Thursday 6th March 2014 ko 19.00
Welsh League Division Two
CARDIFF METROPOLITAN UNIVERSITY 3 (Clapton 48p Hickman 71 Roscrow 88)
DINAS POWYS 0
It has long occurred to me that both the feeder leagues to the Welsh Premier League have names that give no impression as to their purpose. In the north and mid-Wales there’s the Cymru Alliance and below that the Welsh Alliance, which is the same title, just in a different language. Parallel to the Welsh Alliance in the north is the even more confusingly titled Welsh National League with its fig-leaf suffix, (Wrexham area). In the south its the 3 divisions of the Welsh league; so there must be scope to tidy up the nomenclature!
And whilst we’re on the subject of titles Cardiff Met have had nearly as many regenerations as Doctor Who, which of course is filmed in Wales’ capital.
In the beginning there was Lake United who became A.F.C. Cardiff in 1984. In 1990, they merged with Sully F.C to form Inter Cardiff FC. In 1996, the club was renamed Inter CableTel A.F.C. with a sponsopship deal but reverted to Inter Cardiff FC in 1999.
Inter Cardiff represented Wales three times in the UEFA Cup. In the 1994-95 tournament they lost 0-8 over two legs to Katowice of Poland in the Preliminary round. They also played Celtic F.C. in the 1997-98 season (when known as Inter Cable Tel), losing 8-0 over the two legs. In 1999-2000 they lost 1-2 to Gorica of Slovenia over two legs in the 1st qualifying round.
Parallel to this Cardiff College of Education FC became South Glamorgan InstituteF.C. in 1979; Cardiff Institute of Higher Education F.C. in 1990 and UWIC in 1996.
In 2000, Inter Cardiff merged with Cardiff Metropolitan University (UWIC) to form UWIC Inter Cardiff F.C. They changed their name again in the summer of 2012 to Cardiff Metropolitan University FC. Currently, the club is managed by former Nottingham Forest, Oxford United, and Aberystwyth defender Christian Edwards.
The various clubs have, unsurprisingly used a variety of grounds, Inter Cardiff used the Leckwith Stadium, which later hosted Cardiff Grange (now Met) Quins, but was demolished in November 2009 to make way for the Cardiff City Stadium. UWIC played at the Cycoed Campus, in the affluent north of the city, but moved sideways a hundred or so yards for this season on to a newly built 3G pitch with a prefabricated stand behind the Indoor Athletics Arena.
It’s not the most interesting ground I’ll ever visit, in fact the history is more interesting than the location, but it served a useful purpose for many of the spectators. With the weekend’s Welsh Spring hop being based in Carmarthen, and a trip to Llanelli Town booked for the next day, together with the admin work, an overnight stay was good practice, and a game locally sealed the deal. And judging by the fact that at least two-thirds of the attendance were groundhoppers, many thought along the same lines as I had! Amongst the throng was the legendary “Tram” whose hatred of the nil-nil draw is such that he won’t count the ground unless a goal is scored. That self-imposed rule has cost him a tick at Stradey Park, Llanelli RUFC’s ground, where the only association rules game ever played there finished 0-0; the ground was demolished soon after, and multiple long-distance trips to the likes of Fakenham and Inverurie.
It was fortunate that the pitch was artificial, as the heavy rain would have undoubtedly caused a postponement as the muddy shoes of those, me included, that cut across the athletics surround bore testament! Despite the perfect pitch it wasn’t the easiest game to watch. Met were obviously the better team but to Tram’s obvious chagrin the goals just wouldn’t come easily. That said, once Joe Clapton converted a penalty just after half-time, Met cruised to the straightforward victory their dominance deserved.