Cardiff Combination make history with live Cup draw
Earlier this season on 10th November 2016, the Cardiff Combination Football League made local history by becoming the first local football league to broadcast a live draw for their flagship Cup tournament, the Milsom Harries Cup. Following on from this success (over 800 views) with the First Round, they continued with a second live draw for the Second Round which was held on 1st March 2017.
Featuring sixteen sides in total, eleven of which had won their First Round ties with the remaining five receiving byes, the draw is unseeded. There are six Premier Division clubs, four Division 1 and six Division 2 sides remaining. The below list is in order of the draw itself.
Aberystwyth Exiles 2nds vs. Docks Albion AFC
Aberystwyth Exiles 2nds of Division 2 play Docks Albion AFC of Division 1, Docks being favourites for this tie as they sit atop of their league. Docks were demoted from the Premier Division last season but have started this season strongly and knocked out Premier Division Llanishen Wanderers 6-4 in the First Round. Exiles 2nds are in mid-table in Division 2 and were the victors in a 3-0 win over fellow Division 2 side Llanishen Wanderers 2nds to reach this round.
Grange Allstars FC vs. Riverside United
One of the ties of the round with both clubs flying high in Division 1 and 2 respectively. Newly promoted Grange have repeated last season’s form and are challenging for the title. Riverside United are new to the league but are currently in a four-way battle for the Division 2 title. Grange had a bye to this round whilst Riverside beat BC Athletic of Division 1 in extra-time and could cause another upset.
RAFA FC vs. Cardiff Hibernian FC 2nds
Two-time winners RAFA FC are drawn against another winner in Cardiff Hibernian 2nds, who have won it once each both with their 1st and 2nd team. RAFA are currently in mid-table in the Premier and will be favourites whilst Cardiff Hibernian are trying to stay away from the bottom of Division 1. RAFA had a bye to this round whilst Hibs were the 3-0 winners over AFC Gabalfa, who prop up the Premier.
Cathays Conservatives AFC vs. STM Sports OB
Another massive tie with two of the competition favourites in Cathays Cons 1sts and promotion-targeting STM Sports OB paired together in what is a repeat of last year’s final. Both sides are currently involved in a title battle, with Cathays in 2nd and STM in 4th but with several games in hand. The pair have already contested a tight 2-1 win for STM this season and they will fancy their chances again. STM had won the competition last season but were found guilty of fielding an ineligible player and were stripped of the title, seeing the competition voided as a result. Cathays Cons beat Cathays United of Division 1 8-2 in the last round whilst STM beat Roath Raiders of Division 2 13-4.
Tiger Bay vs. Eastern Tigers
An all-Tiger clash with promotion-chasing Premier Division side Tiger Bay facing high-flying Division 1 side Eastern Tigers. Tiger Bay currently sit proudly atop the Premier League whilst previously-relegated Eastern are 2nd and trying to return to the Premier. Tiger Bay had a bye to this round but Eastern Tigers beat fellow Division 1 side Splott Park Rangers 8-3.
Glamorgan AFC vs. Avenue Hotspur FC
Division 2 leaders Glamorgan face former four-time winners Avenue Hotspur, both of whom are fighting for promotion to Division 1. Glamorgan are a new side to the league and have competed very well this season but have a battle against long-serving Avenue, who return after dropping out of the league before last season. It is worth noting that Glamorgan have not lost to Avenue, taking four points from two league games this season. Glamorgan received a bye into this round whilst Avenue beat Combination basement side Pontprennau Pumas 7-1.
Fairwater FC vs. Pontcanna Athletic
Premier Division Fairwater FC will be strong favourites against bottom-half Division 2 side Pontcanna Athletic in this tie, with 22 league places separating the pair. Fairwater sit in 3rd and Pontcanna 9th, having won only three games this season. Fairwater are the reigning Combination Cup holders and beat fellow Premier side Thornhill AFC 4-0, Pontcanna received a bye.
Llanishen FC vs. Aberystwyth Exiles
Division 2 title challengers Llanishen FC take on Premier Division Aberystwyth Exiles in what should be an exciting game. New side Llanishen have had a good season in Division 2 so far and find themselves in 2nd, whilst the current Sam Cornish Cup and Harris Parker Spooner Super Cup holders Exiles have had a mixed season in their first Premier Division campaign and sit in mid-table. Llanishen have beaten Exiles’ 2nds team twice this season, but will find the 1sts a much more difficult proposition. Llanishen beat Fairwater 2nds 4-1 and Aberystwyth beat Cathays Cons 2nds 3-1 to reach this round.
The league plan to hold draws for the next three rounds after each additional round is completed, and next year plan to hold live draws for its other competitions. These matches are expected to be played at some point this month, weather permitting.