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Monday 29th August 2016 ko 14.55

South Wales Alliance Premier Division

GRANGE ALBION 3 (Beattie 26 Cotterill 28 Daly 43)


Att 225

Entry £3

Programme £1

I remember my first encounter with Coronation Park. I’d parked up to visit Cardiff City’s Ninian Park, spotted the little ground with the name picked out in the brickwork and wondered what league Grange Albion played in. By the time I parked in roughly the same place in Sloper Road a few years’ later, beyond the Bus Garage to tick off Cardiff City Stadium I knew they played in the South Wales Senior League. As I alighted Coach 2 it felt like the aligning of the groundhopping planets! As if to accentuate the feeling, the tips of the Millenium Stadium’s cantilevering are visible too.

Coronation Park is one of the more compact grounds you’ll visit, hemmed in by houses, Sloper Road and the Bus Garage, with just enough space for access, a small covered area and the changing room block. That caused issues shifting teas and hot food, but the club managed to shift something that most of the other clubs on this hop eschewed- Welsh Cakes!

It’s a mystery why, but Albion shifted the home-made treats like no other club I’ve seen, and buckets of cold water kept the cans of drink cold as they were bought at a staggering rate. It rather took the attention off of the late appearance of our refereeing team. They blamed the hospitality of back at Cardiff Hibs, so as far as I’m concerned I’m blaming the 10 minute delay on a goat, albeit one of the curried variety!

It was sad to see Cardiff Corries firstly in this league and putting up such a poor show in this game.  They played in the English Western League from 1921 to 1924 but were relegated out of the Welsh League last season. There demise has been far slower than, say Garw but equally as shocking. Hopefully they’ll find the means to regroup and rebuild soon as Albion’s win here was as straightforward as it gets.

It was by any measure an extremely good afternoon for the little club quite literally in the big club’s shadow, and as we left for the hop’s final game we were to visit a club in part born out of a rather different shadow.