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.
Scarlets’ grassroots clubs show community spirit in delivering vital food packages
Scarlets community clubs have been working together to help deliver vital food packages across the region.
Volunteers from grassroots clubs and WRU girls hubs across Ceredigion, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire have been helping take the food packages to vulnerable members of society who are self-isolating during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The clubs have teamed up with the Scarlets Community Foundation — the charity arm of the Scarlets — and Carmarthen-based food wholesaler Castell Howell, while Scarlets players Osian Knott, Kieran Hardy, Ryan Conbeer and Jac Morgan have also lent their hand to the operation.
More than 300 packages were due to be delivered on Monday and Tuesday (April 6 & April 7), with the initiative highlighting that even without any action on the field, rugby clubs remain at the heart of their community.
Scarlets Community Foundation manager Caroline Newman said: “We have been overwhelmed with the support that we have received from local clubs, the number of people prepared to volunteer to help the most vulnerable in our communities has been touching.
“People’s reasons for requesting packs have often been heart-wrenching and it really has made us appreciate what we have.
“The foundation has worked closely with Castell Howell to make sure the packages are ready to go to those whose need is greatest, managing to turn things around pretty quickly and I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone involved in making this happen, our funder, Castell Howell, all the clubs, our helpline volunteer and the foundation members.
“Great teamwork which has made me proud to be part of the fantastic community that rugby creates.”
Here are the rugby clubs and WRU girls rugby hubs taking part in the initiative
Aberaeron, Aberystwyth, Amman Utd, Ammanford, Burry Port, Betws, Bynea, Cardigan, Cefneithin, Felinfoel, Fishguard & Goodwick, Furnace Utd, Haverfordwest, Kidwelly, Llandeilo, Llandovery, Llandybie, Llanelli Wanderers, Llangennech, Llangwm, Merched Mynydd Mawr, Milford Haven, Narberth, New Dock Stars, Newcastle Emlyn, Neyland, Penybanc, Pontyates, St Clears, Stradey Sospans, Tenby Utd, Tumble, Tycroes, Whitland, Yr Hendy.
Wales v Scotland postponed
WALES’ Six Nations match at home to Scotland on Saturday has been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The two other Six Nation fixtures had already been postponed and no date has been confirmed to complete the 2020 Championship.
The Welsh Rugby Union had insisted earlier on Friday the game would “go ahead as planned”.
A WRU statement read: “The Welsh Rugby Union has maintained an open dialogue with, and continued to seek advice and direction from, the National Assembly for Wales and other stakeholders, including the Six Nations, on this fast-moving issue.
“Whilst medical advice remains consistent, we have decided that it is in the best interests of supporters, players and staff to fall in line with recent measures taken across the UK and global sports industries.
“The WRU would like to thank all parties for their counsel on the subject and will make further announcements with respect to rescheduling the fixture in the coming days.
“Every effort has been made to stage this game and we appreciate that individuals will have been inconvenienced. Given the fluid and unprecedented nature of this issue a postponement became the only viable option.”
Domestic football at all levels in Wales suspended
THE FOOTBALL Association of Wales has today (13 March) taken the decision to suspend domestic football at all levels in Wales with immediate effect until April 4 due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The intention at this time will be to resume the football schedule depending on the medical advice and conditions from the relevant authorities at that time.
The FAW is fully aware of the impact this will have on the domestic game but the health and safety of all fans, players, volunteers and stakeholders are of paramount importance.
The FAW will continue to monitor this situation on a day-by-day basis and will continue to provide updates when appropriate.
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