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Close win for home side

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Luke Jones: Runs the Tredegar defence

Luke Jones: Runs the Tredegar defence

Llanelli Town 1
Tredegar Town 0

PRIOR to the weekend fixtures, the Reds` dream scenario would have envisaged a home win against their highly placed visitors nearest rivals Ammanford and Lliswerry also promotion contenders, drawing and, most unlikely of all, Cwmamman United going down at Cwm Welfare.

Their expectations were realised as these results duly emerged – the only successful side in the top three being Cardiff Corinthians with an emphatic 5-1 win over Newport YMCA.

With their lead at the top of the table now extended to eleven points over Ammanford, they will be confident of going on to secure the championship title, although there are still a few tricky obstacles in the way in the shape of away matches at Lliswerry and Tredegar, while the home local derby with Ammanford could also prove crucial.

A scrappy, niggly game did not throw up much in the way of goalmouth action, with neither goalkeeper being seriously tested throughout.

The only direct effort on goal came in the opening couple of minutes when the home side attacked through Luke Jones whose infield pass picked out Robert Thomas, but his strike forced a sprawling save by goalkeeper Kris Morris at the expense of a corner.

As the home side, the Reds were the more dominant, but their opponents were content to sit back and absorb the pressure, resulting in few clear cut chances.

In fact, it was the visitors who went closest to establishing the lead when Reds` keeper, Craig Richards, made a hash of an attempted clearance, allowing Tomos Lynch to win possession before directing an effort across the face of goal before it was scrambled clear.

When the home side countered, a deep cross by Mark Napieralla found Steve Berry positioned on the edge of the area, and his first time volley flashed across the net and just wide of the far post.

A Richard Lewis corner found Luke Jones, but a defensive block denied him, but the best opportunity for the Reds to open their account came when some great wide play down the right by Bruno Forkuoh found Thomas in space, but he directed his finish wide from 20 yards.

On the stroke of half-time, Lynch did find the home net only for the effort to be ruled out for offside, but within a minute of the restart the Reds took the lead through Forkuoh with an exquisite backheel past Morris following some excellent build-up play from Anthony Owens.

Buoyed by this success, they came agonisingly close to extending the advantage with a Lewis free kick being met with a Lee Bevan header at the far post which rebounded off the underside of the crossbar before being cleared.

When the visitors were awarded a set piece, it was quickly taken by Morris who drove it down the middle where it deflected off Jamie Evans into the path of Lynch, but he took too long over his intended finish, and Evans was able to affect a clearance.

Most of the chances coming the way of Tredegar stemmed from ineptitude by their opponents, typified when a poor back pass by Napieralla was seized upon by Lynch, forcing Richards out of his goal to close down the threat.

A speculative attempt from Christopher Quinlan forced Richards to turn it over, while at the other end, persistence by Luke Jones forced Morris into a hurried clearance which only found Forkuoh, and he despatched a strike on target only for Gareth Stevens to intervene and prevent a certain goal.

Berry sent a first time attempt narrowly wide of the visitors` goal, but in stoppage time, they could well have levelled matters when another error, this time by Bevan, afforded Ian Pettit the chance, but again the finish was undecisive and Richards was able to gather safely.

A less than convincing win for the home side, but who nevertheless will be satisfied with the three points, and now face a potential tricky away game at Lliswerry on Saturday (Mar 7), kick off 2.30 p.m., before the visit of Ammanford to Stebonheath on Wednesday, 11th March, with a 7.45 p.m. kick off.

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Gascoigne entertains Llanelli

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OVER 400 people were at attendance in the Selwyn Samuel Centre in Llanelli on Saturday (Jun 18) to see former England legend Paul Gascoigne talk about his life and footballing career.

Gazza had the crowd in stitches with his stories from his past and was visibly emotional with the crowd’s warm reaction to him being there.

At one point a member of the crowd asked him if he could play one last game for one team who would it be… his answer was Swansea City to the crowds delight.

His next event will be in Tenby on September 17. The event was kindly sponsored by RDH Contractors and Sylan Lakes holiday cottages in five roads.

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Ryan Giggs quits as Wales manager with ‘immediate effect’

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EX Man-Utd winger has left his position as the manager of the national football team with ‘immediate effect’.

Giggs stepped back from his role in November 2020 following after being arrested.

49-year-old Giggs has been charged with assault and using controlling behaviour towards an ex-partner. A claim that Giggs has denied.

In a heartfelt statement on his decision, Giggs said: “After much consideration, I am standing down from my position as manager of the Wales men’s national team with immediate effect.

“It has been an honour and a privilege to manage my country, but it is only right that the Wales FA, the coaching staff and the players prepare for the tournament with certainty, clarification and without speculation around the position of their head coach.

“I do not want the country’s preparations for the World Cup to be affected, destabilised or jeopardised in any way by the continued interest around this case.

“I am sad that we cannot continue this journey together because I believe that this extraordinary group will make the country proud at our first World Cup since 1958.

“It is my intention to resume my managerial career at a later date.”

Following Giggs arrest in 2020, former Wales captain Robert Page took over as interim manager.

Under Page Wales beat Ukraine to earn themselves a place at Qatar World Cup for the first time in 64 years.

Giggs faces one charge of using controlling and coercive behaviour August 2017 and November 2020, one charge of assault causing actual bodily harm of his ex-girlfriend Kate Greville on November 1, 2020.

He also faces a charge of common assault on the victim’s sister.

Giggs denies all charges against him and will stand trial on August 8.

The trial is expected to last five days.

Following the announcement, a FAW spokesperson said: “The FAW places on record its gratitude to Ryan Giggs for his tenure as manager of the Cymru men’s national team and appreciates the decision he has taken, which is in the best interests of Welsh football,

“The full focus of the FAW and the Cymru men’s national team is on the Fifa World Cup in Qatar later this year.”

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Llanelli edged out as Ynystawe pull off mammoth chase

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A SCORE of 331-4 would normally be enough for a team to pick up victory, but South Wales Premier Division 2 leaders Ynystawe had other ideas as they pulled off a remarkable chase on Saturday (Jun 4).

Llanelli had been asked to bat first after Ynystawe had won the toss and their total was underpinned by a brilliant unbeaten century from Iwan Rees.

The opener hit sixteen fours and four sixes in his knock of 153 which came off 146 balls.

He had good support from Steven Devonald who scored 29 and Rhydian Morgan who scored 20 (2 fours, 1 six).

Rees and Rhys Harris shared the best stand of the match as they put on 157 runs for the fourth wicket.

Harris hit 12 fours in his score of 87 from 74 balls but he was out to the bowling of Rhys Palmer.

Rhys Westcott also finished unbeaten on 18 from 11 balls as Ynystawe were set 332 to win the game.

In reply, opener Nathan Lee scored 20 before falling to Jac Rees who also then took the wicket of Morgan Hodges on a score of 23.

Carl Roberts played well for his half century, hitting eight fours in his score of 56 before being trapped leg before by Aled Gilley.

Andrew Beasley was run out on a score of 15 and that left Ynystawe on 140-4.

Thomas Morgan and Luke Garthwaite shared 93 runs for the fifth wicket. Both reached their half centuries but Morgan was out to Iwan Rees on a score of 50.

Rees also bowled Ceri Durke and Rhys Palmer was run out by Rhydian Morgan having hit a four and a six in a quickfire score of 15.

That left Ynystawe 275-7 and they only had six overs left to get their target.

Garthwaite was on a score of 75 when Palmer fell and he took control as he smashed his way to a century.

He finished unbeaten on 118 from 67 balls after hitting 20 fours and two sixes. The last of his fours won the game for the home side as they ended up winning with two overs to spare.

On Saturday, June 11, Llanelli host Cowbridge while Ynynstawe travel to Penarth.

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