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CUP HEARTBREAK FOR ALL GOLD

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CARMARTHEN TOWN 1 – RHYL FC 2

LOOKING to clinch a semi-final spot in Welsh football’s premier cup competition, Town were handed a boost prior to kick off as injury doubts Cortez Belle and Kyle Bassett were passed fit to play.

Manager Mark Aizlewood responded by giving Welsh Premier League player of the month and usual centre-half Belle, the unfamiliar task of leading the forward line in a bid to take to the game to Rhyl.

With just 3 minutes on the clock the plan appeared to have backfired as Town’s defence was at sixes and sevens as Rhyl launched a slick and clinical attack to open the scoring. A mistake in midfield saw the ball break free to Levi Makin, who’s first time pass freed Mark Cadwallader who found he had the freedom of the right hand side to exploit. He drove forward 25 yards unchallenged before reaching Town’s 18 yard box. From the angle of the area his well struck, but central shot proved too much for goalkeeper Lee Idzi who could only help it into the corner of the net.

The shock of conceding so early on seemed to have a profound effect on Town’s players. For the first 30 minutes they were panicked in possession and failed to find any rhythm in the game. It was a period in which shell shocked Town could have, and perhaps should have found themselves further behind.

Cadwallader was proving himself a menace down the right hand side and after good work in the middle by Carl Lamb, he could’ve made it 2-0, but his shot found the side-netting. David Thompson was also having joy down the left and his shot come cross in the 17th minute was begging to be touched in but went through a crowd of players and out of play to the relief of the home crowd.

The dominance paid off in the 30th minute as the Lilywhites doubled their advantage. More sloppy play by Carmarthen led to a Rhyl corner and the frailties from set pieces shown against Connah’s Quay on Saturday reared their head again.

The elusive Makin drove the ball into the near post area 4 yards from Town’s goal to find an unmarked Ashley Ruane, and the striker gleefully accepted the opportunity to head in the easiest goal he will score this season.  With Carmarthen’s only threat coming in the shape of makeshift centre forward Cortez Belle, Mark Aizlewood was forced into shuffling the pack at half-time. Although it didn’t reap immediate success with Rhyl controlling the early exchanges, Carmarthen did start to grow in the game.  Kyle Bassett and Lewis Harling were starting to enjoy more freedom and this allowed Belle to flourish.

With 25 minutes to play a long ball forward was chased down by Belle and with defenders in attendance, Rhyl’s keeper Alex Ramsay rushed needlessly out of his goal and in the process brought down Belle for a stonewall penalty. Ramsay was also booked for his troubles with the Richmond faithful chanting for red. The resulting spot kick was dispatched with aplomb by Belle who was proving manager Aizlewood’s decision to start him up front to be an inspired one.  It was Rhyl now who were lacking composure and gifting Town long spells of possession.

As they pressed in search of an equaliser Carmarthen became vulnerable to the counter and more strong running by David Thompson saw him find himself with a golden opportunity to put the tie to bed. Just as he was about to strike Jordan Wells appeared from nowhere with the tackle of the game to keep Town in the hunt.  With the 4th official showing 4 minutes added time, Town pressed hard and after Ceri Morgan struck the woodwork with a sublime effort from outside the area, the crowd were anticipating another 30 minutes of play.

This was almost secured by Kyle Bassett but his fine curling effort was safely gathered by Ramsay.  As the final whistle went Carmarthen could reflect on a much improved 2nd half performance in which they had the lion’s share of the possession, but in truth never really tested the Rhyl keeper. Although cup glory can not be achieved this season, Aizlewood’s men will take heart from a good last 30 minutes and hope they can translate this into the remainder of the season and maintain their place in the league.

Teams:  Carmarthen Town – Idzi; Cummings; Hanford; Belle; Wells; Fowler; Harling; Bassett; Morgan; Thomas (White 82’) Walters. SUBS NOT USED Prosser; Williams; Llyr.

Rhyl FC- Ramsay; Halewood; Dawson (Gossett 90’); Stones; Ruane; Astles; Brewerton (Walsh 58’); Makin; Cadwallader; Thompson; Lamb (Kenny 68’). SUBS NOT USED Rowlands; Askew.

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Milestone reached at Yr Egin

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THE CONSTRUCTION of Yr Egin – the University of Wales Trinity Saint David’s new digital and media centre – reached a milestone on September 18 with a ‘topping out’ ceremony held on the site in Carmarthen.

The practice of ‘topping out’ is a tradition in the construction industry and celebrates a significant point in the construction phase when the building reaches its highest point.

During the ceremony held at the top of the building, Professor Medwin Hughes DL, UWTSD’s Vice Chancellor was joined by key partners in this exciting initiative including Ian Jones, S4C Chief Executive; Steve Nicholls from Kier Group; Cllr Emlyn Dole, Leader and Mark James, Chief Executive of Carmarthenshire County Council; as well as representation from the Welsh Government, which has provided £3million funding towards the new centre.

“Today is a very important milestone in the construction of the Yr Egin development,” said Professor Hughes. “The building has reached its highest point and clearly indicates the realisation of the University’s exciting and bold vision to develop a creative and digital cluster that will greatly benefit the county, the region and the creative industries across Wales.

“Co-locating a range of creative, digital and cultural practitioners within the same building – with S4C at its core as the main anchor tenant – will create opportunities, encourage innovation and enable job creation in this key priority sector.”

Canolfan S4C Yr Egin is an ambitious and transformational development that will be home to S4C’s main headquarters as well as a number of companies and organisations working with the creative and digital industries.

S4C Chief Executive Ian Jones said: “With just over a year to go until we relocate our headquarters to Canolfan S4C Yr Egin today is a significant milestone.

“Seeing Yr Egin take shape underlines our commitment to ensuring that S4C will have offices in three locations across Wales by the end of 2018.

“Our internal preparations for the move to Carmarthen are well underway and we look forward to the prospect of creating numerous employment opportunities from the first quarter of 2018 onwards.”

The design of the 3,700 square metre building has already received the support of the Design Commission for Wales with the internal layout of the building focused around a public foyer and atrium that overarches the three floors. There will be a specific focus on the broadcasting and performance on the ground floor, with a range of offices for S4C and other partners on the other two floors. The University will also create new enterprise incubation units, offering access to opportunities, facilities, events and industry networks.

Regional construction company Kier Group Plc are the main contractors for Canolfan S4C yr Egin and are responsible for managing the construction of the new centre. The company’s Operations Director, Jason Taylor praised the project team for the hard work and progress they had made: “It has been a real pleasure to meet the university staff, the anchor tenant S4C and local councillors today to show them around the site. The project is gathering momentum and taking shape allowing us all to visualise the flagship Yr Egin building with its surrounding featured landscapes.

“Collaborative working relationships is a core part of the success of this project and a shared ethos between UWTSD, S4C and Kier. Throughout the construction process we have been working hard with our local supply chain partners to provide employment and up skilling opportunities. The project is also being utilised as a learning initiative for local schools and colleges.

“I would like to personally thank our site team for their efforts to ensure that the roof was complete for this ‘topping out’ celebration which enables them to progress internal works heading for completion. Kier are very proud to be part of this project and we look forward to seeing the completion of this creative Welsh digital hub in 2018.”

Economy and Infrastructure Secretary, Ken Skates said: “Once complete this new facility will help to deliver the infrastructure needed to support the University’s vision of a cluster of creative businesses in Carmarthen. This in turn will help to inject new life into the local economy, bring additional and high quality jobs to Carmarthen and enhance Wales’ growing reputation as an enabler of talent, imagination and productivity. It also supports our wider commitment to promoting Welsh as a living and vibrant language and will help cement links between academia and creative businesses.”

Canolfan S4C Yr Egin is a development that will transform and shape the creative and digital industries in South West Wales and beyond. It will also be a centre that will be at the heart of the community providing opportunities for local people to enjoy the building and its resources – a cafe, auditorium and performance stages.

Cllr Emlyn Dole, Leader of Carmarthenshire County Council, said: “From winning the S4C contract to securing the City Deal investment, the Yr Egin development is well on track and we’re excited to be part of the journey.

“This is a fantastic development for the whole of the Swansea Bay City Region, especially so in Carmarthenshire, with the creation of exciting new jobs in the creative sector that I’m sure will act as a catalyst for further opportunities.”

Canolfan S4C Yr Egin’s design team is a partnership between the Rural Office for Architecture (ROA), a company based in Newcastle Emlyn, and BDP (Building Design Partnership), an international company of architects, engineers and designers, with local architect, Niall Maxwell leading on the project.
The building will be complete by next summer.

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Four friends, three mountains and one smashed target

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Left to right: Kate Williams, Lizzie Dykes, Nicola Morgan, Kate Morgan, Rhydian Morgan

FOUR FRIENDS recently completed the Tŷ Hafan’s Welsh3Peaks challenge, smashing their fund raising target of £1,000 in the process.

On Saturday, June 17, in the baking heatwave, Kate Morgan, Nicola Morgan, Kate Williams and Lizzie Dykes from the Llangrannog and New Quay areas climbed three of the highest mountains in Wales in one day; Snowdon, Cadair Idris and Pen-y-Fan, a backbreaking 20.35 miles with an ascent of 9,397ft (2,864m).

The team had set themselves an ambitious target of £1,000 but have since exceeded that target and they are now close to raising a £3,000 for Tŷ Hafan, one of the UK’s leading paediatric palliative care charities which offers care to children and support for their families, throughout Wales.

Beginning in the dark at 4am at the bottom of Snowdon with the other 70 teams taking part, they tentatively set out on what would be a very long, hot and gruelling day. Despite the testing conditions, the team finished in a laudable time of 17 hours.

Kate thanks everyone for their support: “We would like to say a big thank you to everyone one who has donated towards this worthy cause and supported us. It definitely spurred us up and down the mountains and made us think of families less fortunate than us.

“So far we have smashed our original target of £1,000 and money is still coming in, for which we are very grateful. We would love to now reach £3,000 which would allow Tŷ Hafan to do even more amazing work for families less fortunate than us.”

Talking about the challenge itself Kate explains: “Being novice mountain climbers, the biggest shock was trying to come down the mountains and not up. Our legs, knees, calves ached and were in pain right from the start of turning around and coming down Snowdon, well I was.”

Nicola added: “The heat was also a factor as well as the inclines so we took it slow and steady so we were able to complete the challenge. However, with the glorious weather we had some amazing views and watching the sun rise coming down from Snowdon was beautiful.”

They all agreed that they now have a huge sense of achievement, relief and sore legs but with the little sleep they had completed the challenge armed with nerves, excitement and adrenaline which had kept them going.

Lizzie ended by saying: “We would also like to say a big thanks to Rhydian, our fifth team member as without him it would not have been possible. He was a true star and had bacon rolls and tea and coffee ready after each mountain. He was a life saver.”

If you would like to donate towards this challenge there is still time: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/WalkingWendys

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A future for the implementation of Council Tax premiums

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A DECISION has been made on the nature of implementation of raising council tax premiums on second homes and long term empty homes.

The decision to raise a 25% council tax premium on second homes and long term empty homes was made in March 2016; the recent decision decides how the added revenue from the premiums will be used.

It was decided in the full Council meeting on 16 March 2017 that the money raised from council tax premiums will be distributed after a period of three years, and the Council would continue to have dialouge with town and community councils with regards to the distribution of money.

Ceredigion County Council’s Deputy Chief Excecutive, Eifion Evans said: “The raising of council tax premiums on some properties is intended to raise money to be put to use for the benefit of the local communities of Ceredigion. This mode of implentation allows for a fund to be built over three years, and then for town and community councils to apply for money to support projects within their locality. However these projects must be compliant with Welsh Government guidence.”

Access to funds raised through the premium will be decided on a project basis, where applications will be made by town and community councils to achieve a specific aim. Guidelines will be put in place with regards to the use of the money raised and early notification will be given to town and community councils to allow work to begin preparing applications before the end of the third year.

The Council also decided a task and finish group is to be established to consider implementation of the council tax premium.

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