Cwrt Yr Ala
Ground Number: 1203
Saturday 15th July 2023
Caerau (Ely) 1-0 Treowen Stars
CAERAU (ELY) FC - A BRIEF HISTORY
Caerau Ely FC was formed in 1955 joining the junior division of the Cardiff Combination League which they went on to win ten times. A set of red jerseys given to the club was to determine the colours of the club forever. The club started its playing days on the Ely Racecourse moving on to Glyn Derw School in the eighties and then finally moving onto the Cwrt-yr-Ala ground in Ely. They started out in local football, but in 1991, whilst they were known as LES CROUPIERS CAERAU ELY they became founder members of the South Wales Senior League. They were extremely successful here, winning the title four times and finishing as runners-up three times in their seven seasons here. In 1997 they dropped the Les Croupiers prefix to be known as Caerau Ely.
In 1998, they joined the Welsh Football League, starting out in Division 3. In 2005, a third-place finish was good enough for promotion to Division 2. Another 3rd place finish in 2010 saw them go up to Division 1. This level proved tricky and they lasted two seasons before going back down, the first relegation in their history. Another 3rd place finish in 2013 saw them go back up to Division 1 and they would go on to be Welsh League champions in 2015. Results fell away and in 2018 they were relegated. Another 3rd place finish the following year saw them promoted effectively two levels to the Cymru South. The struggled, finishing bottom. Football took a lengthy break in Wales during the pandemic and when it returned, Caerau were placed in the newly-established Ardal South West. They spent two seasons here, last season winning the title and promotion to the Cymru South.
Our second game of the day was only decided the night before with us originally intending on visiting another 3G cage for a Tiger Bay game. But with an improved weather forecast and Caerau Ely being a better ground, we headed there instead.
After our first game finished, it was only a four-mile journey to Caerau Ely for our next game. It was a slow journey through the South Glamorgan tunnel due to a lane closure for absolutely nothing. It didn't stop cretinous ghouls from slowing down for a look though. Thankfully we had a bit of time to spare between games though.
We got there around ten minutes before kick-off and I went into the bar, having a pint of Strongbow Dark Fruits for £4. The ground was lovely but the phone signal wasn't very good. Both sides had smart kits, Caerau in red and Treowen in light blue. Some thought had actually been put into the design of the shirt and it looked unique. It was not the best of games first half but Caerau had the better of what few chances there were. Treowen Stars had a couple of chances in the second half but the opener came around 10 minutes from time. It was a shot from just inside the area deflected home that gave Caerau the lead.
The attendance of 76 saw a dull game although Richard had missed the only goal of the game looking at goats in the field behind the goal. Me and Dan kept quiet, so the poor guy left thinking we had witnessed a goalless draw. We told him once we left the road that the ground was in and at first, he thought we were pulling his leg. It was a pretty smooth journey home, we called in at services just past Bristol where I had KFC for dinner, the first thing I'd eaten since this morning. It was nothing amazing but the gravy was pretty decent. Decent value for £5.99 too. We then got some snacks and drinks before getting on our way. I typed my blog en route, finishing it just before 8. I had to wait until I got to upload it as the internet was so slow.
CWRT-Y-ALA is a ground in a lovely setting, bar the noisy road above. There are two stands, both proper brick-built seated stands. One of them has dugouts beneath it but the top of it is slightly spoilt by shutters blocking off the view of the old sponsor on the roof. The rest of the ground is open with the far end being closed off to spectators. The ground is situated at the end of a housing estate but buses run nearby and there is plenty of parking. There was no food when I went but a pretty decent bar is outside the ground.