Welsh League Division Two
Llanelli Town 1
West End 3
FOLLOWING on from their grim showing at Pontardawe Town seven days previously, the Reds compounded that with yet another abysmal defensive showing against opponents they had swatted aside 5-0 in the away fixture at Pryderi Park in October.
On this evidence, there is little hope of achieving the club`s aim of promotion to Division One, and on this showing could well turn out to be a blessing in disguise.
The chances created by both sides probably ran into double figures, but some incredible misses meant the scoreline remained at a reasonable level throughout.
The Reds made a number of changes to the starting line-up with Ian Evans and Bruno Forkuoh unavailable, with Robert Thomas filling in at right back and Jandir Zola making his first start.
West End keeper Luke Fleming was called into early action, just managing to keep out a Lee Bevan header when he connected with a Richard Lewis free kick, before the visitors countered with Alex Ramsay in the Reds’ goal doing well to block a fierce effort on target by Richard Brain when Delano Tortortella set up the chance.
A Thomas cross to the far post led to Fleming saving low down from Declan John, and when Nathan Logan broke clear up the right, he got to the line but screwed his finish harmlessly over for a goal kick.
The visitors were then afforded a great chance of taking the lead when the ball deflected off Jamie Evans into the path of Tortortella but Ramsay comfortably held his weak finish.
At the other end, Logan was equally guilty of spurning a gilt-edged chance when a Bevan clearance was helped on by to him by Luke Jones, but he dragged his finish wide with only the keeper to beat.
Play continued to fluctuate from end to end, with Ramsay again denying Tortortella when Ryan Thomas set him up, and the visiting striker again failed to convert with a header from close range following a cross into the goalmouth.
Against the run of play, the Reds eventually broke the deadlock on 32 minutes with Jones being given the opportunity to run on to a ball through the middle, and on this occasion the finish gave Fleming no chance into the bottom corner.
Despite this setback, West End were still well in the contest continuing to pose plenty of problems for their opponents, and when a ball over the top led to Thomas making tracks towards goal, Ramsay was forced off his line and brought down the player, leading to a caution and perhaps lucky not to have seen red.
Jones volleyed over the visitor’s bar from a promising position when a John corner was only partially cleared, but on the stroke of half time the equaliser that had been on the cards arrived when a free kick into the goalmouth found Chris Hole who was unchallenged to head home from close range.
All square at the interval, the home side were the first to offer a threat with a Lewis free kick forcing Fleming to turn it over, and a saving tackle by Gareth Howarth prevented Jones homing in on goal.
Zola was replaced by Osian Harries and Anton Owens came on for Matthew Hughes as the Reds searched for a second success, and within minutes of his arrival Owens was presented with two glorious chances of doing this but shot wide on both occasions with the goal gaping and only Fleming to beat.
These misses were to come back to haunt the hosts as West End struck twice within the space of eight minutes, with Tortortella eventually making up for his earlier failures by getting both.
In the 70th minute he was played through a porous rear-guard before slotting past Ramsay, and got on the scoresheet again after 78 minutes, being allowed far too much time to turn before beating the Reds` keeper from the edge of the box.
With the two-goal cushion, the visitors easily saw out the remainder of the time to leave their opponents a dispirited outfit with plenty to ponder over where it all went wrong. The Reds are on the road next Friday evening when they travel to meet Llanwern with a 7.45 p.m. kick off.
Llanelli Town: Ramsay; Thomas; Lewis; Zola (Harries, 58); J. Evans; Bevan; Wade; John; Logan (Martin, 85); Jones; Hughes (Owens, 62). Sub Not Used: Berry.
West End: Fleming; Poutchadis; Whitelock; Hole; O`Brien (Davies, 62); Howarth; Eames (Gowen, 79); Thomas; Tortortella; Brain; Smith; Sub Not Used: Griffiths.
Foel’s Championship dream halted
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.
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.”
Morgan marches seconds home
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.
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.
Jones duo sink Bronwydd
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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