On a blank weekend, here is a Newsletter Special to keep everyone informed as to some recent and forthcoming happenings.
But first, we can reflect that 100 years ago this afternoon on the last Saturday in October, 1921, Neath beat Llanelly at The Gnoll. It was a close-run thing, winger Ivor Davies getting a try for the Blacks and scrum-half Eddie Watkins kicking a penalty for a 6-3 success. The Good Old Days !
A BIG MONTH AHEAD !
4 GAMES THIS MONTH
Neath RFC has a big month ahead with the start of the league programme at Narberth (Saturday, November 13) and Pontypool home (Saturday, November 27) as well as two League “prep” matches against Mountain Ash (Thursday, November 4) and Glais (Friday, November 19).
It’s an important month – so please join us !
NEATH RFC STAT-ATTACK
Our playing record stands at 66.67% with 6 wins set against 3 narrow losses, 277 points scored (Steff Williams 81) and 135 points against. 39 tries have been scored by 20 players :-
5 – Ryan Evans
4 – Aaron Grabham, Nicky Griffiths
3 – David Griggs, James Roberts
2 – Luke Griffiths, Macauley Griffiths, Owain Morgan. Chris Morris
1 – Ben Atkins, Jon Bayliss, Dyfan Ceredig, Alun Jones, David Langdon, Sam
Langford, Iestyn Morgan, Gareth Lloyd, Tim Ryan, Morgan Thomas, Steff
Williams, penalty try.
WRU CHAMPIONSHIP CUP
Having safely negotiated the first three rounds of the second phase with wins at Narberth (19-7), Ystrad Rhondda (31-25) and home to Glamorgan Wanderers (45-5), we trail leaders Bargoed by a point.
Good results against Bargoed and Maesteg Quins will spell an appearance in the final which, it is rumoured, may be at the Millennium Stadium !
Fortunately, it appears that our Coronavirus blip which caused the cancellation of the Bargoed friendly on October 6 is in the past. However, our physio Kerry tested positive last week and missed the Glamorgan Wanderers game so our best wishes go to him.
An important addition to our support staff is new kit-man Lee Llewellyn. We are still seeking another individual to provide match-day squad support – any volunteers should see MIKE PRICE on any training/match day.
At recent away games, supporters may have noticed our new “Kit Bus” – smartly adorned in Neath colours, it is able to transport the team kit, medical and warm-up equipment plus the management and support staff (and even the odd player) so it should prove a valuable asset.
… AND A VERY BUSY WEEK AHEAD !
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 1 – NEATH SCHOOLS AT THE GNOLL
Kick off your November rugby on Monday evening (6.00pm k.o.) when Neath Schools Under-15’s play Aberavon at The Gnoll.
TUESDAY. NOVEMBER 2 – SUPPORTERS’ CLUB AGM
Supporters’ Club members only – at the Clubhouse 7.30pm.
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 3 – COLLEGE AT THE GNOLL
All supporters are welcome to The Gnoll on Wednesday (2.30pm k.o.) when Neath PT College take on Glantaf.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 4 – NEATH VISIT MOUNTAIN ASH
There is an additional fixture on Thursday evening when Neath visit Mountain Ash (kick off 7.15pm) as part of the team’s build-up to the start of the league programme.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 5 – ANNUAL COMMUNITY FIREWORKS DISPLAY
Don’t forget our annual Community Fireworks Display will be held on Friday, November 5.
Adults £10, children £5 – tickets available in advance from the Clubhouse (tel. 643382) or “pay at the gate” on the night. From 5.30pm.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 6 – OSPREYS ‘A’ AT THE GNOLL
Ospreys ‘A’ will play Ealing Trailfinders Development XV at The Gnoll on Saturday, November 6 (kick off 2.00pm) – this is an Ospreys home game so their season tickets are valid, otherwise entry is £8 (adults) juniors free.
LOOKING FURTHER AHEAD !
Unfortunately, the WRU have listed a full Premiership fixture programme for Boxing Day so our intended game against Aberavon cannot take place. To play a side from our own Division is not ideal but Kenfig Hill have agreed to play at The Gnoll instead – Kenfig Hill are currently one Division down from us but it will allow players the opportunity to appear in front of a holiday crowd which supporters enjoy too.
150th ANNIVERSARY GAMES
Our own 150th Anniversary return at Swansea has been confirmed for Friday, February 4 at St. Helen’s which is as close as we could get to the date of the original fixture. Talks are ongoing regarding other celebratory games and we are awaiting responses which are taking longer than hoped.
Whatsoever, season 2021/22 will see probably the most unusual fixture-list in our 150 years but necessity is the mother of invention – and, with all the delays getting our fixtures from the WRU, this secretary has certainly had to be inventive !
150th ANNIVERSARY FUNCTION
Advance notice is given that there will be a 150th Anniversary celebration at the Clubhouse on Saturday, January 29 – the last Saturday in January, 1872 being the date of the first recorded game with Swansea. Details to follow soon.
AND FINALLY … LOOKING BACK AGAIN
Putting on my Club Historian hat, in compiling my formal written history (Volume 1 coming very soon !), the deeds Neath rugby folk get up to rarely surprises me – especially when heroics are performed ! Take the following for example :-
“WESTMINSTER SHOOTING INCIDENT”- A Metropolitan Police constable named Davies, who played rugger for Neath 2nds, arrested a man dressed in clerical garb who discharged a revolver in the lobby of the House of Commons and proclaimed that ‘The Messiah is Coming !’ – the man was apprehended immediately and P.C. Davies’ “collar” was later named as a clerical gentleman, one Samuel Henry of Leominster.”
Now there is nothing like good alliteration and, as Grav might have said, the following is nothing like good alliteration, but I would have headlined the incident :
CRAZED COMMONS CLERGYMAN CHARGED…
COURAGEOUS CONSTABLE COMMENDED
** Rev. Henry was fined £25 for the above misdemeanour but, a sad footnote to this tale is that later in 1912 the unfortunate clergyman slit the throat of his even less fortunate wife, tried to shoot himself but missed, was declared insane and he died in Broadmoor in 1925.
Hope to see you at Mountain Ash, Narberth and The Gnoll. MP