Dyffryn Banw 2 Builth Wells 3

Monday 27th August 2012
Dyffryn Banw 2 Builth Wells 3
At: Cae Morfa
Kick-off: 6-15 pm
Admission: ticket; Programme: £1 (8 pages)
Weather: rain
Attendance: 181
Duration: first-half: 45:03; second-half: 47:31

We drove past Cae Morfa along the A458 en route from Welshpool to Dolgellau so knew what to expect on our return for this eleventh and final game of the 2012 Welsh Groundhop. The ground had a small stand down the right-hand touchline though it did not appear big enough from a distance to keep 100+ groundhoppers dry in the predicted rain.

Cae Morfa, in a very rural location close to the village of Llangadfan on the A458 west of Llanfair Caereinion, is a relatively new ground opened a few years ago. Previously, Dyffryn Banw played on a pitch behind the nearly school and a few of the hoppers who made an early exit home after Dolgellau may not have realised they’d missed out on a ‘new ground’. Both the pub up the road, curiously named ‘Cann Office Hotel’ with ‘AD 1310’ above the front door, proved a popular pre-match destination as did the mobile van and gazebo behind the near goal. The van’s ‘executive-box style’ window looking out onto the pitch was on offer at a price (tongue in cheek).

The eight-page programme provided a Chairman’s Report and history of the home side, formed in 1990 and proud that ‘most of our players are local lads, all of whom are united in their loyalty…’. During the 2007/08 season, Dyffryn Banw won the Montgomeryshire JT Hughes Division One title and moved up to the Mid-Wales League. The current 2012/13 season is their fifth in Division One and last season finished 14th with 15 points from 28 games.

Before kick-off, I spotted a familiar face, a local who wasn’t a hopper. It was Ivor Owen and his brother from Llanfair and they told me that the naming of the stand on Friday in honour of Ivor was a total surprise. John Holland also got to chat to his ‘mate’ as well!

Builth Wells (in orange) got the game underway attacking the road end in the first half and immediately won two early corners.

Having lost each of their four opening league games this season and failed to win a home league game all last season, Dyffryn Banw got just the start they needed by taking a 7th-minute lead. Tom Molloy got on the end of Chris Davies’ right-wing corner and his 10-yard header sneaked between the bar and defender on the line.

However, Builth got themselves into gear and responded with a brace of goals in quick succession to take the lead on the quarter hour mark. Joasny Williams finished off a nice move with a low shot into the bottom-right corner to equalise and Chris Jones, a strong tall player, scored a “cracking goal” by firing low into the same corner as Williams.

“2-1 let’s settle,” and Builth did for a short while before adding a third goal in the 23rd minute. Steve Morgan got on the end of a left-wing cross to slot home at the far post.

It was Banw’s turn to get some encouragement with a “get it going, Banw”.

The home side responded to score a second goal just after the half-hour mark. With the Builth defence looking for a non-existent offside flag, Guto Lewis fired low past Sam Williams from the right.

And that goal was the 69th and last on this year’s hop.

During the second half, Banw created the bulk of the chances and Rhodri Davies twice forced diving saves out of Sam Williams.

Full-time not only brought the 2012 August Bank Holiday Weekend Welsh Groundhop to a close but ended the Mid-Wales League’s three-year stint in this slot. Knighton Town, whose ground I visited two years ago, may feature on a hop-up in March next year and I’ve just got to visit Aberaeron’s new home to complete visits to each ground in both divisions of the league; perhaps, for completeness, I ought to revisit Llansantffraid Village’s Recreation Ground, as well, as I saw old Llansantffraid/TNS side play there?

I must thank Chris and Laurence for all their hard work (and more specifically Chris for inviting me to stay at Dolforwyn). Thanks also to coach drivers Clive and Alan, Cheryl at the B&B and James who sat next to me on the coach. I’m miss the evening fellowship at Dolforwyn .

New friends made and I look forward to the 2013 Welsh Groudhop when the Welsh Alliance picks up the baton in twelve months time.

Dyffryn Banw (blue/white/blue): 1. Dylan Jones, 2. Hywel Bennett, 3. Dyfrig Jones (capt), 4. Alan Jones, 5. Huw Tudor, 6. Chris Davies, 7. Guto Lewis, 8. Twm Foulkes, 9. Tom Molloy, 10. James Vaughan, 11. Rhodri Davies. Subs: 12. Ross Wolverton (for Vaughan, 69), 14. Allwyn Jones (not used), 15. Guto Dafydd (for Chris Davies, 69), 16. Gerally Evans, 17. Gareth Smith (not used).

Builth Wells (orange/black/black): 1. Sam Williams, 2. Gavin Samuel (capt), 3. Kevin Lewis, 4. Matt Croose, 5. Jamie Molloy, 6. Jack Hammond, 7. Harry Bastable, 8. Jonny Samuel, 9. Steve Morgan, 10. Chris Jones, 11. Joasny Williams. Subs: 12. Neil Davies (for Joasny Williams, 78), 14. Ewan Jones (not used).

Referee: Neil Carpenter.
Assistants: Huw Lewis and Roy Ingram.

Goals: 1-0 Tom Molloy (7)
1-1 Joasny Williams (15)
1-2 Chris Jones (16)
1-3 Steve Morgan (23)
2-3 Guto Lewis (32)

Cards: Dyffyn Banw: Tom Molloy (YC, 38), Chris Davies (YC, 64), Twn Foulkes (YC, 81)
Builth Wells: none