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Under 18s on brink of 4th title

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Closing in on the title: Some of the side after the game

Closing in on the title: Some of the side after the game

Scarlets Ladies U18s 40

Dragons Ladies U18’s 10

SCARLETS LADIES Under 18’s have put themselves on the brink of a fourth consecutive regional title by outscoring a determined and resolute Dragons outfit by 6 tries to 2 in difficult conditions at a damp and windswept Ammanford on Sunday afternoon to triumph 40-10.

Leading the way for the Scarlets with two tries apiece were centre Carly Jones and scrum half Lucy Packer, with ever impressive back row forward Lleucu George converting three of the six tries scored.

The Scarlets began the game with a strong wind at their back and were immediately put on the front foot by the powerful ball carrying of the red pack. The determined defence of the visitors held the home team at bay, before the back line of the Scarlets finally broke the defensive shackles and released flying winger, Katie Thicker on a 40-meter sprint to the line to open the scoring. George added the extras to give the Scarlets a 7-0 lead on 10 minutes.

Despite the home team dominating territory and possession, the Dragons defence, led superbly by India Berbillion and flanker Eve Jones refused to buckle under the pressure and indeed began to exert pressure of their own forcing the normally fluent Scarlets team into several uncharacteristic handling errors.

Eventually, the Scarlets backs finally clicked, a half break by centre Libby Jones, released her co-centre Carly Jones who outpaced the cover defence to score near to the posts. Outside Half Sioned Phillips converted the try giving the home team a 14-0 lead with five minutes until half time.

The Scarlets failed to deal with the restart, which allowed the Dragons to mount their first serious attacking opportunity. The ball was eventually released to full back Imogen Shide to score out wide with the last play of the half.

The girls in red began the second half in dynamic fashion. With barely a minute on the clock, Packer evaded several would-be defenders to touch down and give her team the perfect start.

Seven minutes later, a moment of individual brilliance saw centre Carly Jones gather the ball inside her own half and race in, to score the bonus point try under the posts. Lleucu George converted the try to extend the Scarlets lead to 26-5.

Strong running by second row Ffion Howells and prop Ruby Roberts once again put the Scarlets deep inside Dragons territory. Packer, fed her half back partner Megan Beech, who’s delicate pass put the impressive Carys Lloyd through the gap and power her way over for the Scarlets fifth try of the day. Again George adding the extras.

The Dragons refused to lie down and went on the offensive from the kick off. The powerful running of their pack once again took play up to the Scarlets’ try line, with the pressure eventually leading to flanker Eve Jones to score a thoroughly deserved second try for the visitors.

The Scarlets responded immediately from the kick off. Excellent defensive work by Scarlets winger Caitlin Lewis, eventually led to the home team turning the ball over at the contact area. The forwards drove powerfully up to the Dragons try line where Packer sniped her way over the line to score wide out. The excellent conversion by Lleucu George rounded of the scoring, giving the Scarlets an excellent win over a vastly improved Dragons squad.

The Scarlets Girls are next in action on March the 6th against the Blues in Ystrad Mynach, where they will be hoping to secure their fourth title in four seasons.

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Lighthouse to Lifeboat station swim a huge success

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A LLANELLI man has completed a grueling swim across the Loughor estuary from Whiteford Lighthouse to Burry Port Harbour to raise funds for the Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI).

Matthew Jenkins completed the swim on Sunday, July 26.

Speaking on the challenge he set himself, Matthew said he set his sights on the swim to give him something positive to focus on during these unprecedented times and raise vital funds for Burry Port RNLI.

The Swim was a family effort with Matthew’s two daughters also pitching in to sell RNLI cupcakes to supporters and bystanders near the lifeboat house.

The conditions were far from ideal on the day with a 7.2 metre tide accompanied by whitecaps waves and a south to southwesterly wind behind Matthew of approximately 20 mph.

Harsh conditions on the day did not dampen spirits

However there was plenty of support from safety teams in the area to step in if needed with jet skis, kayaks and boats all keeping within safe distance.

Matthew set off on his challenge at approximately 10.45 and shortly afterwards supporters could see he was already past the halfway point.

The support shown from the beach was huge and it was obvious to all that Matthew was able to hear the chants of support and praise from those at the beach.

On completion of the challenge Matthew raised his hands as a thank you gesture for all of his support throughout the journey.

This small event has brought back a familiar feeling without the town of pre-pandemic days where events like these would be hugely supported by the community.

Community support from an array of ages where on hand to applaud the worthy challenge

It was clear to see the support for both Matthew and Burry Port RNLI throughout the day.

A grand total of £822.25 was raised through Matthew’s Just Giving page.

Matthew has praised all of those who have supported him through the journey both in the water and on land and said he feels very ‘thankful’ for the support and the opportunity to complete the challenge.

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Swans grab last gasp play-off spot

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WAYNE ROUTLEDGE’s last-gasp header saw Swansea City secure a play-off spot with a handsome away victory over 10-man Reading on a dramatic Wednesday night (July 22).

Steve Cooper’s side knew they had to win at the Madejski Stadium to have any hope of a top-six finish, and Rhian Brewster’s 10th goal of the season gave them an ideal start.

The sending off of Yakou Meite then gave the Swans a man advantage, but the Royals equalised before the half through a George Puscas penalty.

The Swans restored their lead through a classy finish from substitute Routledge, before Liam Cullen showed great composure to steer in his first goal for the club.

And when Routledge popped up at the death to complete his brace it put the Swans into the top six as Forest suffered a 4-1 defeat at home to Stoke, meaning Swansea got into the play-offs on goal difference.

The Swans started on the front foot, with centurion Connor Roberts having particular joy down the right-hand flank.

Brewster then nearly threaded Conor Gallagher in on goal after fine work by Andre Ayew, before Roberts hit a strike into the ground and over the bar after Jake Bidwell had made the overlap on the opposite flank.

The hosts responded by having a good spell of possession, probing and asking a few questions of their own.

But the visitors hit the lead in the 16th minute through Brewster. The striker picked the ball up some 30 yards out and got the ball out of his feet before smashing a long-range drive that completely deceived Rafael in the Reading goal.

John Swift curled a free-kick over at the other end, while more good work by Roberts could not quite end with Bidwell getting on the end of a deep cross before Rafael made a hash of dealing with a Gallagher cross.

Swift headed straight at Erwin Mulder from a good counter on the half-hour mark, with Ayew quickly advancing up the field to work Rafael again.

Opportunities were coming at both ends, with Mulder called into action again as Meite took aim from the left side of the area.
Swansea were riding their luck a little and had a let-off when a sliced clearance landed on top of the bar.

Matt Grimes had a free-kick pushed away by Rafael before the home side were reduced to 10 men after Meite had pushed Mike van der Hoorn in the face after a tussle for the ball.

But the hosts made light of the numerical disadvantage by levelling after Bidwell was adjudged to have fouled Andy Rinomhota, with Puscas beating Mulder – who got a hand to the strike – from the spot.

However, the Swans should have led at the break. Ben Cabango’s shot was blocked and fell to Jay Fulton, but the Scot pulled his shot wide of the target.

Rafael pushed away an Ayew drive right on half-time, with Swansea frustrated that referee Stephen Martin did not award them a penalty of their own as Fulton went down under a challenge from Omar Richards.

With Cardiff winning and Nottingham Forest losing, Cooper knew goals were needed and he made two changes at the break.

Yan Dhanda came on for Fulton, while Routledge replaced van der Hoorn, and they were immediately on the front foot.

With Swansea committing so many players forward, Reading looked to sit deep and play on the break and they proved resolute as the visitors battled to find a way through.

Grimes curled a free-kick wide of the target and Gallagher also threatened from distance, but the hour mark came and went without any clear-cut chances to show for their dominance of possession and territory.

However, when they did craft a sight of goal they took the chance clinically. Grimes produced a lovely ball, and Routledge controlled superbly to loft the ball over Rafael and into the net.

Unfortunately for the Swans, that goal went in moments after Forest had equalised against Stoke, which appeared to put a sizeable dent in their playoff aspirations.

Nevertheless, Cooper’s side continued to search for more goals in the hope events in the East Midlands would turn back in their favour.

They so nearly made it 3-1 with 17 minutes to play as lovely link play from Rutledge and Bidwell ended with Ayew steering just wide.

The situation was changing all the time, and Stoke retook the lead at Forest to leave the door ajar for the Swans.

And, when Stoke scored a third at the City Ground and Cullen coolly fired home his first senior goal for the club with six minutes remaining, they suddenly only needed a goal to finish in the play-off places.

Grimes had a deflected shot tipped over but the Swans then got the goal they needed in stoppage time as Routledge popped up to nod in at the far post, with Stoke’s fourth goal putting the matter beyond doubt a few moments later to spark delighted celebrations among Cooper, his players and his staff.

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Glamorgan launch new kit

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GLAMORGAN Cricket has unveiled its new Vitality Blast playing kit for the 2020 season.

Designed by the Club’s official kit supplier, Masuri, alongside Glamorgan’s management, players and coaches, the brand-new Vitality Blast strip contains a subtle Welsh twist.

Fitting Glamorgan’s traditional colour schemes, the top is dark navy with a tonal dragon across the front – a nod to the old Glamorgan nickname and the Welsh identity – while a sharp yellow trim on the neck and sleeves frames the top.

The famous ‘Daff’ sits on the heart of the shirt, with MiPost’s strong Welsh brand centre-stage. Appearing on the collars are the logos of ‘Official Players Car Partner’, Mon Motors and Welsh company, Philtronics Solutions, with Discover Leeks on the right sleeve and SA Group on the back.

The famous Aston Martin logo features on both side of the Glamorgan T20 cap, as they continue their ongoing support of the club.

Head of Commercial, Huw Warren, said: “We’ve enjoyed working with Masuri throughout the design process and together developed an exciting new kit we’re sure our supporters will love with its strong connections with Wales.

“Our Masuri kits have always been hugely successful with players and fans alike and we look forward to continuing our commercial partnership with them.

“We can’t wait to see our players wearing the new kit when the Blast gets underway later this summer.”

Masuri CEO, Sam Miller, said: ‘’Once again it has been a pleasure working with the team at Glamorgan to bring this year’s kit to life, and we are looking forward to seeing it in use during the much anticipated Vitality Blast this year.’’

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