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Town soundly beaten by rampant Merthyr

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Sacha Walters: added urgency in the second half

Sacha Walters: added urgency in
the second half

Merthyr Town 4
Carmarthen Town 0

FOLLOWING on from a positive performance against Championship side Cardiff City, Carmarthen continued their pre-season programme with a hugely disappointing display against Merthyr Town. The Glamorgan side, newly promoted to the Southern League Premier Division (the third tier of the English non-league pyramid), dismantled the Town side who were soundly beaten with the final score-line comfortably reflecting the gulf between these sides on the day.

Yet in the opening stages the game was fairly evenly balanced with the play switching quickly from end to end although neither defence looked particularly troubled and there were few scoring opportunities. The only notable chance arose in the 4th minute when Merthyr’s Kayne McLaggon cut in from the left flank and struck a fierce 20 yard effort that keeper James Kirkwood turned around the post with a smart full-length save.

However from midway during this half Merthyr began to take control as they enjoyed by far the greater share of possession, moving the ball around with confidence and precision – as a result the Old Gold attacking threat was easily nullified while their defence came under increasing pressure.

And on 22 minutes the hosts deservedly went ahead when the ball was played across to Ian Traylor on the right wing from where he swiftly cut inside, went cleverly past Jordan Knott and from the corner of the penalty area fired a crisp shot beyond Kirkwood’s reach and into the corner of the net.

Then after 27 minutes the lively Traylor split the visitors’ rather static defence with a fine pass that set Ryan Prosser free inside the penalty area and he coolly drove the ball home giving Kirkwood no chance.

Despite the best efforts of Luke Cummings, Kyle Bassett and, in particular, the industrious Lewis Harling in midfield, Carmarthen remained unable to fashion any serious scoring chances – by contrast, it seemed more than likely that Merthyr would soon stretch their lead still more.

On 40 minutes from Jaye Bowen’s corner-kick Traylor rose highest in the crowded goalmouth only to direct his header narrowly over the bar. Then moments later Traylor was again influential when his deep right-wing cross into the penalty area was met by Prosser, who stabbed the ball into the net from close range. Embarrassingly, the Old Gold had not managed a shot on target during the entire first-half.

After the interval the home side were quickly back in control of the game, demonstrating all too graphically how beneficial it is to keep hold of the ball for as long as possible – a task that was seemingly beyond Carmarthen. And in the 51st minute Traylor received the ball on the edge of the penalty area but his fierce strike was too straight and Kirkwood was well placed to deny him another goal.

However the visitors, to their credit, were still demonstrating considerable spirit and determination, especially in midfield where Harling and Bassett, supported now by substitute Sacha Walters, continued to press forward at every opportunity. And it was Bassett who had the notable (albeit dubious) distinction of producing Town’s first shot on target after 67 minutes when, having received a short pass from Dan Sheehan, he raced towards the penalty area in typical bustling style and held off the challenge of a defender before releasing a powerful 20 yard drive that drew a fine save from keeper Cameron Clarke.

Unfortunately this seemed only to galvanise Merthyr into even greater effort and they extended their already comfortable lead on 74 minutes as Gethin Hill broke into the penalty area and rifled the ball home through a crowd of players with Kirkwood unsighted.

Then in a final flurry of goalmouth activity in the closing stages of the game the Old Gold again threatened when in the 89th minute Rhodri Morgan burst forward to the edge of the penalty area before slipping the ball on to Mark Jones who saw his sharp close range shot resisted by Clark with an impressive reflex save. Moments later Sheehan’s searching cross from the right wing reached Jones rising above his marker at the far post but he sent his header narrowly over the bar.

Yet the last chance, unsurprisingly, was fashioned by Merthyr deep into added time when after a quick exchange of passes Hill received the ball just outside the penalty area but his fierce angled drive flew fractionally too high.

Team:

James Kirkwood; Dan Sheehan; Chris Thomas; Sam Handy (sub Luke Prosser 46); Jordan Knott; Kyle Bassett; Lewis Harling; Luke Cummings (sub Rhodri Morgan 51); Chris Hartland (sub Liam Thomas 36, sub Chris Hartland 58); Mark Jones (sub Sacha Walters 46); Jeff White (sub Mark Jones 61);

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Sport

Felinfoel edged out

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FELINFOEL just missed out on victory on Saturday (Jun 15) as opponents Skewen edged to a three-wicket win.

Skewen won the toss and elected to field and that looked to be a good decision as they were able to bowl Felinfoel out for 155.

Felinfoel lost Andrew Thomas early on when he was trapped leg before by Steve James.

Craig Richards and Rhys Jones shared 55 runs for the second wicket before James struck again as he bowled Richards on a score of 34.

Rhys Jones scored 32 before he was bowled by Luke Martin and Julian Griffiths scored 25 before he suffered the same fate as Jones.

Martin also bowled Ian Meredith and he then trapped Rober Nangalia leg before.

When Dean Kriescher trapped Rohan Nangalia leg before it left Felinfoel on 128-7, having seemingly been in a good position at 118-3.

Stuart Parmenter was then bowled by Kriescher and he then took the catch to dismiss Stephen Jones.

Photo by Darren Harries

Rhys Harries batted on while he watched his team mates fall but he was eventually out for a score of 26 to the bowling of Kriescher.

That meant that Skewen would need 156 to win but Felinfoel did their best to derail their run chase.

Anthony Matthias bowled David Jenkins and Craig Richards had Callum Davies caught by Andrew Thomas as Skewen slipped to 17-2.

Richards then claimed his second wicket as he had Daniel Rees caught by Ian Meredith and Johnny Morris was bowled by Julian Griffiths.

That left Skewen on 49-4 but Dean Kriescher and John Jones swung the game in their favour with a stand of 57 for the fifth wicket.

Rhys Harries then bowled Jones on a score of 25 and he also had Jordan Jones caught by Stuart Parmenter.

Julian Griffiths then bowled Andrew Rogers but Kriescher was the hero for Skewen as he finished unbeaten on 76 with nine fours and a six to see his side over the line.

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Sport

Dafen fall short

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DAFEN fell 24 runs short of their target on Saturday (Jun 15) as they were beaten by Division 1 leaders Cowbridge.

Dafen elected to field on winning the toss but they watched on as Cowbridge scored a good total of 228-5 in their 46 overs.

Cowbridge started well reaching fifty in the first eight overs as openers Thomas Merilaht and Ben Wright shared a stand of 93.

Philip George made the breakthrough for Dafen as he had Merilaht caught by Kai Rees on a score of 36.

Jonathan Randell had Chris Willey caught by David Dunfee before Wright, who had hit ten fours and two sixes in his knock of 81, was caught by Daniel Vaughan off the bowling of Rees.

Chris Hudson trapped Jack Cropper leg before on a score of 15 and then had Tom Williams stumped by Vaughan to leave Cowbridge on 172-5.

Brad Evans and Yodhin Punja batted on to take their side past 200 runs.

Evans smashed six fours and two sixes as he finished unbeaten on 51 from 41 balls to set a challenging target for Dafen to chase.

Dafen got off to a bad start in their reply however as they lost four wickets early on.

Jonathan Randell was first out as he was bowled by Brad Evans and George Lavender scored 16 before he was caught by Tom Williams off the bowling of Sam Russell.

Matthew Evans was then trapped leg before by Yodhin Punja and Chris Davies was also bowled by Russell.

That left Dafen on 43-4 but Matthew Donoghue and David Dunfee restored some order as they shared 64 runs for the fifth wicket.

Photos by Darren Harries

Donoghue scored 25 but he was then bowled by Evans. Dunfee hit five fours and two sixes as he scored 48 but he was also bowled by Evans.

Evans then claimed his fourth as he had Kai Rees caught by Ben Wright to leave Dafen on 126-7.

Dafen then lost Daniel Vaughan to the bowling of Nicholas Wood as they slipped to 143-8.

Scott Phillips took it upon himself to add to the scoring as he hit two fours and smashed nine sixes in a score of 71 from just 34 balls.

Unfortunately for Dafen, he was then caught by Brad Evans off the bowling of Tom Williams.

Phillip George was then run out by Wright as Dafen ended up all out on 204.

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Sport

Raiders well beaten by Town

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By Ian Golden at Stebonheath Park

WORKINGTON Town eased to a 58-12 over West Wales Raiders in Llanelli on Saturday (Jun 8) with their ten tries all coming from different players.

The away side did enough to win the game despite their many errors that would cost them a lot more against a higher placed side.

Town took an early lead after Gordon Maulding found a gaping hole in the Raiders’ backline and easily ran 10 metres to score. Carl Forber converted.

From kick-off, they doubled the score. No Raiders’ player had the answer to Fui Fui Moi Moi’s strength as he burst past the back-line. No issues again for Forber.

A short kick-off worked well for Raiders as they regained possession from kick-off and they nearly scored. Steve Parry was held a metre from the line on the final tackle of the set.

Photo by Darren Harries

As frustrations started to boil over, the referee stopped his watch on 25 minutes to give Raiders a team warning for persistent offending, and now was the time for Town to take advantage. Stevie Scholey was close, but from the next tackle, Sean Penkywicz dived over. Forber converted.

Town scored their fourth on the half hour. Perry Singleton was on the end of a good passing move, straight from a scrum on Raiders’ ten-metre line. Forber’s kick was just wide.

Then just before half-time, after winning a penalty on Raiders’ 40-metre line, Stevie Scholey ran through for Workington’s fifth. Forber converted again for a 28-0 lead at the break.

Town had an early second half try chalked off for a forward pass but after Raiders gave away a penalty for off-side, Ryan Fieldhouse twisted his way over the line for a try that Forber improved.

Then on 51 minutes, Raiders finally broke their duck for what was the best try of the game. Phil Cowburn broke from the half-way line, offloaded to Ashley Bateman who lost the ball under pressure, but Cowburn was on hand to pick up the loose ball, score under the sticks and convert his own try.

Photo by Darren Harries

However, following another Raiders dropped ball and a penalty from the next tackle, Workington addressed the balance as Declan O’Donnell crashed over underneath the sticks and Forber easily converted.

From kick-off, a Welshman finally got on the scoresheet after Sam Hopkins catching his own chip and run to the line for Town’s eighth try.

Forber kicked the goal, then set up the next try, opening up a gap for Oliver Wilkes to celebrate his 100th career try. Forber converted.

Raiders weren’t giving up. They won another goal-line drop out and continued to put on the pressure. Steve Parry was held up over the line and from the next tackle, Morgan Evans ran through a hole in the Town defence. Cowburn converted.

But after Town won the ball from kick-off, they went over from their tenth and final try of the afternoon as debutant Blain Marwood eased his way past the tiring home defence with his first touch of the ball for the club after another good Forber offload.

The man of the match converted to cement the win.

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