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Town slip up in promotion push

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Alex Ramsey: Made his debut in the Reds goal

Welsh League Division Two

Pontardawe Town 3

Llanelli Town 0 

THE REDS have had better away days than that endured at Parc Ynysderw against opponents who prior to kick-off were just three points ahead of them in the table having played five more games. 

A below-par performance by the visitors saw them struggle to breach a resolute home defence resulting in Steve Reeve in the Ponty goal seldom being called into action, particularly in the first half.

After the interval, the Reds did at least show some attacking intent which had been woefully lacking, but the nearest they came to a goal was a Bruno Forkuoh header which struck the top of the bar.

Alex Ramsay made his debut in the Reds` goal in place of Craig Richards, and with Liam Samuel serving a three match suspension following his red card versus AFC Porth, Steve Berry was named in the starting line-up with Luke Jones on the bench.

Perhaps an early indication of how events were to unfold for the visitors came when the influential Richard Lewis was forced off injured after just 15 minutes following a tackle in midfield with Forkuoh coming on, and leading to a reshuffle in the back four.

Despite their ineffective start, the Reds were thrown a lifeline after 26 minutes with the award of a penalty following the flooring of Declan John in the box when he pursued a ball by Forkuoh, but Matthew Hughes drove his kick wide and a golden opportunity was lost – one which they would come to regret.

If this had been taken the outcome could well have been different, but as it was their opponents were the ones who took heart from the let off with Kieron Howells heading just wide from a Mark Jones corner.

Reeve at the other end easily held a scuffed shot by Forkuoh following a John free kick, but two minutes from the break the hosts took the lead when another Jones corner led to a melee in front of goal before Rob Shannon got the final connection to force the ball home.

The home striker threatened to increase the lead early in the second period, being stopped only by a saving tackle from Robert Thomas, and he was presented with another chance following a long downfield clearance set him up, but his finish rebounded off Ian Evans before the danger was cleared.

The Reds were showing some more attacking options than they had in the first half with Reeve making a couple of important blocks on target, while Nathan Logan drove his attempt at the keeper following a turn in the box.

However this more attacking approach were leaving gaps at the back which the home side almost exploited, and a run down the left by Dan Williams culminated in Ramsay getting down to divert his shot on to the bar where it dropped for Shannon but once again he failed to take advantage to put his side further ahead.

With time running out, some indecisive defending by the visitors allowed Liam Griffiths to volley his finish past Ramsay from the edge of the area in the 88th minute, and the same player might well have scored again when he was clean through but somehow managed to steer the ball wide of a gaping goal.

In stoppage time, a miserable afternoon for the Reds was compounded when Ponty grabbed a third, with Williams getting past Evans before crossing into the middle where Josh Roberts was in acres of space to slot beyond a helpless Ramsay.

Teams: Pontardawe Town: Reeve; Jeffries; L. Roberts; J. Roberts; E. Thomas; M. Jones (N. Thomas, 90+3); Williams; Howells; Shannon (I. Jones, 87); Griffiths; Dorward; Subs. not used; Harries; Blizzard; Huischmidt.

Llanelli Town: Ramsay; I. Evans; Lewis (Forkuoh, 15); Berry (Zola, 77); J. Evans; Bevan; Thomas; John; Logan; Wade (Jones, 55); Hughes; Subs. not used; Harries; Owens.

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Community

Scarlets’ grassroots clubs show community spirit in delivering vital food packages

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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.

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Sport

Wales v Scotland postponed

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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.”

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Sport

Domestic football at all levels in Wales suspended

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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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