Chris Berezai, GroundhopUK, Mochdre, Prestatyn Sports, Sports Association, Wales, Welsh Groundhop
Friday 28th August 2015 ko 18.30
Welsh Alliance Division Two
MOCHDRE SPORTS 1 (Owen 67)
PRESTATYN SPORTS 0
GroundhopUK’s roots lie with the Welsh hop, back 13 years ago when Chris Berezai put together a one-day event for the Welsh League. My, how the baby has grown as we distributed 130-or-so programme packs and room keys at Chester University and waited for our two coaches to take us to the first game of a 4 day, 11 game extravaganza in the Welsh Alliance.
This was to be the last hop of our three-year stint in the league, and at times seeing all the visiting officials from former host clubs coming over for a chat, the weekend felt like a valedictory farewell tour as much as any other hop we’ve organised.
The hosts re-joined the league last season and despite watching St Asaph do a fine job of hosting last year decided to come up with a cute way of supplementing our famous briefing notes and guidance.
They spotted that Ceredigion League club Felinfach had hosted for us back in March and contacted them via Twitter. The two clubs exchanged ideas, and Felinfach’s experiences, and the advice served them well, although I do wonder of Mochdre’s billiard table of a pitch was due to Felinfach’s advice.
I should explain- Felinfach’s pitch is odd, and it does slope markedly from the centre down to both touchlines, and am I putting two and two together when Mochdre revealed they’d spent money having the a pitch professionally prepared, so proud they were at being given as they saw it, the honour of hosting a groundhop game?
And they certainly gave the throng a wonderful kick-start to their weekend. The Mochdre Sports Association is shared with cricket, so the pavilion was a fair distance from the pitch, which on one side was barriered with the type of fencing that gets used when someone famous visits your town.
The curry sold like, well curry on a Friday night always does, but I’ll remember Mochdre for a club who everywhere I looked, everyone connected with them seemed to be wearing a smile. It didn’t matter that the game was dour, the tie settled by Niall Owen’s deft free kick that curled deliciously into the corner with the Prestatyn Sports defensive wall jumping out of the way to make absolutely sure.
In Cymreag Mochdre actually means, “Pig Town” which seemed a slight on a club that moved heaven and earth to make their big day a success, I mean I’ve never seen genuine yellow signs used before, and I trust they got the rewards they so obviously deserved.
The frankly gorgeous sunset as we left seemed like divine approval for their efforts.