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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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Scarlets make five changes for European quarter-final

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Johnny Williams and Sione Kalamafoni have been handed their Scarlets’ European debuts for Saturday’s Challenge Cup quarter-final against Toulon at the Stade Felix Mayol (8.15pm UK time).

Both summer signings are included in a side showing five changes to the line-up that took the field against the Dragons in the Scarlets last match of the Guinness PRO14 season.

Wales and British & Irish Lions full-back Leigh Halfpenny returns to face his former side, linking up with Johnny McNicholl and Steff Evans in an all-international back three.

Williams and Steff Hughes continue their midfield combination, while Wales scrum-half Gareth Davies has recovered from injury to partner Dan Jones at half-back.

Skipper Ken Owens, Wyn Jones and Samson Lee pack down in the front row and behind them Tongan international Sam Lousi starts at lock alongside Jake Ball.

In a reshuffled back-row, the PRO14’s turnover king Josh Macleod gets the nod at openside;  Kalamafoni, who featured for Leicester Tigers in the pool stages of the tournament, wears the No. 8 jersey and Scotland international Blade Thomson has recovered from an Achilles issue to start at blindside.

On the bench, Ryan Elias, Phil Price and Javan Sebastian provide front-row cover with Lewis Rawlins and James Davies the other forward replacements. Kieran Hardy, Angus O’Brien and Tyler Morgan cover the backs. Morgan is set to make his first Scarlets appearance since joining from the Dragons.

The Scarlets and Toulon faced each other twice during the pool stages. A last-gasp converted try grabbed a 17-16 victory for the French side in November. The three-times European champions then claimed a crucial 27-15 win at Parc y Scarlets in January to ensure they topped the group. 

Head coach Glenn Delaney said: “It is a final for us. If you win three finals in a row you win a trophy. We are that far away from achieving the objective we all set out upon 12 to 13 months ago. It would be lovely to finish it off the right way. Whenever you get the opportunity to play for a trophy you have got to be very respectful and take it deadly serious, which is exactly what our boys have been doing.”

Scarlets team v RC Toulon (Saturday, September 19, 2020; kick-off 8.15pm UK)

15 Leigh Halfpenny; 14 Johnny McNicholl, 13 Steff Hughes, 12 Johnny Williams, 11 Steff Evans; 10 Dan Jones, 9 Gareth Davies; 1 Wyn Jones, 2 Ken Owens (capt), 3 Samson Lee, 4 Jake Ball, 5 Sam Lousi, 6 Blade Thomson, 7 Josh Macleod, 8 Sione Kalamafoni.

Reps: 16 Ryan Elias, 17 Phil Price, 18 Javan Sebastian, 19 Lewis Rawlins, 20 James Davies, 21 Kieran Hardy, 22 Angus O’Brien, 23 Tyler Morgan.

Unavailable because of injury

Rob Evans (neck), Rhys Patchell (calf), Liam Williams (foot), Daf Hughes (knee), Steff Thomas (knee), Alex Jeffries (elbow), Tomi Lewis (knee), Aaron Shingler.

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Pembrey Country Park to host one of first post-lockdown events

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CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council’s Pembrey Country Park has been chosen to host one of the first outdoor sports events in Wales since the Covid-19 lockdown.

Welsh Government has given the go ahead for three trial sport and culture events as part of its continued easing of restrictions.

Pembrey Country Park will host a duathlon on Sunday, September 6, with a limited number of competitors, although there will be no spectators.

The event will be monitored and will help inform Welsh Government policy on future sporting events as the country continues its recovery from Covid-19.

The council is working with Welsh Triathlon to ensure athletes can compete safely, with strict risk assessments and protocols being put into place.

Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths, Carmarthenshire County Council’s Executive Board Member for Culture, Sport and Tourism, said: “We’re delighted to host this trial event here in Carmarthenshire, and hope this signals a return of more sporting events in the future. Our teams are working alongside Welsh Government and Welsh Triathlon to ensure that the event is safe and secure whilst providing an exciting and challenging duathlon course for competitors.”

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Trundle and Robinson are back for another season with Ammanford AFC

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Ammanford AFC are pleased to announce that the Ex Swans legends Lee Trundle and Andy Robinson are back for a second season with the club

The pair helped Ammanford AFC to achieve a respectable seventh place finish in the JD Cymru South league last season.

The Supporters of Ammanford will welcome the news and will be hoping that they can go and watch their team once clearance has been given.

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