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David Collins

David Collins

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Saturday, 27 January 2018 20:59

A "Fairytale" of Dragons and Miners

SATURDAY 27th JANUARY: USW Sports Campus, wet and mild.
PONTYPRIDD TOWN 1 PENYDARREN BGC 2 (JD Welsh Cup Round 4)
The last sixteen of the Welsh Cup, always a day to savour, and ever since the draw was made back in December I have had just one destination today. Two south Wales valleys clubs, one from tier 3, one from tier 5, and one of them will qualify for the quarter-finals of the Welsh Cup.

Whilst I've been anticipating today, the weather has been a bit of a worry. Heavy rain this morning on top of already saturated ground brings a rash of postponements through the morning. I set off for Treforest early - half-expecting to arrive to news that the match referee has deemed the pitch unplayable and so leaving enough time to high-tail it down to Cyncoed for a later kick off. But on arrival, those fears are unfounded: the pitch is looking heavy but OK, although spectator areas are holding vast amounts of water. The game, it seems, is very much on.

Penydarren BGC's extraordinary winning run has drawn an increasing amount of attention and coverage. The FAW website ran a video feature on the Merthyr club this week and social media has been awash with messages of encouragement.

The most commonly-used description for Penydarren's exploits is "fairy-tale". A cliché, although we all understand the meaning. But today is no day for fairies: their little gossamer wings would soon get waterlogged in the persistent rain and the abundant mud at the USW Sport Park is not the best surface for tiny bare feet. No, today is a day for good old-fashioned cup football, football in the raw, and over 400 spectators have assembled expecting a real battle in the mud. Today's teams are the distinctly un-fairylike Dragons of Pontypridd and Miners of Penydarren.

Thursday, 18 January 2018 11:13

Issue 203 - Feb/March 2018

WF 203 cover

Publication Date:  24 January 2018

CONTENTS INCLUDE:

History feature - the story of football at Taff Vale Park

Club features:  Goytre FC, Cefn Druids

JD Welsh Premier, Nathaniel Cars Welsh League and Huws Gray Alliance round-ups and comment

Editorial:  How to grow attendances in Welsh Premier and tier 2

Grassroots features:  Gwent Amateur Cup, FAW Trophy, Penydarren BGC

Looking Back - 25 and 50 years ago

Programme and Book reviews

Double supplement:

1) Full Welsh Premier phase 1 stats and phase 2 fixtures

2) Latest cup results and draws plus dozens of latest tables from Tier 2 & below

 

Available at following club shops: Aberystwyth Town, Cefn Druids, Porthmadog, Caernarfon Town. Also available at Barry Town United games.  

Stocked by many independent Welsh bookshops and always available immediately after publication from WH Smith Albany Road CARDIFF

Or purchase direct from the publishers for postal delivery - email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   or use the contact feature on this site

 

 

Sunday, 14 January 2018 20:24

Long Distance

SATURDAY 13th JANUARY: Abertillery Leisure Centre, cold and gloomy.
ABERTILLERY BLUEBIRDS 1 RHOS AELWYD 3 (FAW Trophy, Round 5)


When I saw the draw for the Fifth Round of the FAW Trophy (my favourite domestic competition), I was delighted to see that it was national, rather than regionalised. In recent years, the competition had been regional until the last possible point, but that deprived clubs of one-off away-days in other parts of Wales, and deprived spectators of the inter-region ties that capture the imagination.

The only disappointing feature of the last sixteen draw was the shortage of games in south Wales. Most of our local clubs were drawn away, with just Abertillery in reasonable, January-travel range. Hence a journey up the Ebbw valley - not the easiest, as I'm wary of Gwent buses. Quite often it seems only locals actually know where they stop - and I remember waiting in the wrong place, in what looked like a bus station, on my last trip to Abertillery. Signage and visitor information is non-existent in these parts - I suppose they don't expect tourists.

Sunday, 10 December 2017 20:05

Two for the Price of One

SATURDAY 9th DECEMBER. Pill Recreation Ground, dry and cold.
PILL 2 RHYMNEY 6 and DOCKS CONS 1 PENTWYNMAWR 1 after extra time (Gwent Amateur Cup)

Saturday morning arrives and I have no firm plan and no idea where I'm going. For various reasons, I haven't been able to give it much thought this week and doubted I'd be up to going far. Or anywhere, really. And then the forecast of snow added another layer of uncertainty, making me wonder if it would be one of those "3G only" days.

But Cardiff is merely a little frosty this morning (though the hills to the north of the city are white). There's a host of early morning tweets announcing matches off in north Wales, mid Wales and the valleys, but the Channel coast seems to have escaped. A few games on grass are on, and I notice a report that the pitch at Pill AFC is "perfect". I'd also noticed that there seems to be another match scheduled for Pill Rec. - another Gwent Amateur Cup game with Docks Cons (of the Newport & District League) the home club against Pentwynmawr of the Gwent County. Interest definitely piqued - I'm going to Newport.

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