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Trundle treble sees off Dinas Powys

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Llanelli Town 5

Dinas Powys 2

Photo: Julian Hunt

LLANELLI TOWN remain firmly on course for promotion following a Lee Trundle hat-trick at Steboneath Park last Saturday (Mar 11).

It was Trundle’s seventh hat-trick of the season, taking his tally to an incredible 40 goals in 20 games since joining the Reds. Joe Clarke and James Loveridge also got on the scoresheet.

The 5-2 scoreline was harsh on a well-disciplined Dinas Powys side, managed by former Cardiff City and Newport County player Paul Giles and coached by Tony Bird (Ex Cardiff City and Swansea City).

On an afternoon when Llanelli Town lacked their distinguishing fluid dynamism, Dinas Powys came with a plan to defend deep in numbers, get tight, hit on the break, frustrate and niggle; that worked perfectly well for eighty minutes.

That three of Llanelli’s five goals came in the final ten minutes of the match, is an indication of the stubborn resistance of the Dinas Powys players who simply ran out of legs; leaving nothing left behind on the Steboneath pitch.

In a scrappy opening, the first real opportunity came on 11 minutes. Following corners by Trundle and Jordan Davies, Trundle’s low shot skimmed past the Dinas Powys goal. Shortly after, a Trundle free kick from some 35 yards out was only parried by Elliott Matthews. The follow-up by Jordan Follows lacked real purpose and the danger was cleared.

With Llanelli’s game lacking incisiveness, a Dinas Powys injury break on 20 minutes saw Llanelli Manager Andy Hill and Trundle in deep discussion in front of the home dugout.

With chances from open play at a minimum, it was no surprise that the opening goal, on twenty nine minutes, came as a result of a Trundle free kick. His initial attempt rebounded off the Dinas Powys wall but the experienced Llanelli striker made no mistake with the follow up, driving his strike over the despairing Matthews.

The Llanelli Town advantage lasted just eight minutes in to the second half. With the Llanelli defence dithering with the ball in their own box, Captain Lee Bevan brought down midfielder Liam Beddard. Following Bevan’s yellow carding, Beddard himself took the resulting penalty; driving the ball down the middle of the Llanelli goal.

Three minutes later, Llanelli Town were back in front. With Thomas heading a Trundle delivery back in to the Dinas Powys goalmouth, Clarke scrambled the ball home. Five minutes later, a further effort from Clarke flew just over the bar.

With the home crowd becoming increasingly frustrated with the lack of any real decisiveness in Llanelli’s play, Dinas Powys again levelled on 65 minutes. A breakdown the Llanelli right saw David Shallis beating slack defending from Kurtis March, prior to cutting inside and shooting across Craig Morris in the Llanelli goal.

Follows was replaced by Liam Samuel on 68 minutes and with their opponents visibly tiring, Llanelli Town finally began showing the kind of fluidity that has characterised their play this season. Davies was put through by Trundle on 75 and 77 minutes, only to be denied on both occasions by Matthews.

The same combination were involved in the Reds goal on 80 minutes, as Llanelli’s pressure eventually paid off. Davies again put through by Trundle, saw his shot saved well by the outstretched leg of Matthews, before Trundle, picking up the loose ball, evaded three challenges prior to skilfully slotting the ball in to the back of the Dinas Powys net.

Llanelli Town spent the last ten minutes of the match camped inside Dinas Powys’ half. Sam Wade replaced Thomas and within a minute of his introduction, the increasingly influential and confident Trundle put Loveridge through on goal. Cutting inside from the left, Loveridge fired low past Matthews.

Hill replaced Loveridge with Luke Morgan on 85 minutes and a further Trundle effort on eighty seven minutes nestled on top of the Dinas Powys net. The drama was not over and it was Trundle himself who wrapped the game up for Llanelli in stoppage time. Sent clean though with a high ball from Wade, Trundle fired past Matthews for his hat-trick.

This was a particularly tough result on Dinas Powys, who were resolute and who had halted Llanelli Town’s rhythm for eighty minutes.

The Reds were far from their best but with only ten matches remaining, Andy Hill will take more victories like this if it ensures promotion and ultimately, the Welsh Football League Division Two title.

Next up for the Reds: An away local derby with Ammanford AFC at the Manor Road Ground on Saturday, March 18. Kick-off 2:30PM.

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Sport

Snooker returns with Olympic Cup

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THE Llanelli & District Snooker League returned following the enforced break with the Olympic Cup opening round.

In the First Division, Trimsaran A returned with a convincing 4-0 win at Pontyberem Workmens’, Jamie Tudor, Carl Thomas, Kieran Proctor and Mark Foreman their frame winners.

Elsewhere, Snooker World Whites progressed with a similar 4-0 win at Llanesco, while Peter Rowlands, Gavin Quinnell, Mike Moore and Dean Bowen claimed a 4-2 win for Llanelli Cons A against Burry Port Legion.

Wyn Major provided Llandybie Social’s only resistance as his side went out 4-1 at Matchroom Whites; Tyler Rees, Tom Twigg, Chris Davies and Steven Jenkins struck for the home side.

Matchroom Reds defeated Morfa 4-2, whereas the closest match of the night saw Ponthenri Social edge through 4-3 at Cross Hands B, thanks to Nigel Lewis, Jeff Howells, Mark Regola and Andrew Jones.

In the Second Division, Josh Townsend was Bryn & Trallwm A’s solitary frame winner in a 4-1 home defeat against CGMD; for the Glanamman side, Wyn Llewelyn, Brian Chappel, Matthew Jones and James Varney were “on the ball”.

Elliott Anderson, Aaron Cruickshank, Adam Fussell and Luke Powell helped Bryn B go through with a 4-2 victory at Llandybie RFC; Dar Sigsworth and Sion Isaac won for the latter.

Cross Hands A squeezed through 4-3 away at Pont Cons B, whilst Adrian Davies, Cory Jenkins, Dean Shoulder and Nathan Brain gave Matchroom Blacks a 4-2 passage at the expense of the Gremlin Club.

Upper Tumble Reds knocked out New Lodge, winning 4-2, and there were “byes” into the next round for Llandybie Social B and Burry Port Reading Room Reds.

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Davies to captain Scarlets for 2021/22 season

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WALES international and British & Irish Lion Jonathan ‘Fox’ Davies will captain the Scarlets for the 2021-22 season.

Former Ysgol Dyffryn Taf pupil Davies has played 170 matches for the Scarlets since making his debut in 2006 and is one of the most decorated centres in international rugby having won 91 caps for Wales and represented the Lions in the Test series in Australia 2013 and New Zealand in 2017.

It will be his second stint wearing the Scarlets armband having been a co-captain along with Rob McCusker in 2013.

‘Foxy’ takes the reins from hooker Ken Owens who led the Scarlets for a record-equalling seven successive seasons.

“Jon is one of the most respected players in the game, someone with a huge amount of experience at all levels,” said Scarlets head coach Dwayne Peel

“He has been a leader amongst our group for a number of years now and certainly since I have been here his leadership qualities have been there for all to see, on and off the training field.

“Foxy is the ultimate professional – when he speaks people listen. The way he conducts himself is an example to every player in the squad.

“He has been a big part of this club for a long time; he has grown up in the region, played his junior rugby here and it is clear that wearing the Scarlets jersey means a huge amount to him.”

Paying tribute to Davies’s predecessor Owens, Peel added: “Ken has been a fantastic leader for us over the last seven years and will continue to have a huge part to play in the leadership of this group.”

Davies, who captained Wales during the recent summer internationals in Cardiff, said: “It is a massive honour to be handed the Scarlets captaincy, you only have to look at the captain’s board to see so many great players and icons of the game who have led the club.

“I am fortunate that there will be a strong leadership group around me – British & Irish Lions and experienced Wales internationals who have enjoyed success at domestic and Test level. Those players also know there is a hard-working, driven group of youngsters pushing them for the jersey. There is a really exciting mix to the squad.”

Davies added: “Winning the PRO12 title with the Scarlets four years ago remains one of the highlights of my career and there is a real ambition and hunger among the players and coaching group to reach those levels again.

“There has been a good buzz about pre-season, the boys have worked really hard and we’re all looking forward to the start of the new URC season in Edinburgh on Saturday.

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Scarlets appoint Phil John as Academy coach

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FORMER prop Phil John is back at the Scarlets having been appointed to the role of Academy skills coach.

John made 330 Scarlets appearances over 17 seasons and holds the record for the most Scarlets matches played in the regional era.

Since hanging up his playing boots following his final game against Glasgow in 2016, he has worked with the RGC 1404 Academy and alongside another ex-Scarlet Mark Jones with the Premiership team in North Wales.

He also has experience coaching with the Llanelli RFC Premiership side and as an assistant to Danny Wilson for the Scarlets.

John, who started out on a rugby apprenticeship scheme at Stradey Park, replaces Emyr Phillips who becomes the Scarlets transition coach overseeing the academy players who are training with the senior side.

“It’s good to be back at Parc y Scarlets and I’m looking forward to working with a talented group of young players who have bright futures in the game,” said John.

“When you look at the players who were in the Academy five years ago when I was here, they are now starting week in week out for the Scarlets, it is great to see the journeys they have been on.

“The Scarlets Academy has a proud tradition of being a production line for the senior side and I’m excited by this opportunity to help make sure that continues.”

Scarlets Development Pathway Manager Kevin George added: “For us, this appointment was about getting the balance right in the coaching group with Emyr having been promoted to oversee the transition players.

“We had a lot of interest in the post and Phil, with his experience working with academies and the commitment he gave to North Wales, came out very strongly. We are delighted to have him on board to help nurture the next generation of Scarlets.”

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