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Reds edged out by Cambrian

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A HOME header just after the hour proved to be the difference when Llanelli Town travelled to the heart of the Rhondda for their JD Cymru South league fixture on Saturday (Dec 11).

Conditions were far from ideal with heavy rain and mist swirling around the ground, while the ageing artificial playing surface and cramped surroundings did little to assist the visitors` cause.

To add to their problems, they were down to the bare-bones in relation to players, with Morgan Weaver coming in for the injured Robert Thomas, while academy player, Dylan Williams, made his senior team debut instead of the absent James Loveridge, while the bench also had a youthful look.

The contest was by no means a classic, dictated to a large extent by the conditions and the approach of both sides, with route one seemingly the favoured option. 

The hosts bossed the early stages and had the ball in the net through Sam Jones, but an offside flag ruled out the effort.

A Cam Strinati free kick into the Reds` box was met by Ceri Morgan but a last ditch defensive block only conceded a corner.

The visitors were finding it increasingly difficult to mount anything in the way of a concerted attack, typified when Louis Gerrard made ground, but in attempting to play in Callum Bateman over-hit his pass which ran harmlessly though to goalkeeper Cameron Clarke.

Nathan Logan then attempted to set up Bateman, but this time he was crowded out by two defenders, and at this stage in proceedings the Reds had barely made ground into the final third.

On 35 minutes, the hosts were presented with a golden opportunity of opening their account with the award of a penalty after Exauce Dimonekene was judged by referee Jordan Haman to have brought down Liam Reed who had pursued a through ball into the box, and Jones stepped up to take the kick.

Once again, however, the Llanelli keeper, as so often this season, proved his worth, diving to his left to keep out the attempt and preserve the status quo.

There then came a contentious incident which saw Logan being wiped out by Clarke who had sprinted some 20-30 yards off his line to prevent his run up the left, with the referee deciding that a yellow card was sufficient punishment for the offence.

Early in the second half, the home side had the ball in the net again, this time from a Jake Thomas header, but once more it was ruled out for offside.

As the half progressed, the visitors began to assert themselves more, and when Bateman seized on a high clearance he made ground into the box before firing his finish into the side netting. 

Weaver brought off a saving tackle on Reed when he threatened to break through the middle on goal, while at the other end, Gavin Jones blazed over the top following some good build-up work involving Logan who laid on the chance.

On 63 minutes, the home side finally got the breakthrough, when a Strinati corner into the middle was initially directed on to Kyle Jones whose close range header gave Dimonekene no chance.

The visitors then made their first change, with Ben Bowler-Edwards replacing Williams, and he was in action almost immediately, threading a ball through to Jones whose effort was just off target.

Cambrian retaliated, with Reid lofting his finish over the goal from a delivery across the area, while Bateman just failed to make contact when Logan drilled a ball across the face of the net.

A Callum Saunders effort launched into the home goalmouth caused all sorts of problems, leading to a scramble in front of the net with the ball seemingly crossing the line, but again an offside flag ruled out the attempt.

Try as they might, the Reds could not unlock the home defence, and at the close would probably concede their opponents deserved the three points.

They have a chance to redeem themselves on Friday evening at Stebonheath, with the visit of Cwmbran Celtic. Kick-off is at 7.30pm.

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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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