from Y Weirglodd
Y Weirglodd pictures
Having seen the first two games of the Mid Wales hop (out of 11), I went my own way, choosing quality over quantity in Cymru Alliance new boys Rhayader Town. Meanwhile, the hoard of hoppers were dashing off to some farmer’s field to watch Radnor Valley v Newcastle Emlyn.
Rhayader’s kick off was the standard 2.30, so I had time to kill beforehand. The small town of Rhayader (Welsh: Rhaeadr Gwy), meaning waterfall on the Wye, is very pleasant indeed. It is the oldest town in mid wales with a population of just over two thousand. It is pronounced approximately Raider.
A lovely coffee house in the centre provided a relaxing atmosphere to drink a delectable latte and eat a home made muffin. It’s then a shortish walk to the ground which lies just south of the town.
Rhayader Town are thought to date back as far as 1884. They spent five years in Wales’s top flight – the League of Wales – between 1997 and 2002, best finish 12th. They then went bust in 2006, only to emerge again in 2007 in the Spar Mid Wales league. Since then they have twice been promoted to the Cymru Alliance (2nd tier), the last time being last season. So far they are just about holding their own in this division, but today were playing the much fancied Cefn Druids.
On the gate I was asked tentatively if I was a Druids’ fan. I replied that I was neutral, which gave me a £1 discount to £5. They seemed to be enacting some sort of £6 revenge on Druids’ fans for a former indiscretion at Cefn Mawr.
Y Weirglodd is in a very leafy environment and has two stands, totalling 435 seats. The main stand is very distinctive with a huge roof, looking thatch-like from a distance. The other stand, behind the goal (The Bill ‘The Coal’ Stand) reminded me of the mouth of a person with bad teeth.
A curved dented corrugated iron pelmet formed the upper lip, with a maw full of a few rows of seats with gaps in. All supported by wooden posts ending at the top with in a trident shape. It oozed character, nestled amongst tree foliage.
A disappointing crowd of 83 saw Cefn, the oldest club in Wales who had recently had their first european tie, run out 3-0 winners. It was a deserved win, but Rhayader looked good enough to avoid going back down again to the Mid Wales league. This was the end of my curtailed and personalised Wales ground hop. Y Weirglodd was the best of the three.