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LLANELLI LEAVE IT LATE TO WIN THE TITLE

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Town Celebrate: Cup win. (Pic. Keith Griffiths).

Town Celebrate: Cup win. (Pic. Keith Griffiths).

Llanelli Town 1 Bettws 0

LLANELLI TOWN clinched the the Welsh League Division Three title to take their first step on the road back to the top, doing so just two years after their near liquidation. It is a fine achievement from Bob Jeffrey and his side who have produced consistent displays over a long campaign and can now look forward to life in Division Two.

To say the Reds made heavy weather of achieving the win in their final home league game of the season which would guarantee the third division championship would be putting it mildly.

Against opponents who displayed little ambition in attempting to thwart the title aspirations of the home side, they huffed and puffed but failed to capitalise on numerous chances to seize the initiative, including a penalty kick, leaving it until four minutes from the final whistle before finally clinching victory and the silverware.

A turgid first half did little to suggest that either team was able to create any meaningful scoring opportunities, the nearest home chance arising from a Richard Lewis corner across the face of the Bettws goal which failed to bring any result.

Another chance fell to Luke Jones when Ross Jones put him clear, but his final touch was heavy and goalkeeper Jonathan Davies was able to effect a block.

Robert Thomas drove a ball into the visitors’ box, but again nobody was on hand to take advantage, and just before the break, Anthony Owens found Steve Berry with a pass, but again the keeper was well positioned to keep out his strike.

The second half had to be an improvement on the first, and marginally, it was, with the Reds in the ascendancy while their visitors struggled to maintain the status quo.

Numerous chances went begging as the home side pushed forward, with Ross Jones finding Lewis whose driven low delivery into the goalmouth evaded three players from point blank range, and when Mark Napieralla found the head of Luke Jones, Davies got down to clutch his header on the line.

Lee Bevan headed a ball into the path of Luke Jones, but his shot on the turn was off target, before he was involved in a challenge in the box with two Bettws defenders which led to him going down and the award of a penalty by referee Colin Discombe on 59 minutes.

Lewis stepped up to take it, but smashed his kick against the underside of the crossbar, and a golden opportunity was squandered.

Thomas was replaced by Bruno Forkuoh a couple of minutes later, and he was involved in the action almost immediately, meeting a Lewis delivery at the far post only to lift it over the top.

With the contest entering its closing stages, the Reds were becoming increasingly desperate in their efforts to achieve a breakthrough, with Matthew Hughes being introduced in place of Owens, and he proved to be their matchwinner, heading home from close range following a Lewis corner which was helped on in the 86th minute, to finally seal the win and ultimately clinch the title .

A thoroughly deserved success for the Reds who have fought back from virtual extinction two years ago to progress to the next stage of their journey, and ultimately back to the Welsh Premier League, and for a club with a long and rich history, this is testament to what can be achieved with ambition and determination.

The Reds make the return journey to Bettws next Wednesday to complete their league programme, kick off 6.15 p.m.

LLANELLI TOWN; Richards; Napieralla; Lewis; Berry; Evans; Bevan ©; Thomas (Forkuoh, 61); R.Jones; L. Jones; Stone (John, 54); Owens (Hughes, 77); Subs not used; Powell; Jenkins.

BETTWS; Davies; Hale (Jones, 65); Dyke; Williams; Evans; Jeffries; Thomas ©; Dunster (Parish, 81); Day (Perrham, 77); Lock; Walters; Subs not used; Dar ks.

ATTENDANCE; 201.

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Community

Scarlets’ grassroots clubs show community spirit in delivering vital food packages

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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.

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Sport

Wales v Scotland postponed

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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.”

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Sport

Domestic football at all levels in Wales suspended

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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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