Saturday 24th August 2013 ko 15.45
Welsh Alliance Division One
GWALCHMAI 5 (Sinnott 19 Evans 36 38 83 S Sinclair 54)
LLANBERIS 1 (R Parry 88)
It didn’t take long to get from Gaerwen to Gwalchmai, passing the Anglesey Showground along the way. The village is named after the 12th-century court poet Gwalchmai ap Meilyr. Just to the north is a small lake Llyn Hendref, or to translate, The Lake of Winter Dwelling. Not that there was anything remotely wintery about Cae Maes Murig, set as it is behind a ribbon of social housing and in front of farmland with Snowdonia behind. It was determinedly t-shirt weather, and the ground surprised many, me included.
The club won the Gwynedd League in 2010, but the ground is appointed well beyond the ground-grading needs of the Welsh Alliance, with 3 separate covered enclosures to keep patrons dry when needed. The club were clearly geared up for their big day, and had harnessed their groundhop game to the local carnival. That’s how they broke the record attendance for a Welsh Groundhop game, beating Llandrindod Wells 374, who’d done exactly the same thing in 2010.
There was more to it though than just the high attendance. The club had used their imagination with the catering, with home-made pies on sale together with an incredibly popular vegetable curry, which proved if such a thing were needed, that food without meat can be very profitable! Chris and I grabbed a tea apiece, and did the line-up board for them to speed proceedings on their way.
Not that they needed any help on the pitch, they blew a hardly inadequate Llanberis away. Marc Evans was tormentor-in-chief, scoring the first hat-trick of the groundhop, including one scored from the penalty spot, bucking the trend of failure that had already been established. Corey Sinnott had opened the scoring, but the goal of the game, and perhaps the hop came from captain Steve Sinclair whose drive from fully 25 yards, even made one of the horses in an adjoining field look up.
Inevitably Gwalchmai eased off towards the close, and that allowed Llanberis a consolation, Rhys Parry slotting home from a tight angle. It was only consolation, and the hosts were good value for their win. I headed back to the coaches to find Colin and Neil discussing how best to get to the next game at Glantraeth. It spoke volumes for how happy I was with them, and how well I felt the hop was going, that I let them get on with it. We were, after all in capable hands.