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Town back in play-off driving seat

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Carmarthen Town 5
Prestatyn 2

WITH RHYL slipping up at home to Connah’s Quay, the Old Gold took full advantage by dispatching of doomed bottom side Prestatyn, with the visitors reduced to nine men before half-time. It was a timely slip up from Rhyl, with them due to visit Richmond Park on the 11th April in what will surely be the decider for the play-off place.

With the Old Gold desperately needing three points from this game to boost their prospects of securing a UEFA qualifying play-off place at the end of the season, they made the worst possible start when the visitors, with their first attack, took the lead on 3 minutes. Jordan Davies sent his corner-kick into the crowded goalmouth and Jack Lewis was allowed the time and space to head the ball powerfully past keeper Lee Idzi.

Stung by that setback Town immediately pressed forward with a series of swift incisive raids and by the 12th minute they were back on level terms when Jordan Knott made good ground down the left wing before delivering a searching cross into the penalty area where Luke Prosser turned sharply and from 6 yards hit a crisp drive which was handled on the goal-line by James Stead. The referee straightaway awarded a penalty and, inevitably, dismissed the Prestatyn defender. Liam Thomas stepped forward and confidently drove the spot-kick past Scott Williams and into the back of the net.

While the Old Gold continued to enjoy the greater share of possession and territorial advantage, the visitors managed to break out occasionally on the counter-attack and after 15 minutes they almost repeated their earlier success when another Davies corner was met by Dave Hayes who rose high above surrounding defenders but his firm header slid just past the post.

Yet Carmarthen held the initiative and they deservedly scored a second goal on 20 minutes when Kyle Bassett sent a well-flighted corner into the penalty area and saw Jordan Wells meet it with perfect timing and place his header beyond Williams’ reach for his first goal in the Old Gold colours.

This spell of pressure continued with Bassett and Liam Thomas in particular using their lightning pace and mobility to torment the Prestatyn defenders while Lewis Harling, Ceri Morgan and Danny Thomas provided valuable support through their industry and vision in midfield. Meanwhile Town’s defence dealt capably enough with the visitors’ breakaways, despite a few worrying moments of hesitancy under pressure – but the key element here was the performance of Craig Hanford who throughout the game undertook his evident instructions to man-mark key striker Andy Parkinson so effectively that the goal threat normally posed by this dangerous marksman never materialised.

The hosts then went close to extending their lead in the 39th minute when Knott sent a sublime pass through to Liam Thomas who took the ball into the penalty area before releasing a smart angled drive that drew an equally impressive save from Williams to turn it around the post. Straight afterwards Bassett raced clear down the right flank to reach the edge of the penalty area but saw his fierce strike fly just outside the far post.

Then on 42 minutes Prestatyn’s prospects took another significant downturn when Ross Weaver, after having been shown a yellow card only shortly beforehand, was similarly cautioned following a bad challenge on Liam Thomas and, consequently saw the referee also brandish the red card in his direction.

Town immediately made good use of their enhanced numerical advantage by pressing forward with even greater intensity. After 44 minutes a neat exchange of passes between Danny Thomas and Chris Thomas on the edge of the penalty area finished with the ball being played back to Bassett but his well-struck effort went narrowly too high. But in added time their renewed pressure brought success when after a swift break by Prosser down the right flank he crossed towards the goalmouth where Bassett set the ball up nicely for Morgan and he gratefully rifled it home from 8 yards.

Following the interval any thoughts Town might have held that the game was already won were soon dispelled when on 49 minutes a long throw-in from Lewis led to a scramble in the packed goalmouth before Michael Parker, from close range, stabbed the ball past Idzi and over the line.

However the Old Gold were quick to respond and produced another sustained spell of pressure which the beleaguered Prestatyn defence struggled to deal with. After 56 minutes Liam Thomas raced forward to the edge of the penalty area before neatly sliding the ball across to the unmarked Bassett but he saw his promising drive denied by Williams with a fine reflex save. Then on 65 minutes substitute Jeff White sent a deep cross into the penalty area which reached Liam Thomas beyond the far post and from a tight angle he fired the ball past Williams only for Parker to recover swiftly and clear it off the goal-line.

But on 68 minutes Town’s lively striker was successful when he moved elusively across the goalmouth to meet Bassett’s corner-kick and direct a firm header past Williams and into the roof of the net. And moments later the Old Gold made their victory certain when following yet another Bassett corner the ball reached Prosser who swept it home from close range. From thereon Carmarthen were firmly in control of the game and while they created a few further scoring chances, Williams was never again seriously tested.

Team:

Lee Idzi; Jordan Wells; Craig Hanford; Chris Thomas; Jordan Knott; Kyle Bassett; Ceri Morgan (sub Chris Ham 74); Lewis Harling (sub Sacha Walters 74); Danny Thomas; Luke Prosser (sub Jeff White 71); Liam Thomas;

Unused subs: Paul Fowler; Hywel Llŷr; Glen Fearn;

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Community owned shop and café celebrated in national charity campaign

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THE story of a rural community owned café and shop in Ceredigion which ensured vital supplies of food and other essential items reached people in need during the lockdowns of 2020 is being celebrated in a campaign by a national charity.

Cletwr shop and café in Tre’r-ddol received urgent calls and emails from families worried about elderly relatives who were shielding. Volunteers and staff at the shop ensured deliveries could be made to people across the remote rural area and also hosted events to keep the community connected.

Over many years the village lost its shop, post office, café, petrol station, school and church. The community owned business opened to meet local need in 2013 and the essential role it plays was further confirmed throughout the extraordinary events of 2020.

Now the inspiring story of Cletwr and its team of volunteers working to meet local need and provide essential social connections at a time of crisis is forming part of a national campaign to promote rural community businesses led by the Plunkett Foundation.

Karen Evans, manager of Cletwr, has been recorded telling the story, which will be one of five Lockdown Stories being shared by the charity in promotion of its Vision for a Covid-19 Rural Recovery. The businesses are all community owned and have each been innovative and committed to supporting their local community during the 2020 pandemic.

Karen said: “People have now realised how important Cletwr is, how important shopping local is, and I think they see a bigger picture of how that supports everyone in the community. It is definitely bringing the community together.”

Cletwr’s Lockdown Story is sponsored by The Retail Mutual which is a UK provider of business, home and landlord cover for independent retailers and service providers.

Plunkett helps rural communities tackle challenges such as social isolation, employment and poverty by supporting enterprises – including shops, pubs, bakeries, farms and woodlands – that are owned and run democratically by members of the community.

The Lockdown Stories were premiered at Plunkett’s virtual Community Business Fete on 24 November together with its Rural Vision Film, which are aimed at bringing the charity’s Vision for a Covid-19 Rural Recovery to life.

James Alcock, Plunkett’s chief executive, said: “The story of Cletwr is a truly inspiring one, and I am delighted that we are sharing it as part of our virtual Community Business Fete. This has been a year of touch challenges, but also one of great community spirit – and nowhere is that more evident than in the village of Tre’r-ddol.”

Kirsty Hampton, The Retail Mutual’s Mutual Manager, said: “Cletwr is a great example of the power of community, and is exactly why we are so proud to be members of Plunkett and to support the community business sector. The way they have pulled together in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic is hugely inspiring”.

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Welsh Conservatives Select Candidate for Ceredigion

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THE Welsh Conservatives have selected Amanda Jenner as their candidate for Ceredigion in next year’s Senedd elections.

 Amanda, who is a Powys County Councillor, stood for the seat in the 2019 General Election and managed to increase the Conservative vote share by more than the national average.

 Amanda is a past student of Aberystwyth University, where she met her husband, David. After University, she moved to Cardiff, completed a Masters in Law at Cardiff University and went on to become a Solicitor, working for Eversheds Sutherland.  Amanda and David later moved to Mid Wales and Amanda retrained as a Secondary School Teacher, teaching English and Law.

 Commenting on her selection, Amanda said

 “I’m so pleased to be standing once again as a candidate in Ceredigion. It’s a place close to my heart, having studied here and with our family connections to Tregaron.”

 The former solicitor lists business, farming and localism as her priorities.

 On farming, Amanda says that farmers need clarity on what financial support will be available post 2021. She says the Welsh Government must listen to their views and new schemes must be adequately piloted before being rolled out.

 She said: “I believe that our renowned quality food production is key to a sustainable Wales. Farmers are already part of the green solution and I will work to ensure their needs are not overlooked.”

 Welsh Labour’s out of touch approach to business has discouraged new start-ups, and Amanda believes the whole system needs to be overhauled. She has also pledged to work hard to ensure Ceredigion businesses benefit from a share of the Mid Wales Growth Deal package for the area.

 Turning to Localism, a campaign for major planning decisions to be made at local authority level – as opposed to by ministers in Cardiff – is also high on Amanda’s agenda. She said: “Local people know their area best. They know how large-scale developments will impact their communities. I will continue to fight to ensure local people are meaningfully consulted and listened to on all decisions that impact them.”

 As well as her council role, Amanda also works in the office of Montgomeryshire MS, Russell George. She is a governor at two schools and a co-founder of CymruFuture– a networking group for young and junior professionals.

 In her spare time, Amanda loves reading and being outdoors with her family. She is also learning Welsh and attends weekly lessons.

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Comisiynydd yn canmol addewidion i fyfyrwyr

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BYDD myfyrwyr Prifysgol Aberystwyth yn elwa ar ymroddiad newydd i gynnig cyfleoedd a chyfleusterau trwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg, wedi i’r Brifysgol lansio cyfres o addewidion newydd ar 20 Gorffennaf.
Mae ‘Addewidion Aber’ yn nodi wyth ymrwymiad gan y Brifysgol i fyfyrwyr Cymraeg yn ystod eu cwrs. Yn eu plith mae darparu:
– Cyrsiau cyfrwng Cymraeg o bob math ar draws y Brifysgol;
– Llety Cymraeg i fyfyrwyr, gan gynnwys yn Neuadd Pantycelyn ar ei newydd wedd;
– Tiwtor sgiliau academaidd i gynorthwyo myfyrwyr gyda’u hastudiaethau cyfrwng Cymraeg.
Dywedodd Dr Anwen Jones, Dirprwy Is-Ganghellor sydd yn gyfrifol am ddarpariaeth cyfrwng Cymraeg Prifysgol Aberystwyth: “Mae ymestyn cyfleoedd a darpariaeth drwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg yn fater o flaenoriaeth i mi’n bersonol, ac i Brifysgol Aberystwyth fel sefydliad. Rydyn ni am i fyfyrwyr gael y profiad gorau a llawnaf oll drwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg, ac mae’r addewidion hyn yn gam arall ar y ffordd i gyflawni’r uchelgais honno.
“Mae gan y myfyrwyr hawliau cyfreithiol pendant sy’n ymwneud â’r Gymraeg, wrth gwrs, ond rydyn ni am fynd gam ymhellach a chynnig rhagor o wasanaethau a chyfleoedd i ddefnyddio’r Gymraeg yn naturiol, ac fel rhan o’u bywydau academaidd a chymdeithasol.
“Mae dyfnder ein darpariaeth academaidd cyfrwng Cymraeg yn galluogi myfyrwyr i ddilyn cynlluniau gradd cyfan drwy gyfrwng yr iaith. Yn ogystal, rydym yn cynnig profiad cymdeithasol Cymraeg heb ei ail yma.
“Mae hi’n adeg gyffrous iawn yn Aberystwyth wrth i ni baratoi ail-agor drysau Neuadd Pantycelyn i fyfyrwyr unwaith eto. Heb os, dyma gyfle unwaith-mewn-bywyd i’r genhedlaeth nesaf.”
Ychwanegodd Llywydd Undeb Myfyrwyr Cymraeg Aberystwyth (UMCA), Morgan Lewis: “Rydym ni fel Undeb Myfyrwyr Cymraeg Aberystwyth (UMCA) yn ymfalchïo fod y Brifysgol yn mynd gam ymhellach gyda’i hymrwymiadau i fyfyrwyr Cymraeg er mwyn sicrhau y cânt y profiad gorau posibl.
“Mae’n bleser i weld a bod yn rhan o’r addewidion a fydd yn hwyluso a helpu llunio bywydau’r myfyrwyr yn ystod eu cyfnod yma yn Aberystwyth.”
Mae Addewidion Aber yn mynd tu hwnt i ofynion statudol Safonau’r Gymraeg.
Mae Aled Roberts, Comisiynydd y Gymraeg, yn croesawu ac yn canmol y cyhoeddiad, gan ddweud: “Mae gan fyfyrwyr yr hawl i ddefnyddio’r Gymraeg yng ngholegau a phrifysgolion Cymru ers Ebrill 2018, ac mae’n wych fod Prifysgol Aberystwyth wedi mynd gam ymhellach trwy gynnig yr addewidion hyn.
“Felly, fyfyrwyr, mae gennych chi’r hawl ac addewidion pellach gan eich Prifysgol i ddefnyddio’r Gymraeg o ddydd i ddydd. Manteisiwch ar y cyfle, a gadael i’r Gymraeg dreiddio i bob rhan o’ch bywyd yn y brifysgol.”

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