The Lottery

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Tuesday 3rd September 2019 ko 19.45

FA CUP Preliminary Round Replay

SHERWOOD COLLIERY 0

LOUGHBOROUGH COLLIERY 1 (Robbins 29)

Att 341

Entry £5

Programmme £1

It’s strange how some clubs and grounds seem to pass you by. Mansfield Woodhouse-based Sherwood Colliery managed to time their rise through the ranks so as to avoid the Central Midlands League’s groundhops, and when they won promotion from that league went into the East Midlands Counties League, avoiding the Northern Counties East Hops too! I ended up driving past no end of places I’d travelled to on a hop coach to Debdale Park!

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Civil 3G

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Monday 26th August 2019 ko 17.00

Gwent Premier League Premier Division

NEWPORT CIVIL SERVICE 2 (Edwards 9 86)

ABERCARN UNITED 0

Att 252

Entry £3

Programme £1

If you stick to the basics of it, this year’s Welsh Hop finished at the Play Football Centre in the Bettws district of Newport, but that wasn’t the half of it! Now as organisers we’ve long since used groundhoppers’ liking of matchday programmes as a device to drive ticket sales which in turn give us a steer of numbers, which allows our host clubs plan for crowds far in excess of what they see normally. The modus operandi sees the ticket holders pick up their programmes in a pack at the first game they attend, and with 3 days since the Oak game one of two of the “Big Numbers” hoppers who hadn’t bought tickets had seen the front cover of the Newport Civil Service programme. Continue reading

The Flyer

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Monday 26th August 2019 ko 14.00

Gwent Premier League- Premier Division

PENTWYNMAWR ATHLETIC 3 (Slater 7 James 31 37)

LUCAS CWMBRAN 2 (Arnold 14p Silcox 41p)

Att 237

Entry £3

Programme £1

The second game of the day took us to Newbridge and its environs. The area is probably best known as both the birthplace and training base of the Welsh Rocky, boxer Joe Calzaghe. Once again the coach pulled up in the main thoroughfare through the village in similar vein to Wattsville but this time a fair percentage of the hoppers made a beeline to the Three Horseshoes pub opposite the ground. I didn’t follow them because I had a flyer in my hand…. Continue reading

The Antonym Of Accidental Revisit Syndrome

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Monday 26th August 2019 ko 11.00

Gwent Premier League Premier Division

ABERTILLERY EXCELSIORS 2 (D Jones 18 54p)

VILLA DINO CHRISTCHURCH 0 Lewis penalty saved 65

Att 236

Entry £3

Programme £1

The more senior hoppers have a little saying for those occasions when you realise on arrival that unexpectly they’ve visited the ground before. When you’ve done 300 or so grounds it seems barely creditable that you could have forgotten one. But when you’ve clocked up 4 figures worth of grounds, accidental revist syndrome can creep in. Except here at the Jim Owen Field I managed the exact opposite- I thought I was heading for a revisit and ended up ticking off a new ground! Continue reading

Wattsville Blues

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Sunday 25th August 2019 ko 18.00

Gwent Premier League Premier Division

WATTSVILLE 2 (Roch 29p McColl 75)

PILL YMCA 2 (Simmons 25p 37)

Att 243

Entry £3

Programme £1

“Time is going on
Time is leaving me
I got the Wattsville blues
I got the Wattsville blues now baby

But I still love the smile on your face
But I still love the sense of this place
I’m so happy I know I can never leave
Even though my, my brain it … bleeds”

Nicky Wire 2001

One way or another this hop seemed to see quite a bit of the Sirhowy valley. We ended up passing through Pontllanfraith and Ynysddu places that had rather scarred my existance for the days leading up to the event! One thing was certain, if things has turned put exactly how we’d planned them then we’d have travelled a lot less miles that day! Continue reading

Double F

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Sunday 25th August 2019 ko 15.00

Gwent Premier League Division 2

CEFN FFOREST 4 (J Price 33 Bowen 77 90 N Williams 84)

GILWERN & DISTRICT  1 (McCarthy 86)

Att 247

Entry £3

Programme £1

As fun as the dip into the Bridgend Sunday League was, it was good to return to Gwent. We headed to the environs of Caerphilly to the tiny village of Cefn Fforest, and for the record that extra “F” is important, you wouldn’t want to pronounce the place as “Vorest” now would you? Continue reading

Do. Or do not. There is no try.

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Sunday 25th August 2019 ko 11.00

Bridgend & District Sunday League – Premier Division

EWENNY RANGERS 3 (Paget 17 Cirotto 43 Taylor 78)

GARTH VADER 4 (Dickinson 40 Bellamy 60og Rogers 73 88)

Att 88

Entry FREE

Programme & Donation £2

With all due to respect to the good folk of the Bridgend & District Sunday League, the intention never was to pay them a visit, even if we do seem to be visited the football pitches of Bridgend, one at a time, once a year! When the Gwent Premier League finally gave Chris Berezai the finalised fixtures for the Welsh Hop we were scheduled to watch Ynysddu play Pilcs at Nine Mile Point. There was unfortunately an issue with that. Continue reading

Jasper

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Saturday 24th August 2019 ko 17.00

Gwent Premier League- Premier Division

NEWPORT CORINTHIANS 2 (Morgan 32 Brooks 78)

A.C. PONTYMISTER 3 (Clarke 11og Cooper 34 Baston 47)

Att 211

Entry £4

Programme £1

Whoever at the Gwent League that came up with the Welsh Hop’s itinerary clearly didn’t have me in mind! 3 revisits in 4 games on this event is unusual for me, and I’d seen Newport Corries 5 years ago mainly on the advice of Welsh Football publisher Dave Collins. A lot of the reason for going was the backdrop of the transporter bridge. It had been closed back then, so the coach pulled up at Coronation Park this time round with the bridge open, so what did I do? Continue reading

The Day of the Mad Dog

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Saturday 24th August 2019 ko 14.00

Gwent Premier League Division One

NEW INN FC 2 (Buncroft 30 James 56og)

RHYMNEY 2 (James 2 Elias 45)

Att 170

Entry £3

Programme £1

If there was one club I really wanted to do well out of the Welsh Hop it was New Inn. Robyn, her nephew Kai and I had visited Woodfield Road 3 years’ ago, we remembered what a lovely hospitable club they were, they thought that they hadn’t looked after us at all well, and I spent the intervening time really wanting them on a hop. So when they popped up on the itinerary the league sent us 3 weeks before the event I was pleased, and then immediately worried. Continue reading

Just Doing It

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Saturday 24th August 2019 ko 11.00

Gwent Premier League- Division 1

COED EVA ATHLETIC 4 (Davies 8 62 63 Bream 37)

NEWPORT SAINTS 3 (Roberts 3 50 Bourne 11)

Att 227

Entry £3

Programme £1

After the trials and tribulations in getting this edition of the Welsh Hop up and running it felt good to do the simple things again. That included strolling down the hill at the university in Trefforest to meet Steve and the coach, then travelling for the breakfast that was billed as “Eat as much as you like” but plenty read as “Treat this as a challenge!” It is always a convivial start to the day, a chance to catch up with people and for those who’d spent the previous evening in the Otley Arms- a chance to compare hangovers! Continue reading