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Reds bounce back

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Llanelli Town 1-0 Cwmbran Celtic

FULL credit to the Reds for bouncing back so positively following their horrendous 6-2 defeat at STM Sports, and the narrow margin of the win does not really do justice to their overall performance in a match they dominated for long periods.

They gave early notice of their intentions when Liam Samuel spotted goalkeeper Scott James off his line, and from fully 40 yards directed his attempt on target, leading to James frantically scrambling back and just do enough to turn the ball around for a corner.

When the visitors broke, Louis Feeley displayed some neat footwork to make his way into the box before sending his finish across the face of goal and wide of the far post.

Both Ryan Hurlow and Joe Clarke drove their efforts just wide of the Celtic goal, and the hosts continued to enjoy the lions` share of possession, but the final ball lacked the quality needed to unlock their opponents defence.

Hurlow did well to work his way into a shooting position, but his strike was diverted for a corner, and he was involved again when another sweeping move culminated in him forcing James to smother the ball at his feet when he made ground into the area.

The visitors had offered little in the way of a threat on the home goal, their best chance arising when Dion Molyneux met a Feeley corner but directed his header over the bar.

Just before the interval, a Peter Smith delivery driven low into the Celtic goalmouth saw Tim Parker just fail to make a connection, and the half ended goalless.

Parker had an early second half attempt blocked close to goal, before the best chance of the contest to date fell to the visitors when a clever dummy by Zacharia Osborne allowed Feeley a clear route to goal, but he fired wide with only Scott Coughlan to beat.

Photo by Darren Harries

Having survived this scare, the Reds continued to stroke the ball around to good effect, but the killer pass was still eluding them, resulting in a dearth of clear-cut chances on the visitors` goal.

Coughlan safely gathered an Osborne shot on target, before the long awaited breakthrough arrived on 69 minutes through Smith, who was the recipient of yet another incisive build-up and tried his luck from the edge of the box, and the ball took a deflection off Celtic captain, Rakesh Patel, before looping over James and into the net.

The lead, even if it contained an element of fortune, was fully deserved as the Reds had been the more dominant of the two sides, and they came close to extending the lead with Parker again just fractionally away from turning in a James Loveridge cross.

James was called into action to grab the ball at the feet of Samuel when he surged into the box, and Loveridge, with a delicate lob, was agonisingly denied a goal when it struck the inside of the post before being gratefully gathered by the keeper.

Kyle Copp was the next home player to be offered the chance to put the issue beyond doubt when he found himself in possession before making ground towards the target, but fired his finish well wide from a promising position.

Samuel also failed to take advantage when he got into the area but elected to try and beat the last defender and was closed down, with Loveridge waiting for a pass in acres of space.

This action was the last of the match, and the Reds emerged with a narrow but deserved win, and will be hoping to continue in this vein when they travel to meet Taffs Well on Friday evening (Oct 4), kick off 7.30pm.

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Lighthouse to Lifeboat station swim a huge success

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A LLANELLI man has completed a grueling swim across the Loughor estuary from Whiteford Lighthouse to Burry Port Harbour to raise funds for the Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI).

Matthew Jenkins completed the swim on Sunday, July 26.

Speaking on the challenge he set himself, Matthew said he set his sights on the swim to give him something positive to focus on during these unprecedented times and raise vital funds for Burry Port RNLI.

The Swim was a family effort with Matthew’s two daughters also pitching in to sell RNLI cupcakes to supporters and bystanders near the lifeboat house.

The conditions were far from ideal on the day with a 7.2 metre tide accompanied by whitecaps waves and a south to southwesterly wind behind Matthew of approximately 20 mph.

Harsh conditions on the day did not dampen spirits

However there was plenty of support from safety teams in the area to step in if needed with jet skis, kayaks and boats all keeping within safe distance.

Matthew set off on his challenge at approximately 10.45 and shortly afterwards supporters could see he was already past the halfway point.

The support shown from the beach was huge and it was obvious to all that Matthew was able to hear the chants of support and praise from those at the beach.

On completion of the challenge Matthew raised his hands as a thank you gesture for all of his support throughout the journey.

This small event has brought back a familiar feeling without the town of pre-pandemic days where events like these would be hugely supported by the community.

Community support from an array of ages where on hand to applaud the worthy challenge

It was clear to see the support for both Matthew and Burry Port RNLI throughout the day.

A grand total of £822.25 was raised through Matthew’s Just Giving page.

Matthew has praised all of those who have supported him through the journey both in the water and on land and said he feels very ‘thankful’ for the support and the opportunity to complete the challenge.

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Swans grab last gasp play-off spot

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WAYNE ROUTLEDGE’s last-gasp header saw Swansea City secure a play-off spot with a handsome away victory over 10-man Reading on a dramatic Wednesday night (July 22).

Steve Cooper’s side knew they had to win at the Madejski Stadium to have any hope of a top-six finish, and Rhian Brewster’s 10th goal of the season gave them an ideal start.

The sending off of Yakou Meite then gave the Swans a man advantage, but the Royals equalised before the half through a George Puscas penalty.

The Swans restored their lead through a classy finish from substitute Routledge, before Liam Cullen showed great composure to steer in his first goal for the club.

And when Routledge popped up at the death to complete his brace it put the Swans into the top six as Forest suffered a 4-1 defeat at home to Stoke, meaning Swansea got into the play-offs on goal difference.

The Swans started on the front foot, with centurion Connor Roberts having particular joy down the right-hand flank.

Brewster then nearly threaded Conor Gallagher in on goal after fine work by Andre Ayew, before Roberts hit a strike into the ground and over the bar after Jake Bidwell had made the overlap on the opposite flank.

The hosts responded by having a good spell of possession, probing and asking a few questions of their own.

But the visitors hit the lead in the 16th minute through Brewster. The striker picked the ball up some 30 yards out and got the ball out of his feet before smashing a long-range drive that completely deceived Rafael in the Reading goal.

John Swift curled a free-kick over at the other end, while more good work by Roberts could not quite end with Bidwell getting on the end of a deep cross before Rafael made a hash of dealing with a Gallagher cross.

Swift headed straight at Erwin Mulder from a good counter on the half-hour mark, with Ayew quickly advancing up the field to work Rafael again.

Opportunities were coming at both ends, with Mulder called into action again as Meite took aim from the left side of the area.
Swansea were riding their luck a little and had a let-off when a sliced clearance landed on top of the bar.

Matt Grimes had a free-kick pushed away by Rafael before the home side were reduced to 10 men after Meite had pushed Mike van der Hoorn in the face after a tussle for the ball.

But the hosts made light of the numerical disadvantage by levelling after Bidwell was adjudged to have fouled Andy Rinomhota, with Puscas beating Mulder – who got a hand to the strike – from the spot.

However, the Swans should have led at the break. Ben Cabango’s shot was blocked and fell to Jay Fulton, but the Scot pulled his shot wide of the target.

Rafael pushed away an Ayew drive right on half-time, with Swansea frustrated that referee Stephen Martin did not award them a penalty of their own as Fulton went down under a challenge from Omar Richards.

With Cardiff winning and Nottingham Forest losing, Cooper knew goals were needed and he made two changes at the break.

Yan Dhanda came on for Fulton, while Routledge replaced van der Hoorn, and they were immediately on the front foot.

With Swansea committing so many players forward, Reading looked to sit deep and play on the break and they proved resolute as the visitors battled to find a way through.

Grimes curled a free-kick wide of the target and Gallagher also threatened from distance, but the hour mark came and went without any clear-cut chances to show for their dominance of possession and territory.

However, when they did craft a sight of goal they took the chance clinically. Grimes produced a lovely ball, and Routledge controlled superbly to loft the ball over Rafael and into the net.

Unfortunately for the Swans, that goal went in moments after Forest had equalised against Stoke, which appeared to put a sizeable dent in their playoff aspirations.

Nevertheless, Cooper’s side continued to search for more goals in the hope events in the East Midlands would turn back in their favour.

They so nearly made it 3-1 with 17 minutes to play as lovely link play from Rutledge and Bidwell ended with Ayew steering just wide.

The situation was changing all the time, and Stoke retook the lead at Forest to leave the door ajar for the Swans.

And, when Stoke scored a third at the City Ground and Cullen coolly fired home his first senior goal for the club with six minutes remaining, they suddenly only needed a goal to finish in the play-off places.

Grimes had a deflected shot tipped over but the Swans then got the goal they needed in stoppage time as Routledge popped up to nod in at the far post, with Stoke’s fourth goal putting the matter beyond doubt a few moments later to spark delighted celebrations among Cooper, his players and his staff.

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Glamorgan launch new kit

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GLAMORGAN Cricket has unveiled its new Vitality Blast playing kit for the 2020 season.

Designed by the Club’s official kit supplier, Masuri, alongside Glamorgan’s management, players and coaches, the brand-new Vitality Blast strip contains a subtle Welsh twist.

Fitting Glamorgan’s traditional colour schemes, the top is dark navy with a tonal dragon across the front – a nod to the old Glamorgan nickname and the Welsh identity – while a sharp yellow trim on the neck and sleeves frames the top.

The famous ‘Daff’ sits on the heart of the shirt, with MiPost’s strong Welsh brand centre-stage. Appearing on the collars are the logos of ‘Official Players Car Partner’, Mon Motors and Welsh company, Philtronics Solutions, with Discover Leeks on the right sleeve and SA Group on the back.

The famous Aston Martin logo features on both side of the Glamorgan T20 cap, as they continue their ongoing support of the club.

Head of Commercial, Huw Warren, said: “We’ve enjoyed working with Masuri throughout the design process and together developed an exciting new kit we’re sure our supporters will love with its strong connections with Wales.

“Our Masuri kits have always been hugely successful with players and fans alike and we look forward to continuing our commercial partnership with them.

“We can’t wait to see our players wearing the new kit when the Blast gets underway later this summer.”

Masuri CEO, Sam Miller, said: ‘’Once again it has been a pleasure working with the team at Glamorgan to bring this year’s kit to life, and we are looking forward to seeing it in use during the much anticipated Vitality Blast this year.’’

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