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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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