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Llanelli secure fourth win on bounce

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Llanelli Town 4

Pontypridd Town 1

WITH THEIR opponents arriving at Stebonheath buoyed by a moral-boosting midweek victory away at third placed Tredegar Town, the Reds might have been expecting they were in for an uncomfortable afternoon. As it transpired, the visitors seldom offering any real goal threat, while the home side were in control of the game and might well have added to the final tally.

Despite still missing their talisman, Bruno Forkuoh through injury, the Reds took only four minutes to go in front when a through ball sent Luke Jones clear, and he crossed into the near post where Anthony Owens was on hand to turn the ball past keeper Ryan Griffiths.

Griffiths then had to be alert to come off his line and win a race for the ball in the box from Robert Thomas after Ross Jones’ clever pass. Pontypridd then went close to an equaliser following a clearance which found Geraint Passmore seemingly well offside, but referee James Sheils allowed play to continue, and with Craig Richards in the home goal on the edge of his area in an attempt to snuff out the danger, Passmore lofted the ball over him but saw his attempt rebound off the top of the bar and over.

This near miss seemed to jolt the visitors into action and when Richard Lewis lost possession in midfield, the ball was transferred by Javi Garcia into the path of James Hill whose strike on target was diverted away by Richards only as far as Tom Rutherford, but his attempted cross into the middle was cut out and the danger eventually cleared.

Four minutes from the break, Luke Jones won a tussle with Dominic Broad which enabled him to make ground into the box where Griffiths threw himself at his feet and seemed to make a legitimate save before Jones tumbled over him, but referee Sheils adjudged it to be worthy of a penalty.

Steve Stone stepped up to take the kick sending it low past Griffiths into the bottom corner.

The Pontypridd keeper was then called into early second half action, turning over at full stretch a well struck Steve Berry free kick which was destined for the top corner. Moments later Rutherford, who had earlier been cautioned, was fortunate not to be shown a red card for a kick at Lee Bevan, the referee deciding no further punishment was warranted.

The Reds were well in control of proceedings, and Griffiths did well to divert a Luke Jones effort around the upright when Owens set up the shooting chance.

However, from the resultant corner they increased the lead on 62 minutes when Lewis sent a vicious in-swinging delivery into the goalmouth where it was met by Stone for a point blank header into the net.

Within two minutes of this, the visitors reduced the deficit following a free kick which resulted in Nathan Thompson sending over a far post cross to the head of Rutherford who glanced it past Richards.

Undeterred by this, the home side went close to another goal with Luke Jones curling a near post diving header from a Lewis delivery just wide, but they were fortunate not to concede again when Jamie Evans was caught in possession by Hill, and it took the outstretched foot of Richards to keep out his goal bound attempt.

The Reds still continued to create chances, with Owens sending a close range ball from Matthew Hughes over the top, but in stoppage time he did atone when he latched on to a clearance over the Pontypridd rearguard before beating Griffiths to seal a relatively comfortable home win.

The Reds play their penultimate home game of the season next Wednesday when Newport Civil Service provide the opposition, kick off 7.45 p.m.

TEAMS:

LLANELLI TOWN; Richards; Napieralla; Lewis; Berry; Evans; Bevan ©; Thomas (John, 89); R. Jones (Bauza, 84); L. Jones; Stone (Hughes, 76); Owens; Subs. not used; Jenkins; Powell.

PONTYPRIDD TOWN; Griffiths; Iheancho (Escott, 75); Broad; Doumas; Thompson; Bird ©; Rutherford (Graves, 80); J. Garcia (C. Garcia, 64); Gullick; Passmore; Hill; Subs. not used; Williams; Thomas.

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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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Sport

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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