Sunday 24th August 2014 ko 18.30
Welsh Alliance Division Two
NANTLLE VALE 3 (Jennings 12 J Evans 45 Kay 60) D Williams missed penalty 17
AMLWCH TOWN 0
From our exit from Penrhyndeudraeth we remained very much in slate mining country as we reached the foothills of Snowdon and the village of Penygroes. Whilst many of the slate mines have gone, the area remains an administration centre, and for the record the area’s two most famous sons have had absolutely nothing to do with slate mining.
Opera singer Bryn Terfel went to school here, but perhaps the most intriguing is Orig Williams, better known by his professional name El Bandito. Born in 1931, he joined the forces, but on discharge became a professional footballer, representing the likes of Bangor, Shrewsbury, Oldham and Pwllheli eventually becoming player-manager of Nantlle Vale, a stint that coincided with a downturn in the club’s disciplinary record.
When injury ended his playing days he became a wrestler, El Bandito and travelled the world before becoming a sports journalist for the Daily Post. He died in 2009, and his daughter Tara Bethan is an actress and singer, having appeared in the BBC talent show, “I’d do anything.”
The area is a real centre for the Welsh language, and the 88% of the population who described themselves as Welsh speakers was reason enough for a programme written more in Cymraeg than English. It’s quite a collectors’ item.
Maes Dulyn has the solid look of a ground used to staging football at a higher grade. Tired legs appreciated the seating, and weatherbeaten faces appreciated the cover too as the rain threatened. It was a convivial evening as the sun set over Gwynedd.
The club seemed slightly behind schedule as we arrived, the baked potatoes weren’t ready, and it took a little time to get the teamsheets printed ready for an impatient clientele. Once the queues had died down we watched Vale comprehensively beat an Amlwch team that at some points of the game didn’t look like they wanted to be there.
Their time will come, we’re back on Anglesey next year, and there like here has a quite wonderful view of Snowdon. The great advantage of Nantlle Vale, is that here you’re so close you can actually see the hotel on the top!