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Town see off 9-man service

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Newport Civil Service 1
Llanelli Town 4

WITH the continued absence of Bruno Forkuoh with an abdominal strain, the Reds are finding it increasingly difficult to break down opponents from the leagues lower reaches. Whilst possessing plenty of talent in their ranks, the added skills and guile of Forkuoh would’ve made the last few weeks decidedly easier. As it was, the laboured win against Treowen was compounded by a less than convincing display against a home side who now find themselves welded to the foot of the table, following the withdrawal of Cardiff Grange Harlequins from the league.

The first half in particular was not great for the Reds, who barely tested goalkeeper Chris Jones, while their opponents took the lead with twentyone minutes on the clock, when some sloppy defending let in Tom Berry for a run on goal before finishing past Craig Richards. The visitors could have found themselves chasing the game even further with their opponents failing to capitalise on some half-chances, mostly from set-pieces.

Town’s limited attacking options ended with one attempt by Ross Jones, who shot off target following a build up involving Richard Lewis, Luke Jones and Anton Owens. However, after the shock of conceding the opening goal, they were soon back on level terms, although it did have an element of good fortune with a Steve Berry free kick driven into the area flicking off the head of a defender and past a helpless Jones. The bobbly playing surface was not conducive to a passing game, and route one was the preferred method of choice, but the home side seemed the most likely to score, and Berry might have done better when challenging Richards to a driven ball into the goalmouth by Jac Hardman, failing to make a clean contact with the keeper able to block and gather.

The games turning point came in first half stoppage time as Civil Service were reduced to ten men as David Mellon picked up his second caution from referee Gary Mabley. When the second period got underway, the Reds had reorganised the side with Steve Stone replacing Luke Jones and Richard Thomas now occupying a wide position on the right and Owens pushed up front. These changes proved to be effective, with Thomas putting them ahead within two minutes when his cross-come-shot to the far post deceived Jones and ended up in the net after being found by Mark Napieralla.

He was then involved in turning provider with a cross into the middle to the head of Owens which was just over the bar, while Thomas himself shot narrowly wide after making space on the edge of the box. With the game now firmly in their control, the visitors were given another opportunity of extending the lead with the award of a penalty when Owens was clattered by a combination of Jones and Gareth Wynsome when he pursued a ball into the area, with the latter becoming the second home player to be dismissed on 56 minutes. Lewis took the kick only for Jones to keep it out, but the rebound fell kindly to Thomas who made no mistake for his brace. Now comfortably ahead, the visitors could well have added to their tally on a number of occasions, with Stone seeing his header from a Thomas delivery come back off the post, but he got his reward in the 65th minute, forcing the ball home from close in after Napieralla had his initial attempt blocked. The Reds made a couple of changes before the close, with Rhys Powell and Kellan Jenkins replacing Lewis and Owens respectively, and they did create some further opportunities but could not cash in on them, but they will be happy with the result if not with their overall display. Next Saturday, Pontypridd Town are the visitors to Stebonheath with a 2.30 p.m. kick off, while on Wednesday, 1st April, they will host today`s opponents, Newport Civil Service, kick off 7.45 p.m.

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Lighthouse to Lifeboat station swim a huge success

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A LLANELLI man has completed a grueling swim across the Loughor estuary from Whiteford Lighthouse to Burry Port Harbour to raise funds for the Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI).

Matthew Jenkins completed the swim on Sunday, July 26.

Speaking on the challenge he set himself, Matthew said he set his sights on the swim to give him something positive to focus on during these unprecedented times and raise vital funds for Burry Port RNLI.

The Swim was a family effort with Matthew’s two daughters also pitching in to sell RNLI cupcakes to supporters and bystanders near the lifeboat house.

The conditions were far from ideal on the day with a 7.2 metre tide accompanied by whitecaps waves and a south to southwesterly wind behind Matthew of approximately 20 mph.

Harsh conditions on the day did not dampen spirits

However there was plenty of support from safety teams in the area to step in if needed with jet skis, kayaks and boats all keeping within safe distance.

Matthew set off on his challenge at approximately 10.45 and shortly afterwards supporters could see he was already past the halfway point.

The support shown from the beach was huge and it was obvious to all that Matthew was able to hear the chants of support and praise from those at the beach.

On completion of the challenge Matthew raised his hands as a thank you gesture for all of his support throughout the journey.

This small event has brought back a familiar feeling without the town of pre-pandemic days where events like these would be hugely supported by the community.

Community support from an array of ages where on hand to applaud the worthy challenge

It was clear to see the support for both Matthew and Burry Port RNLI throughout the day.

A grand total of £822.25 was raised through Matthew’s Just Giving page.

Matthew has praised all of those who have supported him through the journey both in the water and on land and said he feels very ‘thankful’ for the support and the opportunity to complete the challenge.

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Swans grab last gasp play-off spot

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WAYNE ROUTLEDGE’s last-gasp header saw Swansea City secure a play-off spot with a handsome away victory over 10-man Reading on a dramatic Wednesday night (July 22).

Steve Cooper’s side knew they had to win at the Madejski Stadium to have any hope of a top-six finish, and Rhian Brewster’s 10th goal of the season gave them an ideal start.

The sending off of Yakou Meite then gave the Swans a man advantage, but the Royals equalised before the half through a George Puscas penalty.

The Swans restored their lead through a classy finish from substitute Routledge, before Liam Cullen showed great composure to steer in his first goal for the club.

And when Routledge popped up at the death to complete his brace it put the Swans into the top six as Forest suffered a 4-1 defeat at home to Stoke, meaning Swansea got into the play-offs on goal difference.

The Swans started on the front foot, with centurion Connor Roberts having particular joy down the right-hand flank.

Brewster then nearly threaded Conor Gallagher in on goal after fine work by Andre Ayew, before Roberts hit a strike into the ground and over the bar after Jake Bidwell had made the overlap on the opposite flank.

The hosts responded by having a good spell of possession, probing and asking a few questions of their own.

But the visitors hit the lead in the 16th minute through Brewster. The striker picked the ball up some 30 yards out and got the ball out of his feet before smashing a long-range drive that completely deceived Rafael in the Reading goal.

John Swift curled a free-kick over at the other end, while more good work by Roberts could not quite end with Bidwell getting on the end of a deep cross before Rafael made a hash of dealing with a Gallagher cross.

Swift headed straight at Erwin Mulder from a good counter on the half-hour mark, with Ayew quickly advancing up the field to work Rafael again.

Opportunities were coming at both ends, with Mulder called into action again as Meite took aim from the left side of the area.
Swansea were riding their luck a little and had a let-off when a sliced clearance landed on top of the bar.

Matt Grimes had a free-kick pushed away by Rafael before the home side were reduced to 10 men after Meite had pushed Mike van der Hoorn in the face after a tussle for the ball.

But the hosts made light of the numerical disadvantage by levelling after Bidwell was adjudged to have fouled Andy Rinomhota, with Puscas beating Mulder – who got a hand to the strike – from the spot.

However, the Swans should have led at the break. Ben Cabango’s shot was blocked and fell to Jay Fulton, but the Scot pulled his shot wide of the target.

Rafael pushed away an Ayew drive right on half-time, with Swansea frustrated that referee Stephen Martin did not award them a penalty of their own as Fulton went down under a challenge from Omar Richards.

With Cardiff winning and Nottingham Forest losing, Cooper knew goals were needed and he made two changes at the break.

Yan Dhanda came on for Fulton, while Routledge replaced van der Hoorn, and they were immediately on the front foot.

With Swansea committing so many players forward, Reading looked to sit deep and play on the break and they proved resolute as the visitors battled to find a way through.

Grimes curled a free-kick wide of the target and Gallagher also threatened from distance, but the hour mark came and went without any clear-cut chances to show for their dominance of possession and territory.

However, when they did craft a sight of goal they took the chance clinically. Grimes produced a lovely ball, and Routledge controlled superbly to loft the ball over Rafael and into the net.

Unfortunately for the Swans, that goal went in moments after Forest had equalised against Stoke, which appeared to put a sizeable dent in their playoff aspirations.

Nevertheless, Cooper’s side continued to search for more goals in the hope events in the East Midlands would turn back in their favour.

They so nearly made it 3-1 with 17 minutes to play as lovely link play from Rutledge and Bidwell ended with Ayew steering just wide.

The situation was changing all the time, and Stoke retook the lead at Forest to leave the door ajar for the Swans.

And, when Stoke scored a third at the City Ground and Cullen coolly fired home his first senior goal for the club with six minutes remaining, they suddenly only needed a goal to finish in the play-off places.

Grimes had a deflected shot tipped over but the Swans then got the goal they needed in stoppage time as Routledge popped up to nod in at the far post, with Stoke’s fourth goal putting the matter beyond doubt a few moments later to spark delighted celebrations among Cooper, his players and his staff.

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Glamorgan launch new kit

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GLAMORGAN Cricket has unveiled its new Vitality Blast playing kit for the 2020 season.

Designed by the Club’s official kit supplier, Masuri, alongside Glamorgan’s management, players and coaches, the brand-new Vitality Blast strip contains a subtle Welsh twist.

Fitting Glamorgan’s traditional colour schemes, the top is dark navy with a tonal dragon across the front – a nod to the old Glamorgan nickname and the Welsh identity – while a sharp yellow trim on the neck and sleeves frames the top.

The famous ‘Daff’ sits on the heart of the shirt, with MiPost’s strong Welsh brand centre-stage. Appearing on the collars are the logos of ‘Official Players Car Partner’, Mon Motors and Welsh company, Philtronics Solutions, with Discover Leeks on the right sleeve and SA Group on the back.

The famous Aston Martin logo features on both side of the Glamorgan T20 cap, as they continue their ongoing support of the club.

Head of Commercial, Huw Warren, said: “We’ve enjoyed working with Masuri throughout the design process and together developed an exciting new kit we’re sure our supporters will love with its strong connections with Wales.

“Our Masuri kits have always been hugely successful with players and fans alike and we look forward to continuing our commercial partnership with them.

“We can’t wait to see our players wearing the new kit when the Blast gets underway later this summer.”

Masuri CEO, Sam Miller, said: ‘’Once again it has been a pleasure working with the team at Glamorgan to bring this year’s kit to life, and we are looking forward to seeing it in use during the much anticipated Vitality Blast this year.’’

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