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Sunday, 01 March 2020 11:51

Port in a Storm

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SATURDAY 29th FEBRUARY. Groeswen playing fields, stormy.
MARGAM YC 3 CROESERW ATHLETIC 1 (Port Talbot & District League)

Another Saturday, another storm. First Ciara, then Dennis, now Jorge. And after the wettest 24 hours I have ever seen in Cardiff, the prospects for football don’t look promising. Saturday morning brings the anticipated news of multiple postponements, added to which travel is seriously disrupted.

As we wake up and read about the floods, disruption and weather warnings, my wife suggests maybe it would be best not to bother today. But no, staying at home isn’t an option if there’s a chance of a game. So, like most recent Saturday mornings, it’s a question of trying to keep an eye on what is going ahead, and working out whether I can get there.

Sunday, 24 November 2019 20:14

Best-laid Plans

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SATURDAY 23rd NOVEMBER. Ffordd Marian, overcast and drizzly.
PRESTATYN SPORTS 4 CPD LLANBERIS 7 (Lock Stock Welsh Alliance Division One)

It's been a dreadful autumn, weather-wise, in Wales. This itinerant football spectator's weekly routine involves some midweek planning, based on fixture lists, maps and train timetables, but recently that's all been thrown out by Saturday as the weekly deluge leads to a desperate search just for a game that is on.

For three consecutive weeks now, I've ended up at matches that never even figured on my shortlist. I've enjoyed them, of course, but in idle moments I've day-dreamed about a sort of parallel universe, one where I did get to attend and write about my first choice game each week. Would that have been more or less interesting than the reality?

In the perennial triumph of hope over experience, I've researched travel to Prestatyn for this weekend, hoping to tick off one of the few Welsh Alliance grounds I haven't managed to visit. Prestatyn Sports have been on my to-do list for three years, since they joined the Alliance just as the annual Welsh Groundhop event moved on from the Alliance to south Wales.

Sunday, 18 August 2019 13:22

Didn't We Have A Lovely Time...

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SATURDAY 17th AUGUST. Treborth, sunny and windy.
CPD BANGOR 1876 5 CPD SYCHDYN 1 (FAW Trophy Round 1)

6.a.m Saturday: for the second time in three days, a long day trip to north Wales lies ahead of me. After the comparatively short trip up the border on Thursday, for the Wales Under 15s and TNS matches in Wrexham, today's destination is Bangor, a mere 250-miles away by train.

An early start then, but getting out of Cardiff before the dreaded rugby international crowds arrive is always a bonus. And experience of Saturday trains tells me I need some slack in the schedule. [If you are only interested in the football, I'd advise you to skip the next two paragraphs]

Monday, 29 April 2019 10:06

The Power of Football

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SUNDAY 28th APRIL. Leckwith 3G, weather sunny and calmer.
BANGLADESH 3 YEMEN 2 (Cardiff Community Cohesion Cup final)

We all have matches that we plan to attend for weeks or more; But sometimes those we chance upon are just as rewarding, and my interest was piqued by a tweet a few days ago encouraging people to attend the final of the Cardiff Community Cohesion Cup.

I had been vaguely aware of this tournament before - it's been running several years, organised by South Wales Police with the aim of involving Cardiff's ethnic minorities. The winners will get to play against a police team, in a showpiece game at Cardiff City Stadium, and this year the two finalists are teams from the Bangladeshi and Yemeni communities. So far, so intriguing, but a bonus is that it's being played on the outdoor 3G at City's Leckwith complex, a pitch I've never previously seen a game on.

Sunday, 17 March 2019 15:22

No Stopping the Mountain

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SATURDAY 9th MARCH. Northop Hall Pavilion - chilly wind.
FLINT MOUNTAIN 4 BRYMBO VICTORIA 1 (Mike Beech Memorial Cup semi-final)

A week of wet weather, and a forecast of much worse over the weekend, would normally keep me close to home and looking for fixtures on 3G. But I'm already committed to going north and joining the North West Counties League groundhop in Merseyside on Saturday night, so I've researched travel times for a few options, including the 3G at Airbus. In fact, by Friday morning, with rain pouring in Cardiff, I'm inclined to believe that's where I'll end up.

But my preferred plan was to visit a new ground, and to catch up with a club that is enjoying great success in north-east Wales football this season: Flint Mountain. My enquiries to the club about prospects for the match bring a confident response - the pitch is fine, no problems expected.

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