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Tuesday, 08 May 2018 14:27

Ups and Downs

SATURDAY 28th APRIL: Bedwellty Road and Bargoed Park. Chilly and damp.
NEUADD WEN 1 BRIDGEND STREET 4 (Nathaniel Cars Welsh League Div 3)
AFC BARGOED 2 PENRHIWFER 3 (Highadmit Projects South Wales Alliance Div 2)

After days of watching the weather forecast and looking out for a fixture with real meaning, I've settled on a plan: a trip to Bargoed, and two fixtures on either side of the valley. The first game has bearing on both promotion and relegation in the Welsh League, whereas the second is a needed revisit to Bargoed Park, before AFC Bargoed make the seemingly inevitable drop out of senior football. I can only see half of one game, and hopefully almost half of the other, but it will do.

 

The drawback to my plan is the valley itself, notoriously steep here. If the games are concerned with ups and downs of the footballing variety, my day is going to involve some physical ones. The walk from Bargoed station up to Bedwellty Road needs to be taken gently, with a few stops to gather breath - no problem, I've plenty of time before kick off at the Rec. high on the eastern side of the valley. It's rather chilly up here, exposed to the wind, but the game is on and there's a basic photocopied programme given away with admission, so I can't complain.

Published in Football
Thursday, 18 August 2016 07:07

Mission Accomplished

WEDNESDAY 17th AUGUST. The Willows, humid.
BRIDGEND STREET 3 YNYSYGERWN 0 (Nathaniel Car Sales Welsh League Cup, Round 1)
Another warm day gives way to a muggy evening in Cardiff. Rain is forecast - having watched a game in balmy, sunny conditions last night, it would perhaps be too much to expect that twice in a season. This is not Brazil, after all.

The Welsh League is sensibly using these light summer evenings to get the early rounds of the league cup out of the way, and the draw has rather unkindly brought Neath-based league newcomers Ynysygerwn all the way to the capital on a Wednesday evening. My bus takes 45 minutes to complete the four mile journey into town, so I feel for the west Walians.

At The Willows, £3 admission and £1 for a programme secures my evening's entertainment in friendly and agreeable surroundings - for while Tremorfa isn't scenic, the bright red-painted ground that 'The Mission' have created here enhances it no end. I'm in a crowd of about 60-70 here, while, over at Leckwith, almost 20,000 have chosen to pay up to ten times more to watch City's attempts to score their first goal of the season. I know where I'd rather be.

Published in Football
Saturday, 26 April 2014 20:29

GOING TO THE WIRE

SATURDAY 26TH APRIL: The Willows - windy
BRIDGEND STREET 1 LLANWERN 4 (Nathaniel Cars Welsh League - Division 3)
I've been agonising over where to go today, and the weather forecast hasn't helped one bit. Initially, weeks ago, I had Thatcham v Merthyr pencilled in, believing the Martyrs would clinch the Calor League title today: but that looks unlikely now, unless leaders Cirencester slip up. Then I had Mathern v Cwm in the Gwent County League in my sights - something of a 'winner takes all' promotion head to head: but with heavy rain and high winds forecast, a ground without shelter on the exposed Gwent levels is perhaps not a wise choice. So closer to home, there are crucial games in all three Welsh League divisions, and Third Division leaders Llanwern are in Cardiff today for their last game of 2013-14, needing to win to push rivals Barry all the way in the title race (though they are at least assured of promotion already).

Published in Football
Saturday, 28 December 2013 20:13

BROADLY ON COURSE

SATURDAY 28TH DECEMBER : Ynysangharad Park, weather calm and dry.
PONTYPRIDD TOWN 2 BRIDGEND STREET 0 (Nathaniel Cars Welsh League Div 3)
Having missed out on Boxing Day football, the Saturday between Christmas and New Year brings a return to normal transport schedules and a reasonably full fixture list. Except that the weather intervenes and reduces that to a very limited fixture list, storms leaving many of the grass pitches of south Wales waterlogged. With several target matches lost, it comes down to questions of "what's on?", "what's reachable?" and "shall I bother?" As for the answers: a few definitely on in the Welsh League, but limited reliable info from the minor leagues, Pontypridd is reachable, and with the sun coming out at lunchtime, the lure of football and fresh air wins over warmth and the Welsh National on TV.

Published in Football

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