Alfred Major Recreation Ground, Blaenau Amateurs, Cae Tan Parc, Chris Berezai, Llanerchymedd, Llannerch-y-medd, Wales, Welsh Alliance
Saturday 29th August 2015 ko 13.30
Welsh Alliance Division 2
LLANERCHYMEDD 3 (J Jones 5 M Jones 29 48)
BLAENAU AMATEURS 2 (Bradley 35 45)
As I was about to complete the crowd count back at Amlwch I spotted a lone figure looking nervously from outside the ground (I didn’t count him!). He was speaking to an Amlwch committeeman so I downed tools for a minute. It turned out to be to the Llanerchymedd manager getting a sneak preview of what was heading his way!
From that act you could have wondered whether the club, only in the Welsh Alliance for a second season, were underprepared, but the sign pointing us the way when we reached the village proved otherwise. In fact the only issue seemed to be on how to spell the club’s name.
On road signs its spelt “Llanerch-y-medd” meaning woodland clearing of (the drink) mead, but it’s also spelt Llannerch-y-medd and Llanerchymedd too, so I decided to run with what was printed on the club’s programme cover.
The surprises came thick and fast once we’d parked up. The pitch sits on a landscaped plateau, with the remains of the copper mining industry near Lake Llyn nearby clearly visible. The lobscouse sold by the gallon and the Welsh cakes were eaten as fast as Chris Berezai could buy them!
You generally don’t expect a club new to the league to have a well-appointed ground, but Cae Tan Parc, certainly broke that mould. The 100 seat stand was handy, even if the weather was fine, but the intrigue was in the far corner with probably the smallest stand was in situ. It seats only two people, and was built to allow ball-boys to shelter in inclement weather!
The hosts very nearly got promoted last season, and that positivity continued as they raced into a 2-goal lead, only for Blaenau to pull it back to 2-2 on the stroke of half-time. An early second-half goal saw Llanerchymedd retake the lead, and despite the visitors’ valiant attempts, the hosts held on for a deserved win.
I was pleased that the crowd held up too, we knew some would go “off piste” to Holyhead Hotspur. On one hand those that did missed a fine game and a beautiful presented club, but what was pleasing is that despite their loss the locals more than made up for it. I will never lose sight of the fact that whilst a hopper seldom revisits, if you get it right with the locals they’ll come back time after time. Hopefully that has happened here.