Port Talbot Town 0
PENRHYNCOCH FC began their pre-season campaign with a tough encounter against Port Talbot Town, and in a close game managed to get the edge of the game and grab a late winner.
The game began in a quiet fashion, with both sides trying to keep hold of possession, with Port Talbot’s Jamie Latham being the first player to force any kind of a shot in the early exchanges.
Penrhyn were getting some joy out wide in the first half, and a Josh Shaw cross that was just too far for Dean Evans to head home the closest chance for the roosters in the first 25 minutes.
Nathan Warren had, throughout the half, shown his usual flashes of brilliance and brought the game to life around the half hour mark, as he ran past numerous members of the Port Talbot defence before cutting inside and unleashing a great shot which hit the crossbar.
After this, Port Talbot had the best of the rest of the first half, with Liam Evans and Jamie Latham instrumental in most of the Port Talbot play, Jamie Latham shooting just wide before halftime.
Penrhyncoch rang the changes at the start of the second half, as well as Port Talbot early in the second half, and although both sides were still trying to play attractive football, both sides seemed to be cancelling each other out.
The first real chance of note came around half -way through the half, as a Gareth Mansell shot was well saved by Conah McFenton.
As the half wore on, however, it was young Harri Horwood that began to stamp his authority on the game, as his runs on the left wing were causing Port Talbot problems.
First, one cross was met by the head of Dafydd Carruthers, but the header went wide, before the second run and cross resulted in a goal for the Roosters.
Port Talbot keeper McFenton saved and tried to clear the cross from Horwood but only to the path of Dean Evans, who shot firmly into the goal to give Penrhyn the lead, and from there they hung on to give themselves a massive confidence boost early in pre-season.
Manager Gari Lewis said the squad were ‘very impressive’ and added: “A lot of things we spoke about before the game. We were just looking at fitness levels really but combinations were good on the day as well, which is really nice surprise and a bit of an added bonus.
“Everybody who played and had time on the pitch did really well. I was expecting some players to be really rusty and make the wrong decisions but everybody looked really sharp and game mentality was back.”
Speaking on the game with Haverfordwest on Saturday (Jul 16) , Gari said: “Sully is a top man, I know what he’ll want to bring. He’s a fitness fanatic so the team will be super fit – they’ll want to play, use a winger, use a dynamic technical player, so his team will play in the mould of him. I’m expecting a really tough game.”
Wanderers too strong for Crymych
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.
Bont hold on for win
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.
Dressage rider is Festivals Champion
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-
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