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Reds back with a bang

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Cut up: The Stebonheath surface suffered during the game

Welsh League Division Two

Llanelli Town 4

AFC Porth 0

LLANELLI exploded back on to the Welsh League Division Two scene after an enforced absence of over a month due to waterlogged pitches, dispatching of a mid-table AFC Porth team to reignite their promotion challenge.

Both sides were back in action after a long period of inactivity due to the atrocious weather with the Reds playing their first game since early December, while their opponents` last outing was in late October. Again, conditions were far from ideal, with heavy, blustery showers sweeping across the ground, combined with a gusty, swirling wind, and the playing surface at the close had cut up badly.

The home side included new signings Anton Owens and Jandir Zola on their bench, with Owens coming on as a replacement for Nathan Logan at the start of the second half, and they were soon on the offensive with Richard Lewis forcing Porth keeper Chris Golton to divert his effort from distance around the post after the initial pass from Declan John set up the chance. The visitors then created an opportunity when Nathan Doe latched on to a through ball and advanced on the goal, but Reds` keeper Craig Richards got down to grasp his finish at full stretch. Liam Samuel then had a great chance of putting the hosts ahead when he was played in ten yards out, but he dragged his shot wide of the far post. He made amends, however, when he was involved in the opening goal after 11 minutes, finding John whose cross to the back post was met by Logan who directed his header beyond Gorton.

This success spurred on the home side who were in complete control of proceedings with Samuel again prominent in a build-up which culminated in Matthew Hughes forcing the Porth keeper to direct his shot for a corner. From this, taken by Lewis, Logan rose to meet it but headed over from point blank range, and when Lewis delivered a ball into the goalmouth, Sam Wade narrowly failed to make a connection. Wade was then heavily involved in the Reds` second goal on 32 minutes, carving open the Porth defence with a great pass which enabled Hughes to run on to before slotting his finish beyond Gorton. Three minutes later, the lead was stretched further with Lewis providing a cross into the crowded goalmouth, which seemingly evaded everyone, before Samuel arrived to force the ball home on the line.

A fourth success arrived within a further two minutes with Hughes being found in space before crossing into the middle where Wade was on hand to net from close in. The visitors briefly rallied, with Doe again being denied by Richards who kept out his shot with an outstretched foot. Four up at the break and with the match virtually won, the second half turned out to be something of a non-event for the home side, and with their opponents woefully bereft of any attacking options, the only event of note was the dismissal after 53 minutes of Samuel following a clash with Brad Williams who escaped with a caution.

Despite the introduction of Steve Berry and Bruno Forkuoh for Wade and Hughes respectively, the Reds failed to add to their lead, while Porth won their solitary corner of the contest after 73 minutes. Nevertheless, it was good to see the Reds back in action and secure the three points and a clean sheet in their goal of possible promotion at the end of the season.

Teams:

Llanelli Town: Richards; I. Evans; Lewis; Thomas; J. Evans; Bevan; Wade (Berry, 69); John; Logan (Owens, 46); Samuel; Hughes (Forkuoh, 71). Subs. not used; Harries; Zola.

AFC Porth: Golton; Williams (Heycock, 75); Parsons (Bullock, 64); Bird; Dwyer; Luck; Taylor (Price, 70); Davies; Doe; Vivers; Flynn. Sub not used; Smith.

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Sport

Foel’s Championship dream halted

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FELINFOEL’s hopes of promotion to the WRU Championship were brought to an end on Sunday (May 12) as they were beaten in the play-offs by Ystalyfera.

Ystalyfera had won the first leg 34-28 on their home soil but Felinfoel were still very much in the tie and they had the backing of an 800-strong home crowd in the reverse fixture. Fans packed in to the ground and they witnessed an epic encounter.

Felinfoel held the lead at one time but their opponents hit back to seal a 20-30 win to win overall by 64 points to 48.

Felinfoel played some attractive rugby during the first half with wingers Eray Wilson and Elliot Dawe scoring tries wide out one of which was converted by Aled Roberts. Ystalyfera scored a penalty and a converted try making the half time score 12 points to 10.

Photos by Darren Harries

The second half opened brightly for Felinfoel with Roberts kicking a penalty and Wilson scoring a further try. With the score at 20 points to 10, matters were looking favourable for the home team.

It was at this stage that the Ystalyfera forwards took complete control of the match denying Felinfoel of any possession for the final 20mins of the match. With a strong scrummage and dynamic driving maul they continued to exert pressure onto the home team.

Ystalyfera were rewarded with a further two converted tries, penalty goal and drop goal and deserved their victory 20 points to 30, and promotion to the championship.

Both teams are to be congratulated in the way in which the game was played. Both sides gave their all and provided an entertaining encounter.

Both sets of supporters gave loud vocal support to each team and were sporting throughout the match.

At the end of the match Felinfoel coach Mike King who is leaving after two years in charge was given a rousing send off by players and supporters alike.

After the game Felinfoel took to twitter saying: “After another successful season, it’s time to say thank you. Thank you to all sponsors for supporting the club throughout the season once again. Without you we would not exist. Thank you to all the supporters who have been with us through thick and thin.

“Lastly, thank you to head coach Mike King who will be leaving us. He has set the foundations of the club and has turned this club around for the better. All at Felinfoel RFC can’t thank you enough. We wish you all the best in the future.”

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Sport

Morgan marches seconds home

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DAFEN Seconds earned the bragging rights over Llanelli Seconds on Saturday (May 11) as they cruised to an eight wicket win.

Dafen won the toss but elected to field and that looked to be a good decision as they bowled their opponents out for just 118 inside 22 overs.

Aadil Mukhtar finished with excellent figures of 5-21 while Oliver Evans supported well taking four wickets for the loss of 40 runs.

Needing just thirty overs of their reply, Dafen Seconds eased to victory as Jac Morgan finished not out on 64 to see his side over the line.

Photo by Darren Harries

The win for Dafen keeps them joint top of the table with Briton Ferry Town after two games while Llanelli sit bottom of Division 3 and are still searching for their first win.

On Saturday (May 18), Dafen Seconds are at home against Dyffryn while Llanelli Seconds are away to Neath thirds.

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Sport

Jones duo sink Bronwydd

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LLANGENNECH earned their first win of the season on Saturday (May 11) as they beat Bronwydd by 14 runs in a low scoring game.

Llangennech won the toss and elected to bat but they lost Chris Hickey early on when he was caught by Jacob Jenkinson off the bowling of Colin Tucker.

Matthew Jones scored 11 before he was caught and bowled by Tucker before David Williams was caught by Tom Gleeson off the bowling of Matthew Vaughan for a score of 14.

James Taube made the same score but was then caught by Phillip Howell off the bowling of Dafydd Morgan. Morgan also bowled Martin Gregory to leave Llangennech on 83-5.

Opener Scott Lloyd’s score of 30 had come off 127 balls and he was eventually caught by Vaughan off the bowling of Callum Collins-Davies.

Richard Clement was the third Llangennech batsman to make a score of 14 before getting out as he was caught by Jenkinson off the bowling of Gleeson.

Michael Jones was then run out before Gleeson claimed his second wicket as he had Simon Clement caught by Oliver Furneaux.

Vaughan then wrapped up the innings as he had Bav Patel caught by James Cale to leave Llangennech all out on 124. Photo by Darren Harries

Bronwydd’s opening pair of James Cale and Philip Howell shared 15 runs but Howell was out for a score of 8 to the bowling of Michael Jones.

Oliver Furneaux was next to fall when he was trapped leg before by Matthew Jones on a score of 11.

Chris Hickey then gave Owain Phillips his first wicket as he caught Jacob Jenkinson and the bowler then claimed his second as he had Cale caught by David Williams on a score of 17.

That left Bronwydd on 44-4 but Iwan Davies and Dafydd Morgan shared 40 runs for the fifth wicket to keep their side in the game.

Davies hit three fours and a six in his knock of 33 but he was then trapped leg before by Michael Jones. He then also bowled Callum Collins-Davies for a duck to reduce Bronwydd to 84-6.

Matthew Jones then had Dafydd Morgan caught on a score of 8 before then trapping Tom Gleeson leg before.

Hickey then took two more catches of Matthew Vaughan and Colin Tucker to give Matthew Jones his five-wicket haul and Bronwydd were all out for 110.

Gareth John had finished not out on 18 but it wasn’t enough for victory for the visitors.

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