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Sunday, 23 August 2015 07:56

The Road to Europe Starts Here

SATURDAY 22nd AUGUST: Deep Duffryn - humid.
Another week, another national cup competition gets underway for 2015-16. This time it's the Welsh Cup, so technically the road to the Europa League starts here, though the 118 clubs in action today will realistically be hoping for a run through a few early rounds, enough to earn a share of the prize money in the 'Proper' rounds, rather than a tilt at European glory.

With 58 ties in almost every part of Wales, there's no shortage of choice: there are numerous games that appeal - many of these at clubs which wouldn't normally issue programmes. But adverse weather, which so often afflicts this first stage of the cup, means postponements are possible, and I'm not travelling too far afield. The Perthcelyn tie is one within easy reach and with 'options' if the weather prevails. The home side are the only entrant from the Aberdare Valley League, hosting a team from three divisions higher in the pyramid, and on a ground I've not visited before.

Published in Football
Sunday, 08 February 2015 09:12

Carmarthen survive the siege of Ely

SATURDAY 7th FEBRUARY : Cwrt-yr-Ala, cold.
CAERAU (ELY) 0 CARMARTHEN TOWN 4 (after extra time) (Welsh Cup Round 5)
The last sixteen of the Welsh Cup involves not one, but two attractive ties in Cardiff, so the question has always been which one to choose. By my reckoning, Caerau (Ely) are more likely than Cardiff Met to cause an upset against Welsh Premier opposition, so for me it's a mid-day bus journey through the city centre and out to Cwrt-yr-Ala. Now regular readers will know I rarely have anything positive to say about international rugby, but on this occasion I'm grateful the Wales v England Six Nations game was brought forward to Friday evening from its usual Saturday slot - otherwise my four mile journey would have been a huge challenge today.

Published in Football
Thursday, 11 December 2014 21:05

Issue 178 (New Year 2015)

WF 178

Published 11th December 2014. Contents include:

Spotlight on CPD PWLLHELI

Features on:

  • Liverpool in Wales Part 4
  • Welsh Cup action
  • FAW Trophy action
  • Pembs. referees' centenary

Looking back 50 years - Barry Town's travels in December 1964

Looking back 25 years:

  • Colwyn Bay at Brymbo Steelworks in 1989,
  • Merthyr in FA Cup action at Hereford

Welsh Premier, Welsh League, Huws Gray Alliance and Regions round-ups

AVAILABLE FROM ALL USUAL OUTLETS or by post from us (£3.55 inc. postage)

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Published in Publication Dates
Monday, 01 December 2014 07:38


SATURDAY 29th NOVEMBER: Canal Park, sunny and dry.
Welsh Cup Third Round day - a highlight of the season. When the giants of the Welsh Premier League enter the fray, joining the survivors from the early rounds, always a mixed contingent of clubs from various regional competitions, and usually a couple of real 'minnows'. And they don't come any more minnow than Tiger Bay of the Cardiff Combination, whose extraordinary achievement in battling through the qualifying rounds and two main rounds is a home tie with Caersws.

Published in Football
Saturday, 15 November 2014 20:38

Young Guns shoot down Celtic

SATURDAY 15th NOVEMBER 2014: Celtic Park - bright.
It's finally stopped raining. A downpour overnight leaves enough room for doubt over postponements, but Saturday dawns dry and the forecast is good. I don't plan to look any further than the handful of rescheduled Welsh Cup ties, and I'm inclined to head east where there are three games. By mid-morning, with positive vibes from Cwmbran (if not absolutely definitive), I've made my decision and I'm heading for Celtic Park.

Published in Football
Sunday, 09 November 2014 09:08

Cornelly beat the weather - but not Goytre

SATURDAY 8th NOVEMBER: Meadow Street, wet and windy.
Returning to Wales after five days away, I find that the rainy season has arrived; heavy rain lashes south Wales on Friday evening and overnight, and early on Saturday postponements start to be listed. In the worst of the downpour on Saturday morning, I seriously doubt if any grass pitch will be playable, never mind my chosen Welsh Cup tie at Cornelly. Since the Round 2 draw I've had this game in my sights, a true "magic of the cup"-style fixture with four levels separating the two teams, and a local derby as well.

Published in Football
Saturday, 04 October 2014 18:45

Uncharted Territory for Dynamo Aber

SATURDAY 4th OCTOBER. Morgan Jones Park, sunny, dry afternoon.
DYNAMO ABER 4 AFC BUTETOWN 2 (FAW Welsh Cup 1st Round Proper)
A Welsh Cup conference date comes round again and of course this early in the season there are still many options: still needing to be reasonably local, I had a shortlist but one of the two Cardiff contenders was scratched from it when the tie was reversed. The other is Canton Libs, a tempting fixture but the Athletic Stadium venue doesn't inspire. In the end I decide on a quick return to Dynamo Aber - I enjoyed my visit there in the last round and this time there's the incentive of a programme. Added to which it's a simple, quick bus journey over the mountain.

Published in Football
Sunday, 14 September 2014 06:47

Dynamic win among Welsh Cup 2Q upsets

SATURDAY 13TH SEPTEMBER: Morgan Jones Park, dry and sunny
DYNAMO ABER 3 NEWPORT YMCA 1 (FAW Welsh Cup, Qualifying Round 2)
Choosing a match in these early rounds of the cup is always both challenging and exciting - where will the most interesting games be ? Will there be an upset ? Who doesn't normally issue programmes but will in accordance with cup rules ? Well, at the time of the draw, I had a plan to go to the Wrexham area for Llay Welfare's tie, but that plan has been abandoned for two reasons: firstly, I cannot be away from home for the whole day and need a more local option; and secondly, Llay switched their tie to Penmaenmawr anyway !

Dynamo Aber's belated First Qualifying Round win over Newport Civil Service has, however, thrown up an interesting opportunity very close to home: they're drawn at home, just over the mountain, against Newport YMCA. So a mere hour before kick off I can set off from outside my house on the bus to Caerphilly. A short stroll through the castle grounds brings me to Morgan Jones Park, the home of Dynamo Aber, the latest team to represent the town of Caerphilly in senior football, after winning a treble in local football last season, only their seventh season since formation. Caerphilly has an oddly limited football history - clubs have come and gone, but for over half a century there hasn't been one in the Welsh League. Indeed, today's game has got me wondering when Caerphilly last hosted a Welsh Cup tie... and a bit of research has turned up nothing more recent than Caerphilly United's campaign in 1938-39 !

Published in Football
Friday, 05 September 2014 18:58

Tale of two halves

SATURDAY 30th AUGUST, Bettws Lane and Rhiw Ddar. Warm and dry.
MALPAS UNITED 3 LLANWERN 2 (FAW Welsh Cup 1st Qualifying Round)
TAFF'S WELL 1 ABERDARE TOWN 2 (Nathaniel Cars Welsh League Div 1)

Welsh Cup day, and plenty of games to choose from. I've dithered between several ties, rejecting my original choice as no proper programme will be issued. Instead I opt for Malpas United, of the Gwent County League, who have a tough home tie against strong Welsh League Division 2 side Llanwern. They're doing a programme, but the downside s that I have to travel via Newport, where pre-NATO summit protests threaten to cause disruption.

Anticipating the worst, I head early to Newport, avoid the back of the station where I believe the protest march will be gathering, and exit from the front. There are lots of police on duty, wearing unusual special pale blue jackets and caps. There's a much smaller number of protesters, dressed as you'd expect (like a Glastonbury crowd without the tents and backpacks), some carrying colourful flags. They're about as unthreatening as any group of people could be, and none of this delays me in the slightest.

Published in Football
Sunday, 04 May 2014 21:00


SATURDAY MAY 3RD 2014: The Racecourse - sunny
It's been a long week, and I've had enough of travelling. I wouldn't really have chosen a longish trip to north-east Wales today, but I'm not going to miss the Welsh Cup final just because I'm tired. It's an easy train journey anyway (although an expensive one), and by just after 1pm I'm in Wrexham on a sunny and fairly benign spring Saturday. Just time for a quick pint in Wetherspoons' The Elihu Yale before strolling back along Mold Road to the Racecourse.

The Racecourse is a neutral venue, but isn't really anything like a midway point between Aberystwyth and Oswestry. Nor, in my opinion, is it an ideal venue for the Welsh Cup final - too large for a modest crowd, and generally too dated and too depressing. Three sides will be empty, the huge Mold Road stand, the university end stand, and the semi-derelict town end terrace. Just the lower tier of the grim old main stand is in use. But it's what the FAW have chosen to use, so here we are. The crowd is congregating around the main entrance, which these days is hemmed in by the encroaching student flats which have been built on the car park. And to be fair a decent atmosphere is building, with a drum band and dancers and a mini-football game in progress.

By kick off time, the band and dancers have moved inside the stadium, and after they've performed we have the anthem, the team presentations to Chris Coleman and FAW officials, and it's time to get a much-anticipated final underway. It's fair to say that most neutrals would prefer Aber to win today. And although I have nothing against TNS, I'm with them on that: Aber have not won the cup for 114 years, and have given their supporters relatively little success in recent times. There's a feeling that, whereas full-time TNS are undoubtedly the strongest side in the Welsh Premier, maybe this is Aber's year.

Published in Football

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