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Mont Cup future under a cloud

Created on 18/10/2010 @ 15:51


The future of the once prestigious Montgomeryshire Cup has been questioned as administrators bid to nail down a final date for last season’s competition.
Severe fixture congestion caused by the success of semi-finalists Montgomery and Llanidloes resulted in the competition being suspended last season and carried over to the 2010-11 term. But with Llanidloes pulling out of their planned semi-final last week and calling it a ‘farce’, the final will now be between Montgomery and Berriew.
However, the two managers still involved have questioned its modern-day worth to local football following the debacle.
“Following the postponement of last year’s Montgomeryshire Cup and the apparent apathy towards it this season, I am sadly coming to the conclusion that it is time the cup was retired and no longer played for,” said Berriew boss Russell Cadwallader.
“This is hard for me to say as I was brought up on tales of Welshpool's only victory in the 20th Century in 1951 when the game was watched by a crowd five deep at Maesydre. I am not naive enough to think those days will ever return but surely a cup with such marvellous tradition should not be treated with such contempt. I notice that The Radnorshire Cup is completed each year on Easter Monday, so what's the difference?

“I know for a fact that people are still passionate about the competition but they have become disillusioned with the whole situation. The cup has reached a watershed so let's have a decision - revitalise or rest in peace.”
Montgomery manager Clive McNamee agreed that the cup has “lost its magic” and believes it slipped in importance when the League of Wales was formed and clubs brought in players from outside the competition’s 10-mile radius.
However, his main concern now centres around who will be eligible for the final.

He asked: “Will we be able to play players that were with us last season but have now moved on to other clubs? After all, it is a 2009-10 competition so we should be able to pick players that were on our books and eligible for that season?”
However, that scenario could mean that players would not be insured if they are not signed for the current season should they suffer injury.
Cup secretary Bernie Jones sympathised with the managers and said everything possible had been done to bring the cup to conclusion.
“I don’t blame the managers for being frustrated,” said Jones. “It has been an impossible task to try and get the cup finished. It is disappointing that Llanidloes decided to withdraw because we offered so many dates which were refused. Hopefully though we can have the final played on a date suitable for both Montgomery and Berriew.”
The final has been pencilled in for next Wednesday, October 27.
PICTURE: The famous Montgomery side that won the Cup in 1959.
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