When – Sunday/Monday 25/26th August 2013
Where – North Wales
Why – The 1st ‘Welsh Alliance’ Hop
Games Seen – Six (5 of the Alliance Hops games (of 11) and at Prestatyn Town FC)
Enjoyment Factor – Very high!
And so, only three weeks since I’d motored from one end of the country to the other for the one day Northern League Cumbrian Hop, here I was (and Ros, but she avoided the football you understand) in North Wales taking in a large dose of Welsh hospitality and fresh North Wales air. We found a great location and a hotel in Abergale, which was ideal for the games I wanted to watch and the castles Ros wanted to photograph.
GroundhopUK (Chris and Laurence), had successfully ran hops in the Mid Wales league in recent years, and prior to that in South Wales, but this was the first of a three-year August contract with the Welsh Alliance, and I’m sure they were very chuffed with the outcome.
The Hop had begun on the Friday evening at Greenfield FC. Saturday had been spent hopping around four venues on Anglesey (whilst I was at Stoke City FC, see my post Stan and Traffic ‘Control’). So five fixtures had already been watched before I came on the scene.
Sunday 25th August.
12:00pm – Div One at ‘The Flyover Ground’ Attendance 302.
Llandudno Junction (All Navy, Yellow trim) 0 Holywell Town (Red’N’White Stripes/Red) 5 Game Rating 3.5/5 – Ground Rating 2.5/5
15:00pm – Div One at ‘Cae Ffwt’ Attendance 305.
Glan Conwy (Green’N’White Hoops/Green) 1 Nefyn United (All Blue) 1
Game Rating 2.5/5 – Ground Rating 4/5
18:15pm – Div One at ‘Gwydir Park’ Attendance 370.
Llanrwst United (All Red) 0 Bodedern Athletic (Green’N’White Stripes/Green) 0
Game Rating 1/5 – Ground Rating 5/5
Monday 26th August.
11:15am – Div One at ‘Central Park’ Attendance 285.
Denbigh Town (All Red) 4 Barmouth and Deffryn United (BlackNWhite Stripes/White) 0 Game Rating 3/5 – Ground Rating 4/5.
14:30pm – Welsh Premier League at ‘Bastion Road’ Attendance 449.
Prestatyn Town (All Red) 1 TNS (Green’N’White Hoops/White) 0
Game Rating 3/5 – Ground Rating 2.5/5
18:00 – Div Two at ‘The Mine, Ffordd Ty Newydd’ Attendance 323
Meliden (Orange/Black) 2 St Asaph (White/Blue) 0
Game Rating 3.5/5 – Ground Rating 3/5 (for the views not the facilities)
The review of my two days.
Best game – The first and last games funny enough at Llandudno Junction and Meliden, both enjoyable, plenty of action and committment.
Best ground – Gwydir Park in Llanwrst was pure ground p*rn. Lovely old stand (Structure from the old Peel Park/Accrington apparently), great views of the wooded hills, sun shining, ale tent, heaven.
Worst game – Llanwrst, after all the above, probably s*ds law, the game was dreadful!
Best team performance – Holywell Town at Junction, look like league winners already?
Best individual performance – Kristian Pearce (Denbigh), hat trick, say no more.
Best goal – Lee Hunt (Prestatyn), half volley from twenty-five yards, a cracker to win the game.
Best programme– Denbigh Town, very readable and well thought out edition.
Worst programme – Prestatyn, for a Welsh Prem club a very amateurish effort.
Best food – Chilli con carne at Llanwrst and the excellent spread of home-made cakes and fresh fruit at Glan Conwy, the large slices of melon much appreciated on a warm day 🙂
Best drink – The Ale tent at Llanwrst with their local Nant breweries offering of ‘Rhwster Ale’ which went down very well indeed!
Best fans – The twenty or thirty Prestatyn fans who sang throughout, a credit to their club.
Most ridiculous comment heard – A hopper in the queue for a burger at the BBQ at Meliden, “If you haven’t got any onions, I don’t want one”!
Most repeated comment heard (knowing he will read this :)) Laurence Reade, “You’ll need two forms of ID, blah blah, and get there hours before KO, blah blah. In reference to the upcoming North Berks hop game at Benson Lions FC (on an RAF base!).
Great weekend, thanks to all the clubs, and to Chris and Laurence for all their hard work in arranging it, immense fun.
Final comment – Who ate all the cakes at Meliden FC? none to be seen by HT !!