Friday 7 April 2023

Ynyshir Albions - Ynyshir Oval

Ynyshir Albions FC
Ynyshir Oval
37 Church Terrace
CF39 0EF

Ground Number: 1169
Saturday 7th April 2023
Ynyshir Albions 0-2 Barry Town United
Cymru South


The club was established in 1992 and was possibly an amalgamation of various local sides which included the likes of Wattstown, Ynyshir Rangers, Ynyshir Albion and Ynyshir United. They joined the Rhondda & District League in their early years, winning it in 1998. After this title, they joined the South Wales Senior League Division 2 which they won in 1999. They won the Division 1 title in 2003 but after this, results tailed off and they became a bit of a yoyo side between the two divisions. In 2015, they switched to the South Wales Alliance, winning Division 2 at the first attempt. The following year, they finished as runners-up to Cardiff Draconians to win promotion to the Premier Division. They finished as runners-up to Penydarren BGC in their first season before winning the title in 2019. A 4th place finish in the Welsh League D2 followed before a two-season break due to the pandemic. Last season football resumed in Wales and Ynyshir finished as runners-up to Pontadawe Town in the third-tier Ardal South West. They then overcame Abertillery Bluebirds 3-0 in a playoff game to reach the Cymru South.

In 2019, Ynyshir Albions reached Round 1 of the JD Welsh Cup after defeating Blaenrhondda (2-0) and Merthyr Saints (3-1) in the preliminary rounds, before losing 7-3 at Cymru South side, Cambrian & Clydach Vale BGC. Local cup wins include the South Wales FA Senior Cup in 2004 and the Bruty Cup in 2002. Ynyshir (English pronunciation 'Un-is-heer') is a village and community located in the Rhondda Valley, within Rhondda Cynon Taf. The name of the village means "long island" in Welsh and takes its name from a farm in the area, falling within the historic parishes of Ystradyfodwg and Llanwynno (Llanwonno). The population of the village is 3,320.


As usual, Easter is a great time for fans to fill their (football) boots with an organised hop usually arranged and a smattering of morning games on the Bank Holidays. I was all set to do a treble, starting off with Feckenham, the opening game of the Hellenic Hop. At one point, it looked as if that area of the country would provide me with a treble of new grounds but Hartpury University and Wellington Rangers moved their games. I was especially happy with the former, as it helped me complete the Hellenic D1. However, luck was not on my side and they both moved their games. I noted all the early and late kick-offs and initially, it looked as if the South West may be my destination. However, south Wales provided me with another treble and this one saved over 100 miles and got me home an hour or so earlier.

Everything was a bit rushed though. I'd only decided on this treble on Wednesday. leaving me with limited time to formulate a plan and research a trio of club histories. Thursday was very busy at work, with people gearing up for the Easter break. I myself had five days off. It may be a thing of the past as work has indicated that from next year, time off in the week before Easter is verboten. With that in mind, I put in for the same time off next year, hoping that I can sneak it under the radar. I've also got to book next year's holiday for the rest of 2024 before the 31st of January. A bit OTT but not too much of an issue for me as I tend to have the same weeks off every year.

I had a couple of cans to help me unwind on Thursday evening with lots of research to do. I was in bed by 11, asleep around midnight and woke naturally around 6.30. It took me a while to get going with me leaving at 7 and picking Colin up at 7.15, then on to Anwar at 7.45. We were actually 15 minutes ahead of schedule, my mistake for leaving early. We got going at 8, going cross country via Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire. With bags of time to kill, we stopped at the excellent farm shop services in Gloucester where I got a few bits. This was what services were meant to be when they were invented, an attraction as opposed to somewhere where you get overcharged. There were a couple of spots of traffic, adding around 20 minutes. We were parked on the nearby industrial estate 20 minutes before kickoff with just under ten minutes to the ground where we paid £5 entry.


Ynyshir Albions were bottom of the table, but they had won their last game, beating Cwmbran Celtic 1-0. They'd lost the other four against Abergavenny Town, Pontardawe, Briton Ferry and today's opponents Barry Town United, where they lost 5-0 in the return fixture. The visitors were top of the league and had just been crowned champions. They'd also thumped Pontardawe 5-0 as well as a 2-1 win at Goytre United. They'd also drawn at Briton Ferry and against Ammanford. The hosts were quick out of the blocks, having a couple of half chances early on. However, Barry attacked on the break, a player was chopped down for a penalty and Liam Warman converted the spot kick on 19 minutes. Barry started to take control and on 28 minutes, Callum Sainty, christened the Welsh Viera, headed in a right-sided corner. The chances died down after that, Barry taking control and showing no sign of relinquishing it. The attendance was an impressive 380.


The YNYSHIR OVAL is set in lovely countryside with big hills behind either goal. Three sides are accessible to spectators. The main accommodation is on one side comprising of two small seated stands, totalling 150. There's also some open terracing to give a total capacity of around 1,500. There's a basic tea bar with pasties, drinks and snacks, plus a couple of convenience stores nearby, according to Google Maps. 

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