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Sunday, 24 January 2016 09:16

Bun Fight is too much for Libs

SATURDAY 23rd JANUARY. The Oval, Ynyshir - sunny, dry.
YNYSHIR ALBIONS 3 CANTON LIBERAL 1 (W John Owen Cup, Round 3)
Once again, the weather causes uncertainty as we approach the weekend; now it's back to the risk of waterlogged pitches, following heavy overnight rain on Thursday. But a dry 36 hours helps, and despite a few postponements, most of the news on Saturday morning is positive. So it's a welcome return to choosing a game, rather than settling for whatever's left on.

After a long and only partially successful north Wales trip last week, I'm staying closer to home. There were plenty of options today, including FAW trophy games, but the W John Owen tie at Ynyshir has caught my eye, mostly because these two teams are in fine form in the South Wales Alliance's Second and First Divisions respectively. It's also a very long time since I've been to Ynyshir.

The bus takes well over an hour to make its way from Cardiff up the Taff, Rhonndda and Rhondda Fach valleys to Ynyshir, but it drops me close to the ground with ample time before the early 1.30 kick-off, time to enjoy the fine afternoon and potter in the streets and paths around - and above - the Oval. This is a narrow and steep valley, with the village mostly on the west bank of the river and the hillside rising steeply on the eastern side, just one or two terraces high on the slopes. The football ground nestles in the valley floor, between the river and the course of the railway - long gone, and replaced in recent times by the valley relief road. It's a good venue for this level, with one entrance gate, and wide terrace steps on the southern side, partially covered. It's a welcome surprise to find a smart programme on sale from the gateman: already this is looking like a good choice of match. As kick-off approaches, the crowd grows to around 60, almost all home supporters.

Published in Football
Saturday, 17 October 2015 18:42

Cardiff v Swansea in the Trophy

SATURDAY 17th OCTOBER - Lawrenny Avenue / Leckwith Stadium - dry but cool.
CANTON LIBERAL 4 PENLAN CLUB 1 (FAW TROPHY, Round 3)

Third Round of the Trophy, 32 ties to choose from. As ever, there are plenty of interesting candidates but on this particular Saturday my choice is restricted - it's really not a day to attempt to use public transport, as Cardiff is once again swamped with rugby fans: not just those of the four visiting teams playing in the RWC quarter-finals in the Millennium Stadium this weekend, but also the usual turn-out of locals (who re-discover their interest in rugby on days when Wales are playing), heading to the city centre bars to watch the Welsh team at Twickenham this afternoon.

But I'm lucky: one of the very best ties in the third round of the Trophy is tight here in Cardiff (there are actually two local games). It's a Cardiff v Swansea clash (which always adds spice) and it involves two very good teams, Canton Liberal and Penlan Club. So, for the second time this season, my destination is the Libs' pitch next to Cardiff Athletic Stadium.

Published in Football
Thursday, 27 August 2015 08:40

Libs sound a warning

WEDNESDAY 26th AUGUST: Lawrenny Avenue, sunny intervals.
CANTON LIBERAL 8 CADOXTON BARRY 1 (South Wales Alliance League, Division One)
Thankfully, a brief improvement in the wet August weather means that taking in a midweek game isn't out of the question, and there's an interesting match nearby in the new Alliance League: the two clubs who won the Second Divisions of the South Wales Amateur and South Wales Senior Leagues are meeting at Canton Liberals' ground adjacent to the Cardiff Athletics Stadium, both having been placed in Division One (the middle section) of the new league.

Published in Football

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