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Sunday, 16 October 2016 08:35

North v South in the West

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SATURDAY 15th OCTOBER - Phoenix Park, showery.
GOODWICK UNITED 2 HAKIN UNITED 0 (FAW Trophy, Round 3)
Every season I say I should get down to west Wales more often, but it's a resolution I often fail to keep. The West Wales Cup would be the perfect competition to use for visits west - but it is always scheduled to clash with the Welsh Cup, and the latter usually takes precedence. Few west Wales clubs ever enter national cups, but this year regular FAW Trophy entrants Hakin have been joined by a couple of others, including west Wales treble winners Goodwick. When Goodwick and Hakin reached the third round, and were drawn to meet at Phoenix Park, it was clearly time to visit the north Pembrokeshire coast.

Sunday, 02 October 2016 19:29

The Other Lakesiders

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SATURDAY 1st OCTOBER - Damp and chilly
CPD LLANUWCHLLYN 0 RUTHIN TOWN 3 (JD Welsh Cup, 1st Round)

The First Round of the Welsh Cup always provides plenty of attractive games - potential upsets, big matches for small clubs, rare programmes etc. We're always spoiled for choice. I had several games in mind but top of the list was the trip to Llanuwchllyn - a visit I'd probably only attempt before the winter sets in. There will never be a better opportunity, with Huws Gray Alliance Ruthin as the visitors, and the added bonus of a match programme. So train and bus times have been researched and a journey down to the 'other' end of Bala Lake is mapped out - to see the 'other' Lakesiders.

Thursday, 29 September 2016 08:03

Ripping Yarns

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TUESDAY 27th SEPTEMBER - The Harry Williams Riverside Stadium: a fine, dry evening.
RAMSBOTTOM UNITED 1 COLWYN BAY 3 (Evostik Northern Premier League - Div 1 North)

It's an odd week: after the busy early season period, now here's a week with hardly any football in Wales. Although keen to travel while the weather is still OK, and Arriva have their fares offer running, I'd expected to miss out until I noticed a full Evostik Northern Premier programme, with games in the Arriva network area - and one of those games has a tenuous (very tenuous) Welsh connection - Colwyn Bay are away to Ramsbottom United. 

Wednesday, 21 September 2016 09:01

It's Been 11 Years

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TUESDAY 20th SEPTEMBER: Cyncoed Campus, a fine evening.
CARDIFF MET 2 NEWTOWN 1 (Dafabet Welsh Premier League)

I've been up to Cyncoed more times in the past month than the whole of last season. Such has been the lure of Welsh Premier football in Cardiff, plus a couple of UEFA games. But I haven't yet seen Cardiff Met win a Welsh Premier match - in fact no Cardiff team has won a national league fixture in the capital since October 2005 (that was the ill-fated Grange Quins).

But there is hope: Cardiff Met actually won away on Saturday (at Llandudno) and clearly have a chance tonight against visitors Newtown. The university, with its students now back on campus, has promoted this game and is hoping for a big attendance. Half an hour before kick off, it seems they are going to be rewarded - a fair turnout of regulars, neutrals, officials plus some students, and the latter group start to arrive in bigger numbers as 7.45 approaches. At one point a queue is even spotted [the attendance is later confirmed as a ground record, 428].

Wednesday, 21 September 2016 08:57

Unbelievable PTT

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SATURDAY 17th SEPTEMBER. Lakeside Sports Academy, sunny.
CAMBRIAN & CLYDACH BGC 2 PORT TALBOT TOWN 2 (Nathaniel Cars Welsh League Division 1)

With the main railway lines east and west out of Cardiff closed by engineering works, it's a weekend for staying local; and for avoiding the centre of Cardiff itself, which has become "City of the Unexpected" for two days, with big crowds expected to celebrate Roald Dahl's centenary. The only sensible option is to head up the valleys today.Fortunately, Tonypandy in the Rhondda presents itself as the answer: Cambrian v Port Talbot Town in the Welsh League is interesting enough, but just next door there's a delayed FAW Trophy game too. And it's there that I head first on arriving in Tonypandy, a.k.a Mid Rhondda. On the old King George's Field ground, where Cambrian themselves started out, Tonypandy Albion of the Rhondda League are meeting RTB Ebbw Vale in a 2pm kick-off, so I can watch the first 20 minutes here before going up to Cambrian's 'new' field.

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