards.

In an attempt to inject some urgency into their play, the visitors introduced Rhys Powell and Bartome Bauza in place of Napieralla and Ross Jones at the start of the second half, and there were signs of improvement with Robert Thomas just failing to connect with an Anthony Owens delivery across the goalmouth.

When the Lizards countered, Kazeem Kareen might have done better when put clear by Howells but directed his finish off target.

The Reds did manage to reduce the deficit on 62 minutes through the award of a penalty when Owens was pulled back in the area, and it was duly converted by Richard Lewis.

At the other end, Howells somehow contrived to strike the underside of the bar when it seemed easier to score, while Richards did well to push clear a strike on goal by Skupinski.

This was about the end of any further meaningful action by either side, but the Reds well be bitterly disappointed with this lacklustre performance, and will certainly have to pull out all the stops for the crucial visit of Ammanford on Wednesday evening, kick off 7.45 p.m.

Next Saturday, Treowen Stars are their opponents at Stebonheath with a 2.30 p.m. kick off.

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Sport

Foel’s Championship dream halted

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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.

Photos by Darren Harries

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.”

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Sport

Morgan marches seconds home

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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.

Photo by Darren Harries

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.

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Sport

Jones duo sink Bronwydd

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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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