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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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Dafen see off Porthcawl

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DAFEN Seconds earned their sixth win of the season on Saturday (Jul 6) as they beat Porthcawl by 75 runs.

Porthcawl won the toss and elected to field and they were able to bowl Dafen out for 182.

Opener Oliver Evans made a score of 19 and Chris Randell scored 25 as a number of Dafen batsmen made good starts.

Jonathan Griffiths scored 22 and there were also scores of 15 from Tom Lavender and 16 from Luke Dunning.

Matthew Thomas made a late score of 18 while Andrew Randell top scored with 43 runs.

Nicholas Morgan was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets for the loss of 30 runs from his 6.3 overs.

Mark Bevan also bowled well to finish with figures of 3-37.

Photos by Darren Harries

That set Porthcawl 138 to win but they lost a number of batsmen for single figure scores as they struggled to put runs on the board.

Andrew Randell had Nicholas Morgan caught by Jac Morgan and Matthew Thomas had Rhodri Phillips caught by Chris Randell.

Chris Richards made a score of 13 before he was bowled by Rhys Marchant who then also bowled Rob Warren and had David Lewis caught by Chris Randell, both for ducks.

Tim Richards also fell for a duck when he was caught off the bowling of Matthew Thomas.

Mark Lewis had scored 25 but he also fell to the bowling of Marchant.

Steffan Flood also scored 25 before he was bowled by Chris Randell and Joshua Aubrey added 20 late on before he also fell to the bowling of Randell.

That meant that Porthcawl were all out for 107, giving Dafen seconds an excellent win.

On Saturday (Jul 13), Dafen seconds are away to local rivals Llanelli seconds.

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Rees century sees Llanelli to win

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LLANELLI’s Iwan Rees scored a century on Saturday (Jul 6) to help his side to victory over Briton Ferry Steel.

Briton Ferry won the toss and elected to bat but they were restricted to 186-8 in their innings.

Steven Devonald struck early on to remove Evan Hynes but Lloyd Clement and Jamie Griffiths shared 44 runs for the second wicket.

Jac Rees had Griffiths caught by Craig Howells on a score of 24 and soon after Craig Evans was bowled by Aled Gilley for a duck.

Clement had made a score of 41 but when he was bowled by Rees, the Steel found themselves on 81-4.

That soon became 88-5 as Steve Maddock was caught by Marcus Leaf off the bowling of Gilley.

Photo by Darren Harries

Iwan Rees then had Steffan Evans caught by Howells and Rhys Norgrove fell in similar fashion.

Jason Hughes and Thomas Williams shared 56 runs for the eighth wicket as they looked to give their side a total to defend.

On the last ball Williams was caught by Rees off the bowling of Gilley on a score of 24 which left Hughes not out on 67.

Llanelli openers Iwan Rees and Ioan Phillips shared 42 runs for the first wicket before Phillips was caught by Rhys Norgrove off the bowling of Jay Webb.

That was as good as it got for the Steel though as they were unable to claim any further wickets.

Craig Howells hit seven fours as he finished unbeaten on 53 while Rees starred with 14 fours to finish unbeaten on 104.

The win gives Llanelli 19 points and keeps them third in the table. On Saturday (Jul 13), they travel to local rivals Dafen.

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Daly makes special visit to Ashburnham

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TWO time Major Champion John Daly aka the “Wild Thing” paid a visit to Ashburnham Golf Club last weekend as part of the club’s 125th anniversary celebrations.

Daly fresh from a top 5 finish on the USPGA Senior tour entertained the crowds with some extraordinary shot making during an exhibition match involving members and local businesses.

Following golf JD took part in a Q&A and rounded off the night in style by joining in with local band “The Lost Comets”.

Photo by Darren Harries

Ian Thomas, Club Captain was thrilled with the day and said that the occasion was truly memorable and a fantastic way to celebrate the club’s 125th anniversary.

John Daly himself was full of praise for Ashburnham: “I loved the course, the people and the back 9 layout in particular was just awesome.”

Television highlights of the day were aired on S4C’s Heno programme Monday, July 1.

John Daly won the PGA Championship in 1991 and the Open Championship in 1995.

The 53-year-old also has 18 professional wins to his name.

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