Sunday 27th August 2017 ko 18.00
South Wales Alliance Premier Division
BRECON CORINTHIANS 2 (Bain 54 C Jones 83)
PONTLOTTYN AFC 0
We headed north from Cwmbach heading past the site of the Tower Colliery in Hirwaun. It was quite a poignant moment as one of our coach drivers Nigel, was and is a shareholder in the workers’ buyout that saw the mine re-open in 1995 and continue work until 2008, and even now the site is being used for open-cast mining.
From there, we left the valleys crossing the Brecon Beacons National Park, and to my way of thinking at least, we left South Wales, entering Mid-Wales in the process.
The differences were there to see; I’m not sure if the Landsker Line exists here, but the roadsigns changed from being in Welsh first, normally a sign that you’re likely to hear Welsh spoken more than English. As if to accentuate that felling of being in Mid-Wales, we were only a couple of hundred yards from Brecon Northcote’s ground, and they play in the Mid-Wales League. At some point we’ll pay them a visit when we catch up with that league, probably on a hop-up.
I’d paid Corries’ Rich Field around 15 years ago, and the big change was near where we parked up. The ground is close to the terminus of the Momouthshire and Brecon Canal, and the wharf is now a pleasant tourist spot with a theatre beyond it.
Brecon Corries background is in the Welsh League, they spent over 40 years in the league before being relegated in 1999, and I imagine that link the league is why they remain a northern outpost of firstly the South Wales Senior League and now the South Wales Alliance.
The ground reflects that illustrious past with the frankly gorgeous stand, and the floodlights that the club seemed rather nervous about using. But despite the Rich Field being for me and many others my favourite ground of the hop it wasn’t what I’ll remember them for. No, that would be salad.
Yes, you heard me right, and you’d also be right in thinking that most of us have been successfully dodging the stuff for years! But amongst those staples of the well-presented hop game, the barbecue and the real ale, having the green stuff and pasta at a stroke gave anyone who didn’t want meat an easy option.
It was a most enjoyable end to the Sunday games, and it was good to catch up with Pontlottyn after our rather eventful visit last season, and it was good to see a contingent from Merthyr Town suppporting hop too. But this was unquestionably Corries’ evening, deservedly winning the highest quality game of the hop.
Eventually of course it was all over and tired legs strolled, or staggered (depending on whether the Brewery Tap had been visited before the game) back to the coach. But an hour or so later with the Otley Arms, in Treforest in clear sight, everyone seemed to have perked up; odd that!