Rhayader Town

rhayader town progSaturday August 25th
Cymru Alliance
Rhayader Town o Cefn Druids 3 HT: 0-1 Att: 83

from Y Weirglodd

Entrance £5
Programme £1
Y Weirglodd pictures

Rhayader Town (3)Having seen the first two games of the Mid Wales hop (out of 11), I went my own way, choosing quality over quantity in Cymru Alliance new boys Rhayader Town. Meanwhile, the hoard of hoppers were dashing off to some farmer’s field to watch Radnor Valley v Newcastle Emlyn.

Rhayader’s kick off was the standard 2.30, so I had time to kill beforehand. The small town of Rhayader (Welsh: Rhaeadr Gwy), meaning waterfall on the Wye, is very pleasant indeed. It is the oldest town in mid wales with a population of just over two thousand. It is pronounced approximately Raider. Continue reading “Rhayader Town”


Guilsfield FC

Date: Saturday February 10 2012
Ground: Guilsfield Community Centre
Comp: Welsh Premier (Welsh step two)
Match: Guilsfield 1 Cefn Druids 2  HT: 1-1
Probert 28(pen) : Cann 9, Duckett 70

ATT: 85
Additional: Entrance £4.00, Programme £1.00

Guilsfield Community Centre in pictures

Ground Statistics (marks out of ten, maximum 40)
Character 7, Structures/Terracing 6, Hospitality 7, Backdrop/Scenery or aesthetics for larger stadiums 7
Total 27

I love Welsh Football. I’m not entirely sure why so I’ll quote Ian Rush, when asked how he was adjusting to life in Italy, after signing for Sampdoria:

It’s like being in a foreign country

After years of bombing up, down and sideways along M’s 1,3,4,5,6,25,60 and 62 (and even the rare ones like the 55 and 65) it’s a pleasant change to amble along country lanes to a village to see football at the same tier of a different league system. It’s altogether less fraught. Continue reading “Guilsfield FC”

Rhos Aelwyd

Date: Saturday Apr 30 2011
Ground: Ponciau Park
Comp: Cymru Alliance (Welsh step two)
Match: Rhos Aelwyd 1 Cefn Druids 2  HT: 1-1

ATT: 86
Additional: Entrance £3.00, Programme £1.50

Ponciau Park in pictures

Ground Statistics (marks out of ten, maximum 40)
Character 8, Structures/Terracing 5, Hospitality 7, Backdrop/Scenery or aesthetics for larger stadiums 8
Total 28

Rhos Aelwyd were promoted to the Cymru Alliance last season. They are a tiny club that have had a great season and an unexpected fourth place finish. They even beat Rhyl away, recently. I was keen to see the new surprise package of Welsh football, not least to wonder at the contrast between the English and Welsh leagues. Continue reading “Rhos Aelwyd”

Cefn Druids AFC

Date: Tuesday Nov 09 2010
Ground: The Rock
Comp: Cymru Alliance
Match: Cefn Druids 2 Ruthin Town 0 HT: 0-0
Swarbrich 56, Duckett 58

ATT: 185
Additional: Entrance £5.00, Programme £1.50, Coffee/Tea £1.00
The Rock in pictures

This is Cefn Druids’ first season at their new home – The Rock. When you go there you can see why it is thus called. The ground sits in the shadow of an imposing cliff face, a sight that I’m sure would be best seen in daylight, rather than floodlight. It’s grandeur was not lost on me despite the lack of light, but my pictures did not capture it well or do it justice – save this one for a Saturday afternoon. Continue reading “Cefn Druids AFC”

Flint Town United

Date: Saturday Oct 30 2010
Ground: Cae-y-Castell
Comp: Cymru Alliance
Match: Flint Town United 1 Cefn Druids 0 HT: 0-0 ATT: 163
Beck 51
Additional: Entrance £5.00, Programme £1.50, Coffee/Tea 0.70

Cae-y-Castell in pictures

It’s been a while since sampling Welsh football; I must do it more often as its football and grounds are absolutely charming. There was a major restructure of top Welsh football this year with the top flight reducing from 18 teams down to 12. This had the effect of bolstering the northern second tier Cymru Alliance. Connah’s Quay, Porthmadog, Welshpool Town, Caersws and Cefn Druids were relegated by finishing in the bottom places, with Rhyl relegated for failing ground criteria (despite finishing 6th).

This makes the Cymru Alliance a league of vast contrast. You have the likes of Rhyl, who have played (and even won sometimes) European ties, with a smart ground with floodlights; and then you have teams such as the newly promoted Rhos Aelwyd (from Rhosllannerchrugog, near Wrexham) and Guilsfield, whose grounds have no floodlights and are little more than pitches.

Flint Town United are a merger of Flint Town and Flint Athletic and date back to 1886. They won the Welsh Cup in 1954 against Chester. They were founder members of the League of Wales in 1992 but have played in the Cymru Alliance since 1998. Their ground, Cae-y-Castell, translates as the Castle Field, and is indeed situated right next to Flint Castle. They have the same nickname as Macclesfield – the Silkmen, due to their manufacuring history.

The signage regarding the football team seems to switch alternatively between Welsh and English. On the entrance to the social club you have a neon Fflint Town (welsh spelling) sign surrounded by two turrets sporting Flint Social Club signs (English spelling). On the back of the main stand it says Flint Town United while on the from it reverts to Fflint Town United.

The visitors today were the new league leaders Cefn Druids (the oldest Welsh football club, 1869). The f is pronounced as a v. They beat Connah’s Quay last weekend, 5-1, to depose them at the top. This is also their first season at ‘The Rock’, their new ground. I was looking forward to seeing a top of the table clash as Flint weren’t far behind them with five wins and three defeats so far.

Main Stand

The ground is right on the Dee estuary, next to the old castle and Flint Rugby club. The main stand is a smart new affair housing roughly 200, and another stand sits, like a corner unit, down from the main stand seating three rows of 11 and one of 12, totally 45. There is no terracing as such, just hard standing around the rest of the ground. A small astropitch sits in one corner, where kids were playing throughout (and at one point their ball flew out on to the main pitch).

Opposite the main stand is what I guess is a TV gantry with a plush leather bench underneath.

The match was a bit of a surprise. Flint Town completely dominated the first half and, but for some sloppy end play, should have been a few goals up. To compound to Druids struggles, they had a man sent off for kicking out late in the first half.

Flint finally got a goal on 51 minutes when Beck hammered home from close range in to the top of the net. At 1-0 it always looked like Cefn Druids might sneak an equaliser, especially with them being top of the league, but Flint held out for a deserved win.

Great ground and hospitality and a cracking game.

NEWI Cefn Druids

cefn-druids-programmeDate: 27th March 2009
Ground: Plaskynaston Lane
Match: NEWI Cefn Druids 6 Gap Connah’s Quay 0 HT: 0-0 ATT: 150
Comp: Welsh Premier League
Additional: Entrance £6 Programme £1.50
Plaskynaston Lane in pictures

Entrance to Plaskynaston Lane
Entrance to Plaskynaston Lane

Friday night and another trip to North Wales and its Premier football league, this time to the oldest club in Wales, Cefn Druids. Founded in the early 1860s as Druids FC, they are the oldest club in the world, outside of England, and are thus nicknamed the Ancients. (Oswestry Town, now The New Saints, are older but play in England, despite always having played in the Welsh league system.) Continue reading “NEWI Cefn Druids”