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DAFEN SECURE FIRST WIN OF THE SEASON

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Llandysul V DafenDafen (206-8) beat Llandysul (68) by 138 runs

DAFEN Welfare entertained Llandysul at Dafen Park on Saturday in what was the first time the teams have met in the league. With currently just the one point separating them in the league table, Dafen were also seeking to secure their first win of the season, after previously being held to three draws.

Despite recent weather the pitch was dry and well grassed and looked to be a ‘bat first’ wicket, as it proved when Dan Vaughan won the toss for Dafen and opted to stick his side in first.

The wicket was never perfect but had some pace and bounce to encourage bowler and batsman alike. Matthew Evans and Nicky Davies fell early, but Jon Randell looked good for his 26 before driving to mid off. Dafen were creaking on 50-3 and needed Kelvin Bartle and Ieuan Rosser to rebuild.

Bartle fell for 25 but Rosser moved on until he too was dismissed for 42. This left Dafydd Nicholas (48no) and Gareth Hughes (38no) to finish the pursuit of 200 and the fifth batting point, which they achieved, with Dafen closing on 206-5.

This usually proves too much to chase in Dafen, and so it proved, when from the first over Scott Phillips’ pace yorked Llew Hughes. From here on in it was a battle for survival for Llandysul.

The next few wickets produced some questionable catches, but not before Ben Edkins traded punches with Matthew Evans, hitting 4 boundaries in 7 balls. The diving keeper Vaughan then caught him at the second attempt, after he had spilled his original effort. Then Edkins edged, caught Vaughan’s gloves and was taken by Nicholas at first slip. Finally Llyr Morris edged to Davies at second slip, but off an Evans no ball, only to repeat the edge two balls later when Davies parried and caught at the second attempt. In amongst this Andrew Edwards was bowled to give Evans four wickets and leave Llandysul wobbling on 29-5.

From then it was attrition to claim the final five wickets; Chris Hudson replaced Evans and picked up two, Bartle one from the other end before Evans returned to finish things off and have outstanding figures of 6-39. Llandysul closed on 68 all out.

So Dafen moved from one to 26 points ahead of Llandysul and into fourth place, next week brings a visit to Gowerton for the Llanelli side.

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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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