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Sunday, 03 April 2016 13:31

Going to the Dogs

SATURDAY 2nd APRIL: Fairfield Lane, sunny and mild
CARDIFF AIRPORT 4 HIRWAUN SPORTS 0 (South Wales FA Intermediate Cup semi-final)
Another Saturday morning of anxiously peering out at the rain and monitoring Twitter feeds for news of postponements. Mid-morning brings bad news from numerous south Wales grounds, twelve hours of steady rain rendering them unplayable again, though the afternoon forecast remains positive. During this flurry of postponements I've been pessimistic about my chosen game, but the reliable South Wales FA don't announce any problems with their two semi-finals, so it seems I'm in luck. Even so, I set off early, with plans B and C ready in case things go wrong.

I've chosen the Cardiff Airport v Hirwaun Sports semi-final for the principal reason that it's taking place on a ground I haven't visited before. I only found out a month or two ago that Rhydyfelin AFC had moved away from their Upper Boat venue to a re-furbished ground half a mile along the road. The project might have been mentioned in the local press in RCT, but no wider than that, and the change doesn't seem to have registered with other sources (e.g. new season directories and the groundhopper grapevine). In fact it was only passing the ground by chance in February that brought it to my notice. A visit to a Rhydyfelin home game might have been an option - but I've noticed there are none of those scheduled in the Alliance League.  [article continues - click Read More if necessary]

Published in Football
Sunday, 29 March 2015 08:30

A Bluebirds win at Sloper Road

SATURDAY 28th MARCH: Coronation Park, milder but windy.
BLUEBIRD FC 5 MAERDY SOCIAL 2 (South Wales Intermediate Cup semi-final)
A spell of heavy rain on Saturday morning is always a worry - that added risk of postponements would have made a long distance trip a gamble today, but after the exertions of a six-game marathon on the Scottish Lowland League groundhop last weekend, I'm quite content to stay local and take in one of the Intermediate Cup semi-finals - but which one? In the end, I choose the tie involving cup holders' Bluebird FC, who have been the dominant side in Merthyr League football recently.

This semi-final is taking place at Grange Albion's Coronation Park ground, and I'd recently heard they were getting round to erecting a stand here - nearly a decade ago they acquired the old Cardiff Civil Service structure from Sanatorium Road but it was left in pieces for years. So there's an added air of anticipation as I walk along Sloper Road - past the site of Ninian Park, the ghosts of so many football occasions so quiet you'd never know the smart gated housing estate was built on it. On entering Coronation Park, the frame of a stand is visible on the far side, but if it's the Sanatorium Road cover, it must have shrunk in the rain! A host club official later confirms it's a new structure - the other one was just too big to fit in. The club hope to add the brickwork and roof at the end of the season.

Published in Football

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