Sunday 26th August 2012 ko 3.00pm
Mid-Wales League Division One
ABERDYFI 6 (Holt 43p 77p 90 L Rickard 46 Smith 89 B Richards 90)
BONT 5 (Marsh 18 Thomas 21 Hughes 28p 78 Lee 31)
Entry/Programme Hop Ticket
From Bryncrug it didn’t take long to reach the seaside town of Aberdyfi, or Aberdovey if you’d prefer the Anglicised version. This pretty town is the southern-most point of Gwynedd and the Snowdonia National Park, and the hills at the edge of town act as a reminder of the mountains to the north and east.
The village is the subject of the folk song, “The Bells of Aberdovey,” and refers to the legend of a submerged former kingdom of Lowland Hundred beneath Cardigan Bay, and its bells which, it is said, can be heard ringing beneath the water.
The Penrhos Field is on the main road in town, and is close to the railway station. There’s not much in the way of facilities, just the one viewable side, and a couple of bus shelters for cover. What makes the place is the hilly backdrop with its pastel-coloured houses complete with one resident watching the game through binoculars!
What made my day was the efforts of the club. Relative newcomers to the league, they had so obviously read the briefing notes we sent, and had come up with Welsh teas for catering which sold well, and the tombola was an excellent idea. My litre of orange juice was quickly consumed, but I was completely stumped as to what to do with a child’s colouring in set! A friendly bunch too, and it was a pleasure to enjoy their company for a couple of hours. The Tywyn/Bryncrug players obviously agreed with me, as they turned up to watch the game!
And what a game it was, one that will be talked about in hushed tones in groundhopping circles for years to come. I mean dear reader, have you ever seen a team win after being 4 down? That’s what happened, Andre Marsh, Daniel Thomas, Llewelyn Hughes from the penalty spot and Ian Lee looked to have secured an easy away win with only half-an-hour gone. But with just a couple of minutes left in the half something happened. It wasn’t that Bont stopped playing, something clicked for the hosts. Tim Holt both gained and converted a penalty, and the crowd watched agog as within a minute of the re-start Luke Rickard reduced the arrears further.
Holt converted a second penalty for 3-4, but the comeback looked to be over as Hughes curled a low free-kick into the bottom right corner for 3-5. With a minute to go Zac Smith fired home for 4-5, and when Bont conceded a free kick 20 yards out I turned to the Aberdyfi chairman and said, “Just watch this go in.” No crystal-gazing on my part, it just seemed that the footballing gods were smiling on the hosts today. The kick was beautifully struck by Holt, and whistled past Trevor Jenkins in the Bont goal and into the top right corner.
It was a goal to savour, but more drama was to follow, as in the fifth minute of stoppage time Bont failed to clear a ball into the box, and there was substitute Ben Richards to shoot home past a demolarised defence. Cue two groundhop organisers jumping around like dervishes with the Aberdyfi committee, and the other 320 or so present making this tiny ground rock. The home players jumped for joy, the Bont players sank to their knees in despair, and a few seconds later we walked back to our coaches shaking our heads wearing silly grins.
I honestly cannot remember seeing a better game of football.