When a domestic cup draw is made, although everyone else involved with the club wants a home draw for several obvious reasons, on a personal level if two particular boxes are ticked then I’m very happy indeed.
With my TNS FC head on, it has to be Park Hall, of course, but as a groundhopper I want an away game at a ground I’ve never been to before. Therefore, with the options of Cambrian & Clydach Vale BGC, Cardiff Metropolitan University FC and Connah’s Quay Nomads all in the mix for the Nathaniel MG Cup semi-final, when we were paired on the road with the second-tier south Walians, that was exactly what I wanted.
A Friday evening game under the lights in the Rhondda Valley was one that I was looking forward to very much indeed. We left Park Hall at lunchtime on the TNS FC bus, stopped off at the very impressive Miskin Manor for our pre-match meal and then on to the M&P Group Stadium for the game.
After claiming three top flight scalps already in the competition, the Sky Blues went on to make it four, as the current holders of the trophy went down 2-1 after extra time.
It was the 45th Welsh ground that I’ve been to and the only thing I would have liked is to have visited it during the hours of daylight. Settled in the Rhondda Valley, like so many of the stadiums in Wales it has a picturesque setting.
It’s a great club, a great set-up and I wish everyone connected with Cambrian & Clydach Vale BGC all the very best for the final. You only have to look at the number of advertising boards around the ground to see how well-run the club is.
I certainly enjoyed my visit there very much. Apart from the result of course, but as we know in life, we can’t always have everything our own way.