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Saturday 24th August 2013 ko 18.30

Welsh Alliance Division One

GLANTRAETH 3 (Taylor 25 76 C Roberts 78)

LLANRUG UNITED 2 (Pritchard 18 D.N. Williams 90) D. N. Williams missed penalty 15

Att 308

Entry £4

Programme £1

Badge £3

Pint of Beer £2.50

I’m sure the Welsh hop has taken in locations more remote than Cae Glantraeth, the trip to Rhosgoch with the coach’s cooked brakes springs to mind, but this one was up with the best of them!

The club is named after the Glantraeth Farm and the nearest settlement is the small village of Trefdraeth, with the larger 400 inhabitant village of Malltraeth, about a mile-and-half distant. The district, Bodorgan is the current home of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge while Prince William serves as a search and rescue pilot at RAF Valley, 9 or so miles away. I did keep half an eye open for a yellow helicopter! Other than transplanted royalty, Hollywood actress Naomi Watts spent part of her childhood in the area.

Chris and I knew the club would put on a good show for their visitors, not least because secretary Stan Strickland is I believe something of a closet groundhopper, having been secretary at Northern Premier League outfit Burscough. I remember them surprising everyone by beating Tamworth to lift the FA Trophy at Villa Park in 2003. I was there too Stan, in the Tamworth (Holte) end!

A marquee had been erected and the club were doing a roaring trade in food, and Purple Moose real ale. In fact they sold so much of the stuff that they ran out of the bottled variety, and one hopper, it could only be Martin Bamforth, bought a 36 pint polypin, and transported it back to our hop base in Chester on the coach, and we spent the next two evenings enjoying it at £1.70 a pint!

The programme was a first too for me, the first publication to offer a panoramic photo of the view of the Snowdonia from the open side of the ground, annotated so as to allow easy identification of the mountains, Yr Wyddfa (Mount Snowdon) included. There was no danger of Englishmen climbing up a hill, and descending down a mountain! Or for that matter, needing a “be’chi’ngalw!”

Glantraeth are one of the leading lights of the league, so it was a surprise that Llanrug made the brighter start, with David Noel Williams missing an early penalty before Marvin Pritchard’s long-range effort surprised home keeper Dylan Roberts. He got a hand to the effort, but was unable to stop it crossing the line.

In fact, had Llanrug not had a real Achilles heel with corners, they may well have won the game. Centre half Tom Taylor scored with powerful headers from corners, equidistant from half-time, and a scrappy goal finished off by substitute Craig Roberts proved to be the winner. David Noel Williams 20 yard free-kick proved to be a spectacular, if futile coda.

On the way back to Colin, Neil, and the coaches I spotted Polish hopper Radoslaw taking a picture of the queue of cars leaving the ground along the narrow road back to the A55. He commented that Glantraeth don’t see traffic like this very often. I smiled, thinking of the efforts of Stan and his team, sometimes when you put the effort in, you get the rewards.