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IWALES AND BORDER COUNTIES…

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I WALES AND BORDER COUNTIES CHALLENGE CUP. A REVIEW AND A PROPHECY. [By I I Ix-Toucu ] According to promise, I shall endeavour, to the best of my ability, to review the prospects of the various clubs that have entered this competition; ILCI at the outset IM^V observe there is an increisc in the number cf entries this sl-agou-a fact which speaks well for the present healthy state of We'sh football. Each season sees s,me NEW CLUBS enter the lists, and the pre-cut is no exception to the rule, as the nances of Wjncstay (Kuibon), Westminster Rovers (Wrexham), Coltvyn Bay, uloeldacth Rovers (Llandudno), St. Asaph Wan- derers, Aberdaie (South Wales). Rhosllancrchrugog, and Overton, amply testify. Ihen ogain there ure several OLD CLUBS NOT ENTERED this season, including the following well-known clubs: Crewe Athletic, Chester, Chester St. Os- walds, Mold, Corwcn, and Carnarvon. These clubs ate so prominent that I cannot un ler?tand luw it is they do not figure in the present competition. The Chester clubs are barred perhaps on account of having "pro's" in their teams, but none of the other clubs aie in this plight. I f-iu at. aid the enthusiasm is not to great at Ccrwen, Mold, and Carnarvon. In fact, I hear from the latter town that considerable dissent'ons exist amoDgst the footballers, which threaten to deprive the ancient town of its football club. Iu attempting to deal with the clubs that have entered, I think the best plan will be to take them according to the divisions, and so I will begin with DIVISION I. The first tio is the MJST important, and one in which a deal of local interest is centred. Teihaps it would Lave been If.ore satisfactory had Rhyl been drawn against o--o of the other clubs in the first stage of the competition, for th- N I DO r\llt think there would have been a doubt as t) the club figuring in the second round. As it is, I C aiuot help RI marking that the club's chance3 are by ro meau-i as roseate as I could have wished. IHJ bolders ( f th, cup—Bangor-are, undoal;t,cily, a gool, all-round set of players; and, no matter what the disadvantages, they cau pliy a cup tic anywheie. Last season they won the cup, and ntver had the t:°)d fortune to pliy on-3 of the tics at Bangor, a perforurance no Welsh club has ever done before. This year the Bangi r'ans appear to be just as uif, rtucate in bsing the lust out of tho hat, and having t) play their first tie at Rhyl. A great many things have happened since L^ST season, It was on December 8th that the Rhyl team de- feated the present holders oa the Palacc Grounds by four gl ais to two, and oa that EVASION t>e i visit, rs played nine of their cup team. No one tie thought Rhyl would win, nd very few think they will do so this time. One thing is certa:n, Bangur cannot I lay at least four of !IJ"t s asou's toaui for ebvicus reason, and they were the be st men in t'e team but they have g t some new bicod, and may still held theit own w:t:t better teams than Rhyl. The Rhyl club, certainly, hIs got a fair team to. I gether, especially ia the front division but, unfor- tunately, the back department is not very strong Kelohaw will make a good man with practice, but Lloyd Roberts' place is half-back, and a rattling good half he makes, too. A strong, activo fellow with Kelshaw, even it he were not a JK-OOD kick, would be the salvation of the <e:ini. Personally, 1 wish the Rhyl team luck, and should be delighted to see them take down the cup holders but for all that I have seen too n,uch of Bangor t, be tvo hope- ful. All I can say is, Tlay up, Rhyl, and do your best." With rt spect to the ether ties, I cannot say that I like St. Asaph's chances with the Gloidaeth Hovers. Colwyn Bay have been LU ky in teiug drawn against the Wanderers from fft. Asaph, and es- pecially in having choice of ground. The Wander- ers have cot as yet sr ewn what they are capable of aoing, but I hardly expet them to vanquih Colwyn Bay. Considering the distance, it s(em,- only fair rort- madoc should have had a bye. DIVISION II The four clubs comprising this division are peculiarly siiuated, from a ge graphical s anelpoint, and its almost as hard upon Builth to have to j ur- ney to Newtown, a'! it is for Shrewsbury Town to be obliged to go to Abeidare. However, it is a kind of hald-and half affair, and that is some con- solation to the teams. I shall expect both Newtown and Shrewsbury to win their ties. DIVISION III. This is the largest division of the kt, and there ar J no less than five ties, and iu one case Rhos v. Ove; ton-two new clubs are pitted against each other. I fancy the Rhos club will about win. Rhostyllen and Llangollen will doubtless play a spiiited game, for they are such old friends (?) The colliers, however, are my favourites. The Druids will easily put Wyunstay outside the com- petition, if they t :ke caro to put their firl-t team in in the field. The meeting of Chirk and Oswestry 0 y at Chirk, however, will be the bei-t match of the L»und:e, and taken on their presi nt form, Oswestry will make Chirk play to win a contingency I very MUCH doubt. DIVISION IV. For the first time, Wrexham appaar iu the fourth division, and have to play Nantwioh on th Race- course. They beat them last Saturday, but it was not a cup tie, and the Wrexham men will hare to play much better if they mean to get into the next round. They should win. Westminster Rovers won't stand much chance at Over, and I shall be surprised if the Wanderers don't win easily. Davenham L'nited hare a splendid team, and may defeat Northwicb Victoria, but Ihirdly expect them to do so, although it should be a tight game and a near finish. Crewe Alexandra have a bye, but as they also have a professional team, they cm do nothing clac out scratch in the next round, and to they wont count ftr anything. With regard to THE PROPHECY, I give it as my opinion, based upon a close observa- tion and a thorough knowledge of the teams, that the Wels:1 Cup will not rem un in Wules this season, but will find a resting place in one of the bordor counties, and Shropshire wlll nuka a bold fight for it. IN CONCLUSION. I should like to say a word or two about these cup competitions. For my own psrt I should like to see 1, ss of them, and more atteri: iou given to the ordinary fixtures. here is so much unpleasantness about cup ties, and so much bad blood, bad language, and unfairncss exhibited, that I feel 6vre it would be far better for the game were cups rele- ga,e,j to oblivion. I should like to See a good Welsh League formed next season.

FOOTBALL GOSSIP.

NORTH WALES LIBERAL FEDERATION.

REVIEWS.

ELIZABETHIAN BUILDINGS AT…

COMPLIMENTARY BENEFIT TO MESSRS.…

! DEATH OF A WELSH HISTORIAN.

-I STOLEN PROPERTY RECOVERED.,

.,.. .ROBBING A BARRISTER.

WELL-EARNED RETIREMENT.

A LOYAL POTENTATE.

TERRIFIC EXPLOSION IN CHINA.

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