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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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Sport

Dafen see off Porthcawl

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DAFEN Seconds earned their sixth win of the season on Saturday (Jul 6) as they beat Porthcawl by 75 runs.

Porthcawl won the toss and elected to field and they were able to bowl Dafen out for 182.

Opener Oliver Evans made a score of 19 and Chris Randell scored 25 as a number of Dafen batsmen made good starts.

Jonathan Griffiths scored 22 and there were also scores of 15 from Tom Lavender and 16 from Luke Dunning.

Matthew Thomas made a late score of 18 while Andrew Randell top scored with 43 runs.

Nicholas Morgan was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets for the loss of 30 runs from his 6.3 overs.

Mark Bevan also bowled well to finish with figures of 3-37.

Photos by Darren Harries

That set Porthcawl 138 to win but they lost a number of batsmen for single figure scores as they struggled to put runs on the board.

Andrew Randell had Nicholas Morgan caught by Jac Morgan and Matthew Thomas had Rhodri Phillips caught by Chris Randell.

Chris Richards made a score of 13 before he was bowled by Rhys Marchant who then also bowled Rob Warren and had David Lewis caught by Chris Randell, both for ducks.

Tim Richards also fell for a duck when he was caught off the bowling of Matthew Thomas.

Mark Lewis had scored 25 but he also fell to the bowling of Marchant.

Steffan Flood also scored 25 before he was bowled by Chris Randell and Joshua Aubrey added 20 late on before he also fell to the bowling of Randell.

That meant that Porthcawl were all out for 107, giving Dafen seconds an excellent win.

On Saturday (Jul 13), Dafen seconds are away to local rivals Llanelli seconds.

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Rees century sees Llanelli to win

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LLANELLI’s Iwan Rees scored a century on Saturday (Jul 6) to help his side to victory over Briton Ferry Steel.

Briton Ferry won the toss and elected to bat but they were restricted to 186-8 in their innings.

Steven Devonald struck early on to remove Evan Hynes but Lloyd Clement and Jamie Griffiths shared 44 runs for the second wicket.

Jac Rees had Griffiths caught by Craig Howells on a score of 24 and soon after Craig Evans was bowled by Aled Gilley for a duck.

Clement had made a score of 41 but when he was bowled by Rees, the Steel found themselves on 81-4.

That soon became 88-5 as Steve Maddock was caught by Marcus Leaf off the bowling of Gilley.

Photo by Darren Harries

Iwan Rees then had Steffan Evans caught by Howells and Rhys Norgrove fell in similar fashion.

Jason Hughes and Thomas Williams shared 56 runs for the eighth wicket as they looked to give their side a total to defend.

On the last ball Williams was caught by Rees off the bowling of Gilley on a score of 24 which left Hughes not out on 67.

Llanelli openers Iwan Rees and Ioan Phillips shared 42 runs for the first wicket before Phillips was caught by Rhys Norgrove off the bowling of Jay Webb.

That was as good as it got for the Steel though as they were unable to claim any further wickets.

Craig Howells hit seven fours as he finished unbeaten on 53 while Rees starred with 14 fours to finish unbeaten on 104.

The win gives Llanelli 19 points and keeps them third in the table. On Saturday (Jul 13), they travel to local rivals Dafen.

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Daly makes special visit to Ashburnham

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TWO time Major Champion John Daly aka the “Wild Thing” paid a visit to Ashburnham Golf Club last weekend as part of the club’s 125th anniversary celebrations.

Daly fresh from a top 5 finish on the USPGA Senior tour entertained the crowds with some extraordinary shot making during an exhibition match involving members and local businesses.

Following golf JD took part in a Q&A and rounded off the night in style by joining in with local band “The Lost Comets”.

Photo by Darren Harries

Ian Thomas, Club Captain was thrilled with the day and said that the occasion was truly memorable and a fantastic way to celebrate the club’s 125th anniversary.

John Daly himself was full of praise for Ashburnham: “I loved the course, the people and the back 9 layout in particular was just awesome.”

Television highlights of the day were aired on S4C’s Heno programme Monday, July 1.

John Daly won the PGA Championship in 1991 and the Open Championship in 1995.

The 53-year-old also has 18 professional wins to his name.

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