Joe Vousden, Kelvin Frazer, Kevin Davies, llanfairpwll, Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, mummery, Pwllheli, railway station, Stephen Smith, Trefor Lloyd Hughes, Welsh Groundhop
Saturday 24th August 2013 ko 10.15
Welsh Alliance Division One
LLANFAIRPWLLGWYNGYLLGOGERYCHWYNDROBWLLLLANTYSILIOGOGOGOCH 4 (Frazer 8 48 Smith 39 J Vousden 71)
Of the 4 days on this groundhop, Saturday proved to be by far the most difficult to organise. We prefer to have 4 games on the Saturday, as with 3 games you tend to see attendances drop alarmingly for the middle game, as hoppers go off-piste and find alternate games. With 4 they have to give up two hop games which tends to see more stay with the hop.
With a day on Anglesey, the obvious last game would have been Llangefni, with a set of floodlights a relic of their one season in the Welsh Premier, but that idea was scotched as we soon discovered they no longer work. They were replaced by Glantraeth, but were to be the away team at Llanfairpwll. Sadly Llangefni then opted to drop down to the Anglesey League, so we were grateful to Pwllheli who offered to replace them and be an away side twice on the hop.
With all 4 clubs lacking floodlights, it meant an early start from the University to fit them all in, we left at 7.15am! That created another issue, the canteen at the Uni’ doesn’t open for breakfast until 8am! On that score we were endebted to Alun Mummery secretary at Llanfairpwll who pointed us in the direction of the village’s visitor centre café and so 80 or to hoppers enjoyed a cooked breakfast on Anglesey and we able to enjoy the railway station with the long name before our game!
One minor issue we didn’t ponder was that of Llanfairpwll’s old ground Gor’s Field. The club moved to Maes Eilian in 2008, but the old ground is still used for reserve games. Some hoppers went to the old ground and the only reason they found the new one, was that the club were tuned in enough to put up signs pointing the way to go!
That is typical of Alun and his club. I’d met him just over a year ago, when I’d caused a minor stir at the club by bringing a Japan-based Australian hopper there. Peter enjoyed himself immensely and I was glad that Llanfairpwll had restocked with club badges, as Peter had bought the lot! Here’s the report
The club coped admirably with the large crowd, in fact the only issue was the late appearance of Pwllheli. That made me nervous, I’d known that their manager had resigned and that they’d lost their first 3 games of the season too. Their lateness was for good reason though, the local paper in Pwllheli had printed the kick off time as 10.45! It did create a bit of a scrum for the line-ups as kick-off approached but their was no delay to kick off, which would have created real issues later on in the day.
Sadly Pwllheli looked like what they are, a team in transition and the hosts swept them aside. Kelvin Frazer beat Pwllheli keeper Kevin Davies to head home at the near post, but Davies did manage to save Frazer’s penalty in the 33rd minute.
It didn’t take much longer for Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch to double their lead, when Stephen Smith was first to react to a rebound. Frazer scored his second from a well-taken free-kick, but the champagne-moment was undoubtedly 16-year-old Joe Vousden’s curling effort that sneaked in at the back post from fully 20 yards. The hoppers smiled, and secretary Alun couldn’t have looked more proud.
The one running theme though throughout the day, other than missed penalties, was the players speaking in Welsh, but not every word. Hearing the Welsh language was not unexpected, Anglesey and the North Wales coast has long been a bastion for the Celtic language, but no one expected the swearing to be in English. We certainly don’t mind bad language, its almost inevitable at a football match, but it was odd only hearing the only the occasional word of English, and only ever the words not found in the Queen’s English!
As the game wound down Chris and I had a most welcome visitor, Trefor Lloyd Hughes, the President of the Football Association of Wales. Apart from being a thoroughly decent chap he gave us football signed by the Welsh national team, and a huge bag of FAW key rings so that every hopper could have one. That was easy enough to achieve, and we decided to donate the ball to a hospice specialising in palliative care for those with cancer. Cancer is something close to both Chris and I and we hope they can auction off the ball and we know the funds raised will help their vital work.