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Monday 31st August 2015 ko 11.30

Welsh Alliance Division 2

PENTRAETH 10 (McGonnigle 1 18 54 55 R Roberts 14 Monument 18 37 C Jones 59 89 D Owen 72)

GAERWEN 2 (McGuiness 21 Leuthwaite 27)

Att 376

Entry £3

Programme £1

Badge £3

As the coach pulled in back at Chester University the previous evening I remember glancing up at the evening sky. It was dark, with nothing to see, but I’d remembered the previous year’s hop at the pouring rain at Kinmel Bay and how disappointed I’d felt that we’d finished the longest hop of the year on a damp squib. That was a feeling enhanced at 2.30am when I woken by the rain lashing down against the window pane. I slept fitfully after that and when it was still raining at breakfast it took driver Jase to laugh, “Don’t worry mate, it’s not raining in Bangor!” to make me smile.

We were fortunate, if not downright lucky as it remained dry all day, and it seemed that just about everywhere in the country saw significant rain. Perhaps that’s why a couple of our fiercest critics turned up for the day, or maybe it’s because very quietly they love us really? I don’t understand why a minority continue to speak of ill of us, then turn up to our events, but I’d rather be spoken about than not, and all contributions to club coffers are welcome!

My mood lightened as the coach crossed once again into Anglesey and we visited out 9th ground on the island. I’d felt rather sorry for Pentraeth, as we’d pulled their game forward, swapping them with Llanllyfni to give Halkyn a later start to get to the second game. The correct move, but Pentraeth felt it necessary to alter their catering to a more “breakfast-based” offering, and they’d delayed printing their programme too. Not ideal, and not their fault either, but and vegetarians look away now, the hog roast disappeared rapidly! There was a lovely surprise too when Llanfairpwll secretary Alun Mummery popped up to help the club on PA duty. He did well too!

The root of our problems on this hop was Bethesda FC but Pentraeth’s opponents Gaerwen had had similar issues, namely lacking either a manager or team. 3 weeks before the hop both clubs had asked for 2 weeks’ grace to put together a side, and fortunately Gaerwen succeeded. They’d lost heavily in the Welsh Cup a week before this, but they survive and are fighting. The heavy defeat wasn’t therefore unexpected, but the manner was!

It started as we all expected, 3 goals in the first 20 minutes but Gaerwen rallied with 2 goals of their own, and at 3-2 you wondered… but then Shaun Monument smacked in Pentraeth’s 4th and after half the steady procession of goals continued. Tbe only question was whether the hop aggregate score set at Uffington would fall. It ended up being equalled, possibly because 4-goal hero Corrig McGonigle was withdrawn after an hour, but at the end of it all whilst I was pleased that Pentraeth had managed to stage exceptionally well,  I was also pleased that Gaerwen are up running. Things will improve for them, I’m sure.

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