THE Vale Warriors played as a team for the first time in the Welsh Australian Rules Football League's (WARFL) long anticipated pre-season tournament, the Cymru 'Clwb' Cup.
On what was set to have been a wet day in the capital, four of the five WARFL teams descended upon Llandaff fields, Cardiff on Saturday, May 1 in order to compete to become crowned pre-season champions of Wales, 2010. With key players unavailable due to soccer and rugby commitments, the outlook was not looking rosy for the Warriors.
Their first game (in round 2) against 2009 runners-up Swansea Magpies certainly taught the team how championship footy is played.
However, a well-kept secret is the Vale's centre player and ruckman, Stuart Morgan. Winning contest after contest at the beginning of play, Morgan proved a formidable opponent and put both of the Vale's 6-point goals on the board for his first appearance.
Although it was evident to coach David Morgan-Kane that the team needed to concentrate on a defensive game, the opportunity still came for the points to be had between the Swansea goal-posts.
In round 4, the Vale came up against president Nick Baker’s old team and 2008 league Champions, Cardiff Double Blues.
This is where the biggest goal difference came into play. The Warriors began to get frustrated at the points they were allowing to escape them, and made two very hard tackles against the junior Double-Blue and player of the tournament, Rhys ’Gnasher’ Morgan, causing him to have to leave the pitch.
With this opportunity before them, Warrior Leigh McAndrew took the initiative and managed to get extra points on the board for the Vale and set up a further goal for ’on loan’ player Lance Chappell from the Gwent Tigers.
With a 12-goal difference against them, the Vale were shown the fierce side of their opponents by the end of this match.
Round 6 was the game the Vale had been dreading, against 2009 WARFL champions and favourites, South Cardiff Panthers.
Surprisingly, the newest team in the WARFL, the Vale Warriors, had the smallest goal difference against the current league champions and Cymru ‘Clwb’ Cup winners 2010, the South Cardiff Panthers. The Vale has laid down the gauntlet for a very interesting competition this year.
The WARFL season has begun, and will continue until the last weekend in July. Follow the Vale Warriors throughout the season by checking the website www.valewarriors.co.uk or by getting involved!
Training is free and takes place at Barry RFC, Merthyr Dyfan road on Mondays and Wednesdays, 6pm.
Contact president Nick Baker on 07887 524661 or Coach David Morgan-Kane on 07805 838933.