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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.


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Skilton’s half century beats Felinfoel



A HALF century from Llandarcy’s Paul Skilton helped his side to victory over Felinfoel Seconds on Saturday (May 18).

Llandarcy invited Felinfoel to bat first after winning the toss and that proved to be a good decision as they soon had them in trouble on 41-5.

Opener Nicholas Jones made 18 for Felinfoel but he was bowled by Steven Moul.

Meirion Rees and Josh Powell both fell cheaply to the bowling of Chris Harland as did Ben Williams and Shaun Caton.

Jamie Cranham and Adam Edwards then offered some resistance to the Llandarcy bowlers with a stand of 48 for the sixth wicket.

Cranham hit six fours as he scored 32 but he was then caught off the bowling of Robert Jones.

Edwards and Ian Meredith then shared 52 runs for the seventh wicket as they looked to give their side something to defend.

Meredith made 21 with five fours but was then also out to the bowling of Jones. He then also took the wicket of Steve Johns for a duck.

That left Edwards not out on 35 (six fours) as he took Felinfoel to their total of 153-8.

Photo by Darren Harries

Steve Johns then struck twice as Llandarcy began their reply as he had Ian Davies caught by Jamie Cranham and Steven Moul caught by Josh Powell.

That left them on 12-2 but opener Chris Pickford was joined by Paul Skilton and the pair shared 65 runs for the third wicket.

Pickford hit seven fours in his knock of 35 but he was then bowled by Nicholas Jones. Josh Powell then bowled Ben Owen for a duck to reduce Llandarcy to 78-4.

Another good stand between Skilton and Paul Maunder followed as they all but secured victory. Maunder made 25 before he was caught by Cranham off the bowling of Jones.

Skilton and Anthony Fletcher went on to see Llandarcy to their target with plenty of time to spare.

Fletcher was not out on 11 while Skilton had hit ten fours and a six to finish not out on 63.

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Dafen edged out by Dyffryn



DAFEN Seconds’ were denied victory on Saturday (May 18) as Dyffryn edged to a 1-wicket win after their target was revised under the Duckworth Lewis method.

Dafen had made an excellent total of 263-6 in their innings but after a break for rain, Dyffryn were given a revised target of 185 from 35 overs.

Jac Morgan scored 19 early on for Dafen but was then out to the bowling of Chris Davies. Scott Phillips made 25 with three fours and a six before he was also out to Davies.

Chris Randell also batted well for his score of 31 but he was then bowled by Kyle Green.

Green also bowled George Lavender leaving Dafen on 185-5 but opener Oliver Evans and Andrew Randell smashed their side past 250 runs.

Evans hit eight fours and two sixes as he scored 80 before he was run out.

Photo by Darren Harries

Randell smashed six fours and three sixes as he finished not out on 51 to help set Dyffryn a challenging target.

However, rain meant that Dyffryn would need a revised target of 185 to win.

Andrew Herbert took two wickets early on for Dafen to leave them on 21-2 but scores of 31 from Alun Evans, 20 from Jon Lewis and 43 from Rhodri Morgan kept Dyffryn on target.

All three fell to the bowling of Rhys Marchant and after James McKenna was bowled by Scott Phillips, Dyffryn were 128-6.

Darren Wood made 17 before he was out to the bowling of Cieran Latham and he also had Kyle Green caught by Chris Randell.

Lewis Day had made 21 for the visitors but when he was out to the bowling of Gleb Roberts it looked as if Dafen would take the win.

However, Grant Pearce and Chris Davies had other ideas as they steered Dyffryn over the line with four balls to spare.

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Llanelli too good for Llandysul



LLANELLI put in a good all-round team performance as they batted well to make a good score before bowling Llandysul out to earn a 52-run win.

Llandysul won the toss and elected to field but they could only watch as the home side racked up nearly 300 runs.

Iwan Rees and Ioan Phillips got Llanelli off to an excellent start as they shared 91 runs for the first wicket.

Rees hit five fours in a score of 41 but he was then stumped by Andrew Barrett off the bowling of Joseph Swift.

Phillips and Ryan Nicholas then shared a stand of 60 for the second wicket as they continued to put runs on the board.

Nicholas made 26 but was then caught by Luke Swift off the bowling of Steffan Jones.

Photo by Darren Harries

More good batting followed as Phillips and Rhidian Morgan shared 59 runs for the third wicket.

Morgan smashed five fours and two sixes as his score of 40 came from 28 balls but he then found the hands of Llewelyn Hughes, giving Ashleigh Cox his first wicket.

Phillips had hit 11 fours in his knock of 96 but was unlucky to miss out on a century as he was caught by Ben Edkins off the bowling of Cox.

Marcus Leaf fell cheaply to the bowling of Luke Swift and he later had Steven Devonald caught by Cox.

Devonald had hit five fours in a score of 38 from 25 balls as Llanelli went on to set Llandysul 280 to win.

Llandysul were keen to make a good start in their reply and although they lost Bleddyn Morgan early on when he was caught by Ryan Nicholas off the bowling of Chris Thomas, a stand of 50 for the second wicket between Meurig Jones and Ashleigh Cox gave them a good platform. Jones made 26 before he was bowled by David Richards.

Cox had reached his half century but then saw Ben Edkins bowled by Steven Devonald on a score of 17.

Richards then had Llewelyn Hughes caught by Chris Thomas for a duck as Llandysul slipped to 115-4.

Cox was closing in on his century but was also losing partners as Carwyn Evans made 15 before he was trapped leg before by Iwan Rees.

Photo by Darren Harries

Cox reached his century with nine fours and a six but was then bowled by Thomas on a score of 104.

That left Llandysul on 190-6 but when Steffan Jones departed having scored 28, trapped leg before by Thomas, their innings began to fall apart.

Devonald took the wicket of Luke Swift and then also ran out Joe Swift before Jac Rees wrapped up the innings with the wicket of Arfon Jones.

The win gives Llanelli 20 points and they remain top of Division 1.

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