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Under 18’s face up to Wales’ best

Learning curve: The Under 18 side at the Swansea tournament
Learning curve: The Under 18 side at the Swansea tournament
Learning curve: The Under 18 side at the Swansea tournament

ON SUNDAY (Jan 31) the Carmarthen Under 18 squad travelled to Swansea to take part in the Hockey Wales U18 tournament, and although they came away without a win after some narrow defeats, the tournament provided the opportunity for the players to pit their wits up against some of Wales’ finest youth hockey talent.

Carmarthen v Whitchurch

Carmarthen had a strong pushback at the start and they were strong in defence with a solid back line, which allowed the forward line to create some good chances in the first half, with Maya Davies and Katie James pushing for a goal. However, no matter what the Carmarthen side threw at the Whitchurch defence there was no way through, and the organised opposition managed to clear the ball.

Whitchurch were strong on the counter attack one such attack led to a clear opportunity, and they needed no second invitation to take the lead before the break.

After an encouraging half time team talk from Rhian Moremon and Keira Griffiths, Carmarthen had a better second half and were unlucky not to score, but they were taught a lesson that at this level you must take you chances, and it perhaps could’ve been more, but for some fine last ditch defending from the Carmarthen defence.

Carmarthen v Penarth

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Carmarthen had first push back to Eleanor Phillips and she played a fine first time ball out wide to Davies who burst up the wing and created an immediate opening. Unfortunately for Carmarthen Penarth’s defence scurried back into formation and were unable to block the shot, which prevented an early lead.

Carmarthen were again made to pay the price when Penarth took the lead from a short corner. A well-worked move saw the ball played to the edge of the D, and a pinpoint shot flew into the bottom corner of the goal.

Penarth were strong to defend Carmarthen’s pushback and soon cleared the ball down the wing and were awarded another short corner, which were clearly a Penarth speciality as they once again created an opportunity through a well drilled move, which was dispatched into the goal to make the score 2-0.

With Penarth now on the rampage, they went on to win 3-0 as Carmarthen lost their shape in search of getting back in the game.

Carmarthen v Brecon

Carmarthen had first push back and a ball from Tegan Harrison went to Moremon, which led to a break on the right wing. Unfortunately, the cross was blocked by Brecon’s defence. Brecon had a quick counter attack, however, Carmarthen’s defence were strong and managed to clear the ball.

Brecon though had enjoyed the majority of possession and eventually broke the deadlock to go one nil in front.

Soon after a short corner was awarded to Brecon, but Carmarthen defended the ball well and Charlotte Harries, who was making her debut in the Carmarthen goal with very little experience, made many incredible saves throughout the tournament.

However after another strong attack from Brecon, Carmarthen were unfortunate to concede another goal, falling 2-0 behind.

The second half was better for Carmarthen with Megan Henry putting in many great crosses, and Brecon were soon pressing on Carmarthen’s goal again and the score became 0-3. However, Carmarthen kept their heads up and in the last minutes of the game created some fine counter attacks.

Carmarthen v Fishguard

Carmarthen had first push back and Cerys Hill drove the ball down the wing but unfortunately her cross was blocked. Carmarthen were quick to attack with a pass from Henry to Davies on the right. Davies and Harrison had a good 1,2 but again the attempt on goal was blocked. Fishguard’s defence was strong and their counter attacks were fast. Luckily, Carmarthen’s defence was quick to close them down and Molly Pearce made a good clearance to the forwards.

The second half saw Carmarthen drive the ball down the wing once again. However, a quick counter attack led to Fishguard breaking through the defence. A 1 on 1 situation was created with Carmarthen’s keeper. Harries came away from the goal line and fantastically blocked the shot. Carmarthen had numerous attempts at goal and were unlucky not to score, but came away with a draw to conclude the days play.

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