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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.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016 08:53

It's a Long Way to.... Rhydymwyn

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SATURDAY 10th SEPTEMBER - Vicarage Road. Warm and sunny.
RHYDYMWYN 1 HAWARDEN RANGERS 3 (JD Welsh Cup 2nd Qualifying Round)

We've all got a list like it - grounds we have prioritised for a visit. A bucket list, if you will. Rhydymwyn's Vicarage Road has certainly been on mine for a several years - I waited for delaying when they struggled in 2014-15, only to find that the club folded at the end of that season.

So it was good to see Rhydymwyn revived and accepted into the WNL (Wrexham Area) during the summer, and I wasn't going to make the same mistake again. This week, a JD Welsh Cup tie, an Arriva Trains fare offer, and a decent weather forecast - when the stars align, you have to act.

Thursday, 15 September 2016 10:17

Llay of the Land

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SATURDAY 3rd SEPTEMBER. The Ring, persistent rain.
LLAY MINERS' WELFARE 0 PENYCAE 3 (FAW Trophy, Round 2)
After watching Wales under 21s lose at Wrexham yesterday evening, the next morning I'm heading back up the borders on the train again. The weather has changed, with heavy rain sweeping in across Wales. It seems likely to be less of a problem in the north-east, according to the forecast, and when news of postponements in the south starts coming in during the morning, I feel glad I'm heading this way.

Thursday, 15 September 2016 09:58

The Welsh Groundhop Comes 'Home'

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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!

Monday, 22 August 2016 07:53

Tough Lessons for the Students

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SUNDAY 21st AUGUST - Cyncoed Campus Stadium, rain.
CARDIFF MET UNIVERSITY 0 BALA TOWN 1 (Dafabet Welsh Premier League)
After a ten-year absence, Welsh Premier football returns to the Welsh capital. A decade has passed since Cardiff Grange Quins' brief and disastrous cameo in the national league, several years more since the more successful era of Inter Cardiff. The latter, in fact, had a Cardiff Met connection in their final year at top level, merging with the college (then UWIC) to avoid folding. Technically, Cardiff Met are the direct successors of that merger, though they really reverted to being just a university club when the top flight place was lost in 2001.

Cardiff Met today are a far more professional outfit than that which was relegated in 2001, on and off the pitch. While Christian Edwards has built a team capable of competing at this level, their new stadium at Cyncoed is at the heart of the university campus and the football side now receives far more active support from the authorities, and they have been promoting this opening fixture heavily to the people of Cardiff.

Given all the publicity and attempts to interest Cardiff City fans, it's a shame that only 221 are here - though this may be deemed a good crowd in the neglected Welsh Premier. It's surely not the lowest Cyncoed will see this season, as it has been swelled by a fair number of groundhoppers from England and quite a few from visitors Bala Town. On the other hand, the weather - persistent rain - might have deterred a few casual 'fair-weather' spectators.

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