Saturday 24th August 2013 ko 12.45
Welsh Alliance Division 2
PENRHYNDEUDRAETH 5 (Roberts 33 Hughes 45p 79 S Jones 68 L Jones 88) Hughes missed penalty 30
We were a little tight for time in reaching Gaerwen after the groundhop’s opener at Llanfairpwll, but had enough time for a little coach tour round the local cattle market, before our drivers Colin and Neil decided to drop the passengers off at Maes Merddyn before returning to the market to park up.
The village of Gaerwen is best known as being the southern terminus of the Anglesey Central Railway which was in use between 1864 and 1993. The station was only the Holyhead to Bangor line until being closed to passenger traffic under the Beeching axe in 1963. The tiny village of Star is situated to the east of Gaerwen.
On arrival the ground was a hive of activity. The club had neglected to post the line-ups, so I made myself busy getting that information written down, but in all honestly I needn’t have bothered, the hoppers had found Evans the referee and has extracted the necessary information.
The ground impressed everyone, well appointed and smartly painted in the club colours of red and black. The café did a roaring trade, and their was an added bonus for those venturing across the road to the village hall. A delicious lobscouse, or lamb stew had been prepared and Chris and I partook before we did the crowd count. That created a minor issue when we did. I’d spotted the sheep grazing on a patch of grass behind the goal when I’d walked in, but I thought there were 5 then, not the 4 when we did the count. Surely not……?
However many sheep they were, they knew to hide at the back of their enclosure. Perhaps they knew that Penrhyndeudrath would dominate, but surely they couldn’t have predicted that the visitors Mathew Hughes would blast his penalty in their direction, over the bar?
It proved to be short solace for Gaerwen as Paul Roberts opened the scoring a mere 3 minutes later, turning neatly before smashing home from 12 yards out. From that point on, there was only going to be one result, and the goals kept coming in steady cavalcade throughout the rest of the game. Hughes did successfully convert a spot kick, but the sheep still looked in danger as his shot only just caught enough post to rebound in.
Whilst the sheep may have had self-preservation on their minds, the view they were stood in front of was quite a diversion. We’d got a hint of Snowdonia at the entrance at Llanfairpwll, but this was the first of the three games that day with the stunning back drop. It really was a case of pick your spot for a pretty picture.
I settled down to the left of the visitors’ dugout and was fascinated as the manager was calling out instructions to his players in both Welsh and English. Eventually I asked why,
“Well, they all are Welsh speakers, but which language I use depends on their family background.”
Nothing wrong with that, but I walked back to the coaches, pondering whether there’s another country where two languages are so interchangeable. In Belgium the demarcation between Flemish and French is fairly rigid, and the only other time I’ve encountered it was in South Africa. I’d watched a televised game between South Africa and Brazil and the commentary was in all 11 official languages, with just over 8 minutes in each! That of course was for political purposes but it was interesting to watch!
In the end Evans the Ref called an end to Gaerwen’s misery, and we were soon heading west another 7 miles to our next game, at another “G” Gwalchmai.