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Wonder goal caps great season

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Anthony Owens: Stopped by keeper Jonathan Daives

Anthony Owens: Stopped by keeper Jonathan Daives

HAVING clinched the Welsh League Division Three title at Stebonheath against the same opponents the previous Saturday, the Reds made the return trip four days later and rounded off their season with another three points.

Goals by Lee Bevan, Anthony Owens and Bruno Forkuoh secured the win, with Bevan`s effort a contender for goal of the season.

They made a few changes to the side from the previous game, with Kellan Jenkins, Rhys Powell and Bartdome Bauza in the starting line-up, and Mark Napieralla, Jamie Evans, Steve Berry, Matthew Hughes HAVING clinched the Welsh League Division Three title at Stebonheath against the same opponents the previous Saturday, the Reds made the return trip four days later and rounded off their season with another three points.

Goals by Lee Bevan, Anthony Owens and Bruno Forkuoh secured the win, with Bevan`s effort a contender for goal of the season.

They made a few changes to the side from the previous game, with Kellan Jenkins, Rhys Powell and Bartdome Bauza in the starting line-up, and Mark Napieralla, Jamie Evans, Steve Berry, Matthew Hughes and Leon Martin on the bench.

They threatened early on, with Bettws keeper Jonathan Davies being forced to keep out a Richard Lewis free kick low down at his near post, while another Lewis set piece led to Davies directing it out of the goalmouth only as far as Luke Jones, but he was just unable to get his shot away and the danger was scrambled away.

There was a brief scare for the visitors when an underhit pass by Rhys Powell meant for Craig Richards forced the Reds’ keeper into a hurried clearance which rebounded off Jason James, but it deflected harmlessly away from goal.

Another break by the hosts up the right culminated in Tom Day unleashing a strike which flew across the face of goal and just wide of the far post.

Powell was then forced off injured with Evans replacing him on 36 minutes, but with the half approaching its conclusion, it appeared as if it would end goalless before in the 45th minute the situation changed dramatically.

A Bettws clearance fell to Bevan positioned in his own half between the penalty box and halfway, and he unleashed a spectacular first time effort which sailed unerringly towards the home goal, and with Davies frantically attempting to keep it out, the ball squeezed just under the bar and into the net for a truly amazing opener which made Charlie Adam’s effort for Stoke look like a tap-in.

If this was not bad enough for the home side, things became even worse as within a minute they found themselves two down, when in stoppage time a well worked move led to Forkuoh delivering a ball into the middle which was slotted home by Owens from close range.

The second half saw the visitors still well on top with both Forkuoh and Owens going close to increasing the lead, although when a loose ball by Evans was met by James, it took a good save by Richards to turn his shot around for a corner.

From this, Martyn Jones might have done better with a free header but was off target, while at the other end, it needed a timely tackle by Jonathan Thomas on Matthew Hughes who had replaced Jones to prevent him having a clear run on goal.

On 64 minutes, the visitors struck again following some typically tigerish work by Lewis to gain possession, and his cross into the middle found Forkuoh who glanced his header past Davies in the Bettws goal.

They might have gone even further ahead when Owens and Hughes combined before Bauza met the ball in a good position but sent his effort wide, and at this stage, Martin came on in place of Lewis.

Eight minutes from time, the home side pulled one back with the award of a penalty following a handling offence in the area, and Thomas stepped up to drive his kick low past Richards.

Even then, the Reds could well have added to their tally, but this time Davies brought off a decent save to deny Owens following good build up play involving Martin and Hughes.

So the Reds brought down the curtain on a memorable championship season, and can now look forward with confidence to the next campaign with high hopes of progressing even further.

TEAMS:

BETTWS: Davies; Jones; Bissmire (Barnard, 25); Evans; Miller (Hale, 71); Jeffries; Thomas; Dunster; Day (Short, 83); James; Walters; Subs not used; Darks.

LLANELLI TOWN: Richards; Jenkins; Lewis (Martin, 75); Stone; Powell (Evans, 36); Bevan; Forkuoh; Bauza; L. Jones (Hughes, 57); Thomas; Owens; Subs not used; Napieralla; Berry.

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Scarlets make five changes for European quarter-final

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Johnny Williams and Sione Kalamafoni have been handed their Scarlets’ European debuts for Saturday’s Challenge Cup quarter-final against Toulon at the Stade Felix Mayol (8.15pm UK time).

Both summer signings are included in a side showing five changes to the line-up that took the field against the Dragons in the Scarlets last match of the Guinness PRO14 season.

Wales and British & Irish Lions full-back Leigh Halfpenny returns to face his former side, linking up with Johnny McNicholl and Steff Evans in an all-international back three.

Williams and Steff Hughes continue their midfield combination, while Wales scrum-half Gareth Davies has recovered from injury to partner Dan Jones at half-back.

Skipper Ken Owens, Wyn Jones and Samson Lee pack down in the front row and behind them Tongan international Sam Lousi starts at lock alongside Jake Ball.

In a reshuffled back-row, the PRO14’s turnover king Josh Macleod gets the nod at openside;  Kalamafoni, who featured for Leicester Tigers in the pool stages of the tournament, wears the No. 8 jersey and Scotland international Blade Thomson has recovered from an Achilles issue to start at blindside.

On the bench, Ryan Elias, Phil Price and Javan Sebastian provide front-row cover with Lewis Rawlins and James Davies the other forward replacements. Kieran Hardy, Angus O’Brien and Tyler Morgan cover the backs. Morgan is set to make his first Scarlets appearance since joining from the Dragons.

The Scarlets and Toulon faced each other twice during the pool stages. A last-gasp converted try grabbed a 17-16 victory for the French side in November. The three-times European champions then claimed a crucial 27-15 win at Parc y Scarlets in January to ensure they topped the group. 

Head coach Glenn Delaney said: “It is a final for us. If you win three finals in a row you win a trophy. We are that far away from achieving the objective we all set out upon 12 to 13 months ago. It would be lovely to finish it off the right way. Whenever you get the opportunity to play for a trophy you have got to be very respectful and take it deadly serious, which is exactly what our boys have been doing.”

Scarlets team v RC Toulon (Saturday, September 19, 2020; kick-off 8.15pm UK)

15 Leigh Halfpenny; 14 Johnny McNicholl, 13 Steff Hughes, 12 Johnny Williams, 11 Steff Evans; 10 Dan Jones, 9 Gareth Davies; 1 Wyn Jones, 2 Ken Owens (capt), 3 Samson Lee, 4 Jake Ball, 5 Sam Lousi, 6 Blade Thomson, 7 Josh Macleod, 8 Sione Kalamafoni.

Reps: 16 Ryan Elias, 17 Phil Price, 18 Javan Sebastian, 19 Lewis Rawlins, 20 James Davies, 21 Kieran Hardy, 22 Angus O’Brien, 23 Tyler Morgan.

Unavailable because of injury

Rob Evans (neck), Rhys Patchell (calf), Liam Williams (foot), Daf Hughes (knee), Steff Thomas (knee), Alex Jeffries (elbow), Tomi Lewis (knee), Aaron Shingler.

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Pembrey Country Park to host one of first post-lockdown events

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CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council’s Pembrey Country Park has been chosen to host one of the first outdoor sports events in Wales since the Covid-19 lockdown.

Welsh Government has given the go ahead for three trial sport and culture events as part of its continued easing of restrictions.

Pembrey Country Park will host a duathlon on Sunday, September 6, with a limited number of competitors, although there will be no spectators.

The event will be monitored and will help inform Welsh Government policy on future sporting events as the country continues its recovery from Covid-19.

The council is working with Welsh Triathlon to ensure athletes can compete safely, with strict risk assessments and protocols being put into place.

Cllr Peter Hughes Griffiths, Carmarthenshire County Council’s Executive Board Member for Culture, Sport and Tourism, said: “We’re delighted to host this trial event here in Carmarthenshire, and hope this signals a return of more sporting events in the future. Our teams are working alongside Welsh Government and Welsh Triathlon to ensure that the event is safe and secure whilst providing an exciting and challenging duathlon course for competitors.”

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Trundle and Robinson are back for another season with Ammanford AFC

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Ammanford AFC are pleased to announce that the Ex Swans legends Lee Trundle and Andy Robinson are back for a second season with the club

The pair helped Ammanford AFC to achieve a respectable seventh place finish in the JD Cymru South league last season.

The Supporters of Ammanford will welcome the news and will be hoping that they can go and watch their team once clearance has been given.

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