LLANELLI TOWN finally halted a dismal run of four consecutive league and cup defeats, as they completed the double over their opponents, Penrhiwceiber Rangers, having secured an away 2-1 success in August. The home side were virtually at full strength with the return of players who had been injured, while Ian Evans, a recent signing from Bwlch Rangers, occupied the right back slot with Mark Napieralla still not ready for a start following a knock to his knee.
Despite the convincing final score, the visitors did cause problems for a Reds defence which still looks unsure at times, although goalkeeper Craig Richards was seldom seriously tested as Penrhiwceiber ran out of options in the final third. The contest was just eight minutes old before the Reds took the lead when an initial charge down by Luke Jones led to him finding Liam Samuel, and he in turn brought Sam Wade into play whose driven ball across the goal to the back post was turned in by Matthew Hughes.
A poor kick out by Richards then afforded the visitors their first opportunity when it fell into the path of Alex Jones whose effort from distance was not too far off target. Conversely, Hughes just failed to connect with a cross driven into the box by Samuel, before the lead was extended on 16 minutes following a short corner by Hughes, which was met by Declan John, and he curved a sweet finish over goalkeeper Alex Bailey into the top corner.
Three minutes later, the visitors found themselves three down when another award of a corner led to Samuel crossing into the middle for Jones to make a connection, which deflected past Bailey on its way into the net. Well in control and seemingly cruising to a win even at this early stage in proceedings, the home side were then jolted back into reality when their opponents were awarded a penalty on the half hour mark when Dean Brown was brought down by Richards as he pursued a back heel from Brandon Davies.
The Reds keeper was cautioned, and Brown himself stepped up to take the spot kick which he despatched past Richards into the bottom corner. Stung by this reverse, the hosts pushed forward and were rewarded by a fourth success in the 37th minute when Bailey failed to deal effectively with a cross by Hughes, allowing Jones to take full advantage and slot in the loose ball. Evan after this setback the visitors refused to lie down, and pulled themselves back into contention when they scored on the stroke of half time through Davies when he directed a ball from Matthew Glassy beyond Richards.
Even with a two goal cushion, it seemed as if the Reds would need to score first after the resumption to really settle matters, and they did just that ten minutes into the half with Samuel curling a superbly taken free kick from 30 yards beyond the despairing grasp of Bailey. Another set-piece six minutes later led to a further goal when John curled a corner on the left into the net between Bailey and his near post, and shortly after was denied his hat trick when the keeper beat out his strike on target.
They went close again with two attempts from John and Lee Bevan being cleared off the line, although at the other end they had Jamie Evans to thank from preventing Josh Evans from reducing the deficit when his effort went past Richards only for Evans to clear out of the goalmouth.
Evans was well placed again to break up another potential threat on goal when the visitors broke quickly, but the contest ended with the Reds relieved a miserable sequence of results had been finally halted and hopefully better times lie ahead. The Reds travel to meet Croesyceiliog next Saturday, kick off 2 pm. Prior to that, Stebonheath will host a FA Youth Trophy tie involving Swansea City and Sheffield Wednesday on Friday, with a 1 pm start.
Llanelli Town: Richards; I. Evans; Lewis; Thomas (Berry, 67); J. Evans; Bevan; Samuel (R. Jones, 67); John; L. Jones; Wade (Forkuoh, 60); Hughes. Subs not used: Harries; Logan.
Penrhiwceiber Rangers: Bailey; Jenkins (Hansonspur, 63); A. Davies (Peacock, 63); Morgan; Keepings; Glassy; A. Jones (Hill, 67); Brown ©; J. Evans; B. Davies; N. Evans. Subs not used: C. Evans; O. Jones.
Scarlets’ grassroots clubs show community spirit in delivering vital food packages
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.
Wales v Scotland postponed
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.”
Domestic football at all levels in Wales suspended
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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