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Ousted Town left to focus on the league

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Matthew Hughes: Had a goalscoring return to Llanelli (Pic. Keith Griffiths)

Matthew Hughes: Had a
goalscoring return to Llanelli (Pic.
Keith Griffiths)

Nathaniel Cars League
Cup

Llanelli Town 2
Caerleon 3

POSITIVE results continue to elude Llanelli Town as their much delayed Nathaniel Cars League Cup tie with Caerleon resulted in yet another defeat – their fourth in a row.

The visitors agreed to switch the game to Stebonheath after two postponements at their Coldbath Road ground due to weather conditions, but the decision still led to a winning result against opponents who are experiencing an alarming dip in form with too many players performing well below their potential.

Forced to field an unfamiliar positional starting line-up due to a lengthy injury list, suspensions and unavailability, the Reds featured two new faces with Matthew Hughes rejoining the club from Bwlch Rangers and the acquisition of Nathan Logan from Loughor Rovers, and Hughes, in particular, was one of the few bright spots of the afternoon, getting on the scoresheet and acquitting himself well in the general play. Logan needs a few more games under his belt to acquire full match fitness, but looks a good signing.

The visitors were relegated at the end of last season and now ply their trade in the third division, but there was no sign of the gap in parity between the sides and they certainly looked the more capable when going forward.

They established a 2-0 lead by the break, courtesy of some woeful home defending in the main, before the Reds woke up to a degree in the second half and levelled matters with minutes to go before they were undone by a late winner.

The hosts started reasonably well with Liam Samuel having a well struck shot blocked while Logan directed his header over when he met a Samuel free kick, but this was about as good as it got as their opponents imposed themselves on proceedings.

It took them just 18 minutes to open the scoring when they prised apart the home rear guard with an angled ball to Nick Varallo who accepted the chance to slot it past Craig Richards.

Ten minutes later they doubled the advantage when some more kamikaze defending allowed Mark Milliship in acres of space on the edge of the area to pick his spot into the bottom corner.

A rare sortie by the Reds ended with Luke Jones directing an overhead kick from a Hughes cross just off target, and when Bartome Bauza made a run into the box, Logan just failed to turn in his far post delivery from a narrow angle.

Samuel fired narrowly over the bar when he met a partially cleared Hughes corner, but overall the visitors were still comfortably in control at the break but were dealt a blow eight minutes after the restart with the dismissal of Mark Dunn with a straight red card by referee Bryn Jones for a two-footed lunge on Jamie Evans.

Within four minutes of this, the home side were back in contention when Hughes took advantage of a deflection following an initial shot from Samuel to beat Gareth Wesson in the Caerleon goal with a crisp finish.

With Logan visibly tiring, Sam Wade came on in his place just after the hour, and at this stage the Reds were having much more of the game with Jones forcing Wesson to smother his close range header on the line.

However, it took a good save by Richards to keep out a Luke Cueto effort when he connected with an Alex Waters assist, but with just three minutes remaining Reds captain Lee Bevan brought the scores level, forcing home under the considerable bulk of Wesson following a Hughes free kick into the box.

Somewhat fortunate to have clawed their way back and probably settling for extra time, the Reds were then hit with a sucker punch within a minute of Bevan`s equaliser when from a seemingly impossible angle, Milliship curled his finish, possibly with the aid of a deflection, over Richards into the far corner and ensure Caerleon`s participation in the next round of the competition.

Out of all cups, the Reds can now focus on the league and attempt to improve their current position with the ultimate aim of securing promotion. The Reds travel to meet Chepstow Town on Saturday who they beat 7-1 in the opening game of the season. Kick off is at 2 p.m.

Teams:

Llanelli Town: Richards; Bauza; John (Berry, 72); Thomas; Evans; Bevan; Samuel; Harries; Jones; Logan (Wade, 62); Hughes;

Subs not used: O`Brien; Holmes; Martin.

Caerleon: Wesson; Wooten; Roberts; Bennett; Peel; Varallo (Lewis, 23); Waters; Davies (Al- Davei, 80); Dunn; Milliship; Francis (Cueto, 67);

Sub not used: Phillips.

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Sport

Skilton’s half century beats Felinfoel

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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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Sport

Dafen edged out by Dyffryn

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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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Sport

Llanelli too good for Llandysul

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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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