Paul Williams (RGC 1404 Programme Notes)

The rustle of Spring…?

It has to be said that the stop-start nature of club rugby through February and March, what with the small matter of the Six Nations Tournament going on, was exacerbated by the good old Welsh weather giving rise to further disruption, with last week’s match at Ebbw Vale, already switched from the Saturday afternoon to the altogether less attractive Thursday evening S4C-streaming slot, falling foul of what by then felt like several weeks of constant rainfall.

It was therefore with some relief that the official arrival of British Summer Time at 1:00am last Sunday morning was followed by a mostly pleasant and Spring-like day on Monday, with periods of glorious sunshine helping us to forget we’d all lost an hour’s sleep over the weekend.

And so, on Tuesday afternoon, as I sat down to compose these words for your consumption, I looked disconsolately out of the window at our back garden, somewhat out of focus thanks to the volume of rain running down the window panes, and wondered whether the Spring of 2023 was going to prove to be some kind of ultra-brief economy version lasting for less than 24 hours.

Hopefully not. Rygbi Gogledd Cymru 1404 pass this way just once a year (unless the cup draw dictates otherwise) and while having to postpone their visit to the Talbot Athletic Ground due to the weather rendering the normally excellent playing surface unplayable would be a bitter pill for both clubs to swallow (particularly for people whose travel arrangements would be somewhat more involved than a half-hour drive up the M4 or whatever), playing the match in monsoon conditions would be somewhat less than ideal, so it’s a case of keeping fingers (and everything else) crossed for the return of more seasonable conditions as befits the beginning of April for today’s fixture.

The Wizards, with a somewhat injury-ravaged line-up, just missed out on a losing bonus point in Colwyn Bay back in November, going down 34-26 at a ground where a youthful Aberavon side had prevailed a little less than a year ago, having raced to a 7-30 half-time lead that a second-half rally by the home side just failed to reel back in, with the score eventually standing at 21-30 when the final whistle blew.

Since the arrival of RGC 1404 in the Premiership, matches between our two clubs have invariably been intensely competitive, with seldom more than a handful of points separating the teams and with both having occasionally pinched an away victory, albeit always by very narrow margins.

We bid them a warm welcome on what we hope against hope will be a pleasant, Spring-like afternoon… but don’t hold your breath.

Enjoy the game.