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Sunday, 15 January 2017 09:34

Carno's Clifftop Catastrophe

SATURDAY 14th JANUARY: Swanbridge Road, sunshine and showers.
SULLY SPORTS 4 CARNO 1 (FAW Trophy Round 5)
The last sixteen of the FAW Trophy always produces some interesting fixtures - by this stage there are no easy games - and, although it's still regionalised, inter-region ties do crop up. Like today's game, a South Wales v Central Wales encounter - with the visitors lumped into the southern half of the draw. They're the last club standing from their region, but are a form team lying third in the Spar Mid Wales League, unbeaten in fifteen, and with Huws Gray Alliance aspirations. It's only an easy local choice today - I ruled out north Wales with snow and ice up there likely to bring postponements - but the forecast down here is encouraging - a sunny afternoon in prospect.

So I set off for the coast expecting a close game. Re-visits to Sully are always enjoyable, the ground sitting on the cliffs with views across the Bristol Channel. When time and weather allow, I always think a pre-match stroll is in order here, and with an icy morning giving way to a fine sunny afternoon, I leave time for this 'tradition'. It's cold, but there's only the lightest of breezes as I walk out past the Captain's Wife inn and Swanbridge Farm on the coastal path - and then back again, finding time for a quick pint of ale in the pub.

Published in Football
Thursday, 15 September 2016 09:58

The Welsh Groundhop Comes 'Home'

WELSH GROUNDHOP 2016 August 26-29th (THE SOUTH WALES ALLIANCE LEAGUE)

The first, tentative Welsh Groundhop took place in the South Wales Amateur League in 2002. Now, sixteen years later, the 2016 event is back 'home' in Cardiff and the valleys. The league has changed (to the Alliance) and so have Groundhops. But all for the better. A great weekend is in prospect (and the weather forecast isn't too bad either). Read on!

Published in Football
Sunday, 19 April 2015 19:26

The New Mushrooms ?

SATURDAY 18th APRIL: Swanbridge Sports Ground - bright and breezy.
SULLY SPORTS 0 PONTLOTTYN 1 (South Wales Senior League Div 1)
There are literally dozens of significant games this weekend as many Welsh competitions approach decision points on championships, promotions and relegations. I'm spoiled for choice, but am keen to see the clash of the two title chasers in the Senior League: Pontlottyn, now favourites after a great run, visiting Sully Sports, who need to win to close the gap and make the Rhymney Valley side's task harder. So, on a day when no trains are running on local Cardiff lines, I make a couple of bus journeys out to the edge of the Bristol Channel, to pleasant seaside Sully. On arriving at Swanbridge Road, I'm surprised to find the space between football pitch and clubhouse occupied by a circus big top, from which tinny music and other sounds will provide an unlikely sound-track to the title showdown.

Sully have experience on their side: four times Senior League winners in the last ten seasons, they know the tension of these situations and have come through them before. Pontlottyn have momentum on their side - not just the recent run of form that has swept them to the top of the league and to the SWFA Senior Cup final, but the upward trend over their short existence. This is a club that has "mushroomed" out of nothing (to use a term applied a century ago to the original mushroom club, Mid Rhondda) and they're full of confidence and belief.

Published in Football
Saturday, 10 May 2014 19:48

A LONG AFTERNOON

SATURDAY 10TH MAY: The Willows: sunny, very windy.
GRANGE ALBION 2 SULLY SPORTS 3 (after extra time) (CW Bruty Cup final)
Over the course of a season there are days when no match shouts out from the fixture list and there are others when one game's claim for attention is irresistible; and then there are days like today, when I'm metaphorically deafened by games clamouring for attention. But I always had a plan for today, because for some weeks it's looked as though Monmouth Town would need a result today to clinch the Welsh League title, and so I've been planning to head for their match at Cwmbran Celtic.

Published in Football

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