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Monday 26th August 2013 ko 11.15

Welsh Alliance Division One

DENBIGH TOWN 4 (Lundstram 27 Pierce 30 72p 75)

BARMOUTH & DYFFRYN UNITED 0

Att 285

Entry £4

Programme £1

Badge £3

Back in Chester as I woke I carried out a mental inventory of how I was feeling. Legs – sore, feet – swollen, and face- sunburnt! In truth I was pleased this was the last day of the hop, there is a limit on how much football you can watch, both physically and mentally. Over breakfast, notably quieter compared to the other days, I pondered the very first Northern Counties East hop when we’d planned a 14-game 5 day hop over Easter. We’d received many emails telling us it would be too much, reduced it as a result and my feet confirmed that thinking. I dumped my bags in my car for the evening drive home, and strolled over the to the coach. It perhaps goes without saying that drivers Neil and Colin lifted me no end on the journey south.

After a pick up at Meliden, the site of the last game, allowing car drivers a quicker getaway afterwards, it didn’t take long to reach the historic capital of Denbighshire. There are in fact two Denbighs, the medieval one, was destroyed during the Wars of the Roses, and the town subsequently moved from the hill top to the area of the present town below. In 1643, Denbigh became a refuge for a Royalist garrison during the English Civil War. Surrendering in 1646, the castle and town walls eventually fell into ruin. The remains of the walls can clearly be seen from the football ground.

As can the towering statue of Dr Evan Pierce built in 1872 to commemorate his part in eradicating Cholera from the town. Its impressive, but there is a catch, its reckoned that most of the funds needed for the Sicilian marble statue on a column of Denbigh limestone, actually came from Pierce himself!!!

We reached Central Park and found a hive of activity. I was pleased to have to do nothing more than organise the team line-ups to be posted somewhere prominent, as the club thought incorrectly, that simply announcing the teams was sufficient. It was, by implication a comment on the excellent facilities at Central Park, it wouldn’t take much for the club to stage Welsh Premier fixtures here, and the club has had two stints in the second tier Welsh Alliance. The team certainly look capable of getting them the promotion to get back there.

We had someone present with a foot in two camps. Andy Sneddon runs Black Dragon, who supply much of the merchandise in the Welsh game, but he’s also heavily involved at Barmouth, to the extent that its his company  name emblazoned on their shirts! I therefore hoped his club would make a decent account of themselves, but sadly for him, and the neutrals watching, Denbigh didn’t give them the chance.

The star of the show was undoubtedly Kristian Pierce ( I wonder if he’s related to Dr Pierce?) who scored the second hat-trick of the hop. As impressive up front was Mike Lundstram, who set up for Pierce what he didn’t score himself. As far as the visitors were concerned, they were completely unplayable. 4-0 was a fair result, but it was good to chat to the Barmouth committee at half time, they’ve got some great ideas for when the hop circus reaches Wern Mynach.