Sunday 25th March 2012 ko 2.30pm
Welsh League Division Two
MONMOUTH TOWN 6 (E Ford 11p 79 Spence 50 Alderdice 58 Lewis 67 Laurie 90)
Att 142 (h/c)
Entry & Programme £3
As a hopper you do tend to exaggerate the term “It’s on the way home.” I once managed to put Inverurie on the way from Inverness to Glasgow, and this one on the way from Plymouth to Oxford!
There were good reasons for me to visit the Monmouth Sports Ground though. For one the club are moving from the current pitch at the end of the season, to one about 50 metres away, nearer the clubhouse, and nearer the A40 that rumbles away behind the complex. That will mean the club will no longer have to share with the rugby club, but will lose use of the wonderful stand. With my stupid frame of mind, the other reason to be there was the sheer amount of times I’ve driven along the A40 and thought, “I’ve got to visit that ground!”
The border town of Monmouth is the first town you reach after leaving England at Symonds Yat. The town is the birthplace of Henry V, victor over the French at the battle of Agincourt in 1415. That was where the rude two fingered signal originated. The battle was won by the English longbowmen who’d been threatened with having their bow drawing fingers cut off by the French. On victory the English waved their intact two fingers at the surviving French and the legend was born. You never learned that from the Shakespeare play!
The town is also famous for its close links with the Rolls family, who built a mansion at The Hendre just outside the town. In 1904, Charles Rolls established a new car making business with Henry Royce, but in 1910 he was killed in an aeroplane crash at the age of 32; he is commemorated by a statue in Agincourt Square.
For the lads the new President of Monmouth Town is television presenter and occasional actress Lisa Rogers.
The game saw promotion chasing Town face struggling Bridgend-based Bettws (pronouced Bett-us). We all wondered why the game was being played on Sunday, it transpired that Bettws didn’t want an early evening kick off. It certainly worked for Monmouth with a bumper crowd enjoying the warm weather, a successful team and a superb programme. It certainly didn’t work for Bettws who’d played at Newcastle Emlyn the previous day losing 2-1, and then had this trip to contend with!
As expected Monmouth took a early lead with a slightly dodgy penalty, but were made to work hard for their second, but Dan Spence’s long range effort was a fine way to open up the floodgates. And open they did with 4 further goals in the final 32 minutes, as Bettws wilted in the sun.
The result makes promotion for Monmouth almost certain, after after being in the Gwent County League Division Two a mere 6 years ago. That’s quite some progress!