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Ammanford well beaten by table toppers

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South Wales Premier League Division
One
Ammanford (190-5) lost to Newport
(172-3) by seven wkts (D/L)

Well beaten: Although Captain Alun Evans scored 67, his side were thrashed (Pic. John Davies Photography)

Well beaten: Although Captain Alun Evans scored 67, his side
were thrashed (Pic. John Davies Photography)

AMMANFORD were soundly beaten by an accomplished table-topping Newport despite the intervention of rain which prevented the game reaching its natural conclusion.

Chasing 191, Newport were 172 for 3 with 17 overs to pick off the remaining 19 runs when the downpour came to end the match.

The enigmatic Duckworth-Lewis method was invoked to make Newport the clear winners, having already scored 71 more runs than they needed at that stage of the contest.

Ammanford had lost an important toss and were put in to bat on an unusually less than predictable wicket which had seen some heavy rain the previous day.

They lost opener Rhys Davies first ball, though young Elis Richards (15) stayed with captain Alun Evans to put on 55 for the second wicket.

Matthew Fisher joined his skipper for the defining partnership of the Ammanford innings, though even these two class batsmen were finding runs hard to come by on a slow wicket and outfield.

When Evans was out for 67, and Fisher soon afterwards for 50, Ammanford’s later batsmen couldn’t capitalise on their foundation and the innings closed on 190 for five.

Nobody around the ground really felt that this would be enough. They were right.

Ammanford needed a few quick, cheap wickets but Newport weren’t giving anything away.

Openers Matthew Norris (35) and Gareth Ansell (20) helped the visitors to a solid start.

Three wickets then gave Ammanford a glimmer of hope, but that was soon extinguished with the arrival at the crease of Newport’s Kamau Leverock.

He smashed 68 runs all over a drying outfield while his young partner Matthew Jones (32) played the responsible holding role at the other end.

With the score on 172 for three, a heavy shower put an end to any further cricket.

Back in the day, this would have saved Ammanford from defeat, but the application of the Duckworth-Lewis Method – an enduring mystery to everyone other than Ammanford scorer Gary Phillips – gave Newport an easy victory.

Only 10 points now separate five teams outside the top four , with Ynysygerwn 20 points adrift at the bottom of the table.

Next week, Ammanford travel to second placed Cardiff in another attempt to reverse an early season hammering.

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Sport

Wanderers too strong for Crymych

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LLANELLI Wanderers earned their seventh win of the season on Saturday (Apr 6) as they comfortably beat Crymych 34-7.

Rhydian Morgan put the home side ahead with an unconverted try early on and he then scored a penalty to give the home side an 8-0 lead.

Crymych were then guilty of a number of offences and the referee awarded the Wanderers a penalty try. The visitors also had a player sent off which meant they would be a man light for the rest of the game.

That gave Llanelli a 15-0 lead at the break and it didn’t take long for the home side to increased their lead in the second half.

Lewis Jones crossed for the try but the conversion was missed.

Crymych did bring themselves back into the game as Laurence Headlam went over and Gareth Davies added the extra two points.

Rhydian Morgan then crossed for his second try of the game to give his side a bonus point and he then added the extras to take the score to 27-7.

Lloyd Thomas went over for the final try of the game and Morgan again added the extras for a personal haul of 17 points from the game.

That made it 34-7 to the Wanderers and they saw the game out to close the gap on their opponents.

On Saturday (Apr 13), the Wanderers are away as they travel to Whitland while Crymych host Gowerton.

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Bont hold on for win

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PONTYBEREM kept up their push for promotion as they edged to a 15-13 win away at Carmarthen Athletic on Saturday (Apr 6).

The Bont knew they could not afford to slip up in this game as they continue to chase second placed Pembroke.

The Athletic fielded a different XV to the side they played at the Park earlier in the season and they put on an impressive display.

They were able to keep the Bont at bay as Bradley Roderick scored two penalties to give them a 6-0 lead.

The visitors though began to claw their way back into the game and Rhodri Lewis crossed in the corner for an unconverted try, leaving the score a 6-5 at half time.

Pontyberem upped their game in the second half and a tremendous burst by prop James Prosser saw him go over under the posts having begun his run on the 22-metre line. Mike Sauro then added the extras for a 6-12 lead.

The visitors still had to be alert though as the Athletic threatened to get back into it but Sauro then added a penalty to make it 6-15 to the Bont.

Roderick then intercepted the ball on his own 10-yard line before going on to score and adding the conversion to make it 13-15.

That set up a nervy final six minutes but the Bont held on to keep their promotion hopes alive.

The win means that the Bont are now three points behind second placed Pembroke who they play this weekend (Apr 13).

It is one of the biggest games for both sides and a big crowd is expected at the Park.

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Sport

Dressage rider is Festivals Champion

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GEMMA SOMERS from Nantgaredig has won the Petplan Equine Novice Silver Championship at the Petplan Equine Area Festival Championships on Hallucination. The combination have spent the winter preparing for the Petplan Equine Area Festival Championships held at Hartpury College, Gloucestershire from April 11-15.

Hallucination is a British bred 17.3hh, six-year-old mare owned by William Shufflebottom and ridden by Gemma.

The talented partnership clearly impressed the judges holding the lead throughout the 32-strong class despite being the first combination to trot down the centre line achieving an impressive score of 73.06%.

Nantgaredig-based rider Gemma Somers was delighted with Hallucination’s performance in an exciting atmosphere with some outstanding dressage tests and exceptional combinations competing for the Petplan Equine Novice Silver title. “It’s amazing to win,” said Gemma, “It’s her first time here so it’s been quite daunting for her! She’s been perfect all day, for the prize giving this evening she was a bit overwhelmed. I broke her in, so I’ve been her only rider, we started at unaffiliated competitions, joined BD and progressed from there.”

“She was really calm and relaxed – she can get quite tense and shoot off when she doesn’t like the look of something – but today she didn’t, she was just with me the whole time. It was a lovely test and I’m so pleased with her.”

The Petplan Equine Area Festivals, now in their 19th year, provide riders across the levels from Preliminary to Intermediate II with the chance to experience the thrill of competing in top competition style conditions. 27 Area Festivals took place all around the country in 2017 with over 4,200 horse and rider combinations taking part.

A further eight Area Festival Finals were then contested to gain qualification for the Championships at Hartpury.

Kate Hopkins, Marketing Consultant at Petplan Equine, commented; “We have been bowled over by the continued success of the Petplan Equine Area Festivals, participation has increased again, and the standard continues to rise at every Championships. We are proud and delighted to sponsor a series that has become so important to amateur and aspiring dressage riders around the country. It is an opportunity for grassroots riders to showcase the immense talent out there. We would especially like to congratulate Gemma and Hallucination on their fantastic win and wish her the very best of luck for the future.”
British Dressage’s Chief Executive Jason Brautigam said: “I am always very impressed with the dedication and commitment shown by competitors participating in the Petplan Equine Area Festivals series. The growth in the number of combinations going down the centre line continues to surpass all our expectations.

“The new format introduced last year, with the addition of the eight Area Festival Finals, has allowed even more people to experience the atmosphere of a top dressage competition – with the Championships being the icing on the cake. Petplan Equine’s support of the Area Festivals will soon be entering its 20th year, which is testament to how much they have been a loyal, committed and trusted supporter of our sport. BD really values the contribution that they make, and long may this partnership continue.”

Further information about the Petplan Equine Area Festivals and how to qualify for next year’s finals is available from the Petplan Equine website at: www.petplanequine.co.uk/area-festivals/

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