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Inspired sub gives Reds victory

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AN inspired substitution by the Llanelli Town management team of Lee John and Dylan Blain twelve minutes from the end of normal time, ultimately led to the winning goal by Fraser Finlay who had replaced Brandon Griffiths just two minutes previously, hammering home an 80th minute score which sealed the three points for the visitors.

This result was no more than the Reds deserved based particularly on their second half efforts, although they were under the cosh for much of the opening forty five minutes with their opponents going close on a number of occasions, although goalkeeper Exauce Dimonekene was never seriously troubled despite the pressure.

In fact, he more than earned his stripes after the restart, with a string of outstanding saves which frustrated the hosts, while the woodwork also played its part in preserving the away goal when the Ferry pushed forward.

Apart from these near misses, it was the Reds who almost took the lead in the opening minutes when an effort from long range by Sam Parsons seem to deceive Conah McFenton in the home goal who allowed it to run past him, and was then relieved to see the ball rebound off the base of the past before being cleared.

This was about the nearest the home goal came to being breached, as the rest of the first half proceedings were dominated by the hosts who retained possession for long periods, forcing their opponents into defensive situations from which they found it hard pressed to extricate themselves.

Ferry threatened when a delivery by McCauley Power was headed partially clear but met by Jasper Payne whose effort was well blocked by Daniel Barnard.

Daniel Alfei found Tyler Brock wide on the right, and his finish flashed across the face of the Reds` goal but harmlessly over for a goal kick.

Alfei was involved further, this time picking out Luke Bowen who forced Dimonekene to divert his finish wide of the goal.

Barnard brought off a saving header to clear away a searching cross by Joe Hunt, while Alfei headed narrowly wide when he connected with a Jack Hurley free kick.

Their opponents dominance meant the Reds were finding it difficult to launch any meaningful attacks, although McFenton was forced off his line to head clear from Louis Gerrard when he pursued a clearance to the edge of the home box.

Despite their overall dominance of proceedings, the Ferry had still not created any clear-cut opportunities up to the break and had not managed to breach their opponents` defence, and after the restart were dealt some of their own medicine as the visitors finally got to grips with the contest and looked far more menacing as a result.

They finally started to string together some telling moves, with the excellent Thomas Hillman the instigator for much of the play along with Ryan Bevan who also had a say in proceedings, and McFenton was called into some meaningful action for the first time, doing well to deny Hillman when he unleashed a fierce shot on target.

The home side, despite playing second fiddle in this half were still a potential threat going forward, and the Reds have Dimonekene to thank for a number of important saves, grasping a header on the line, before turning over another close range attempt after an initial effort had struck the underside of the bar and bounced out.

It seemed as if the Reds` luck was in with all these close calls not being converted, and they made the most of their good fortune with time running out with what turned out to be a vital change with twelve minutes remaining.

Academy member Fraser Finlay was introduced in place of Brandon Griffiths on 78 minutes, and within two minutes of his arrival was celebrating when he was found in space on the right by another superb ball by Hillman, and lined up his finish before beating McFenton comprehensively, much to the delight of the sizeable travelling support.

The Ferry goalkeeper was called into action again shortly after, doing well to keep out a well- directed effort at his near post by Hillman, before a late rally by an increasingly desperate home side led to a siege on the Reds goal, but somehow it survived with Dimonekene proving almost impossible to beat.

He rounded off a fine display by denying Bowen deep into stoppage time to ensure the visitors clung on to their slender lead and ultimately claim the spoils.

The Reds are in action on Easter Monday, as they host Briton Ferry at Stebonheath Park, kick off 2.30pm.

Ammanford are the Reds` opponents at the Rec, next Saturday (Apr 23) in their final game of the season, kick off 2.30pm.

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Rob Evans and Steff Hughes leaving Scarlets

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SCARLETS has confirmed that Rob Evans and Steff Hughes are amongst the nine players who will be leaving the club at the end of the 2021-22 season.

It has already been announced that Liam Williams has signed for Cardiff Rugby and Angus O’Brien is rejoining the Dragons for next season, while James Davies revealed in April that he is retiring from the game on medical grounds.

As well as Rob and Steff, the Llanelli-based side will also be saying its farewells and thanks to Tyler Morgan, Marc Jones, Tom Phillips and Tomi Lewis after Saturday’s final URC match of the season against DHL Stormers.

Scarlets head coach Dwayne Peel said: “I’d like to thank all these players for everything they have given to the Scarlets jersey.

“Boys like Rob, Steff, Cubby and Liam have played more than a century of games for the club and they will be fondly remembered by everyone here, staff, team-mates and supporters.

“They can be extremely proud of what they have achieved and I am sure they will have great memories of representing the Scarlets over the years.

“Every season players move on and we always respect the decisions that are made. With a reduced playing budget, we have had to cut our squad for next season and that has meant we have had some difficult decisions to make.

“The players have continued to give their full commitment, as they have always done, and I’m sure our supporters will give them the reception they all deserve at our final game against the Stormers on Saturday. I wish them all well for what comes next.”

SCARLETS LEAVERS 2021-22

ROB EVANS
The Pembrokeshire loose-head came through the Scarlets Academy and after playing for Carmarthen Quins in the Welsh Premiership made his senior debut against Sale Sharks in January 2013. Rob has made 156 Scarlets appearances and scored 13 tries, including one in Glasgow that secured a memorable away semi-final victory in the PRO14. Was a member of the side that lifted the Guinness PRO12 title in 2017 and will be remembered as a larger than life character around the squad during his 10 seasons at Parc y Scarlets. Capped 39 times for Wales,

LIAM WILLIAMS

Liam Williams is bringing to an end his second spell with the Scarlets. The 31-year-old Wales international full-back and British & Irish Lion has played 119 games for the club and has scored 34 tries, one of which set the Scarlets on their way to PRO12 glory in the final in 2017. Liam is joining Cardiff Rugby for next season.

STEFF HUGHES

Steff Hughes has made 104 appearances and scored seven tries for the Scarlets since making his debut at centre in an LV=Cup game against Saracens nine years ago. A former Wales U20s captain, the Llanelli product has skippered the Scarlets on numerous occasions, including the memorable European pool win in Bath in 2020. His two tries in a thrilling home clash against Connacht in the same season helped secure Champions Cup qualification once again.

JAMES DAVIES

James Davies has retired from rugby on medical grounds after battling concussion issues. ‘Cubby Boi’ made his Scarlets debut in 2013 and went on to make 101 appearances in a Scarlets jersey. Delivered a superb try-scoring display in the PRO12 title-winning triumph over Munster and went on to win 11 caps for Wales. Cubby also represented Wales 7s at the Commonwealth Games and Team GB at the 2016 Olympics.

MARC JONES

The experienced hooker joined the Scarlets from Sale in the summer of 2018 after making more than 150 appearances for the Sharks. The 35-year-old played 46 times for the Scarlets over four seasons, scoring four tries.

ANGUS O’BRIEN

Angus O’Brien made his Scarlets debut in 2018 and has made 45 appearances, scoring 112 points, including seven tries. The fly-half is returning to play for his home region, the Dragons, ahead of the 2022-23 campaign.

TOM PHILLIPS

A former Wales U20s Grand Slam-winning captain, Tom has played 30 matches for the Scarlets since making his senior debut in 2015. Suffered a serious knee ligament injury in the opening URC match of the season in Edinburgh.

TYLER MORGAN

The Wales international centre has been at the Scarlets for two seasons, making his debut in the Challenge Cup quarter-final defeat in Toulon in 2020. The 26-year-old has made 22 appearances, scoring one try.

TOMI LEWIS

A Wales sevens international,Tomi has made two senior appearances for the Scarlets. Returned to action this season after a lengthy absence recovering from knee surgery and has been playing in the Indigo Premiership for Llandovery RFC.

Physiotherapist Carys Moggridge is also leaving the Scarlets to take up a role with the Welsh Rugby Union.

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Matchroom Whites win Worthington Cup

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MATCHROOM Whites have won the Llanelli Snooker League’s Worthington Cup team final, after a 4-1 victory in the final against Morfa Social

A highlight of the match was another fine Tyler Rees break of 89, although the maximum was on at one point.

Tyler Rees’ winning streak wasn’t over though, as he teamed up with his Matchroom teammate Chris Davies to win the final of the Doubles tournament, defeating Dean Bowen and Mark Sargent; more nice breaks in this one, Rees firing another 68, while Chris Davies added a fine 71.

Meanwhile, more success for the Matchroom came with Matchroom Blacks’ 4-1 Division 2 Olympic Cup final victory at the expense of Reading Room Reds, with Ryan Maides, Adrian Davies, Rhys Morgan and Thomas Williams winning; just Phil Payne offered any winning resistance for the Burry Port side.

Meanwhile, Ammanord Snooker World’s leftie Anthony Krysa is through to the final of this year’s Singles, after a 3-0 victory against Kev Gronow of the Gremlin Club; Krysa made some nice breaks, including a fine 75 knock.

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Llanelli Snooker League: Trimsaran clinch runners-up spot

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THE curtain came down on the Llanelli Snooker League with the final league fixtures seeing Trimsaran clinch the runners-up spot behind champions Matchroom Reds.

Trim secured two 6-1 wins, a rearranged victory over Cross Hands B, as well as a 6-1 victory against Pontarddulais Workmens’, the undoubted highlight a superb 110 break from Jamie Tudor; Lewis Lloyd, Kieran Proctor (49 break), Wayne Thomas (29 & 25) and Alan Emanuel added wins, Keri Davies (50 break) the only Bont reply.

Relegated bottom – Ponthenri Social went out with a bang, defeating Upper Tumble Blues 6-1, courtesy of Jeff Howells, Mark Regola, Kevin Lewis, Nigel Lewis and Dylan James; only John Shields replied.

Peter Shoulder and Chris Lloyd were on top for Llanesco, beaten 5-2 by Matchroom Whites; Tyler Rees (45 & 35 breaks), Chris Davies, Wayne Bowen and Dai Keenan won for the “Gwyns”.

Elsewhere, Snooker World Whites hammered Llanelli Cons 7-0, D.Jones, A.Krysa, Ben Thomas, A.Whitfield, Sam Hinton and John Meadows completing the rout.

Alex Dickie prevented the “whitewash” as Cross Hands B crashed again, 6-1 at Gorseinon Workmens’; Charlie Bolton, Mike Dodd, Johnny Wilcox, Roy Wilcox and Jordan Davies all won for the Brighton Road side.

Kevin Selwood, Kieran Evans, Paul Rees and Alun Harris gave Pontyberem Workmens’ a 5-2 win against Burry Port Legion (Con Club), who hit back via Garnet Lane and Rich Nurse.

Morfa Social’s winners in a 5-2 win at Reading Room Blues were Scott Ashford, Andrew Hatto, Barry Follows and Greg Davies; Adrian Gower and Neil Roberts struck for the Burry Porters.

In Division 2, champions Gremlins were defeated 6-1 at Upper Tumble Reds, for whom Nigel Beynon, Nolan Allison, Alan Griffiths, Kevin Evans and Mike Sainty (53 break) won; just Matthew Dagnall won for the title-winners.

Matchroom Blacks secured the runners-up spot following a 4-3 win against New Lodge, thanks to Rhys Morgan (37 break), Ryan Maides and James Anthony; Gary Williams, George Langford and Phil Thickett replied.

Steve Pearson was Llandybie Social B’s solitary frame winner in a 6-1 defeat as Llandybie RFC took the village honours after Steffan Crump, Sion Isaac, Josh Jordan, Callum Isaac and Kalem James all won.

Bryn A edged a 4-3 success at Snooker World Blues, courtesy of Roy Richards, Clive Richards and Connor Sharples (32); Peter Howatson, Chris Waters and Steff Rees won for the Ammanford side.

Tycroes RFC end the season bottom after a 5-2 loss at CGMD, whose winners were Ray Evans, James Varney, Mike Llewelyn and Brian Chappell; Marc Walters and Arwyn Rees won for the away side.

Meanwhile, Tony Shadrach and Geraint Thomas were Pont Cons frame winners in a 5-2 loss at Cross Hands A; for the latter, Howell Pritchard, Jeff Howells (23) Matthew James (22) and Dai Bunford were on the ball.

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