One team Cardigan were hoping to avoid when the draw was made for the semi-final of the WRU Bowl was Caerphilly and they have had their wish as Amman United will be their opponents on March 25th.
The League Three East Central outfit play in a tough division alongside the likes of leaders Hartridge, Oakdale and Chepstow and have a sprinkling of players from much higher up the divisions and a very powerful pack and coach Colin Horscroft will be happier to deal with them in the final if his side can get past Amman in the last four.
One player Horscroft will not have to worry about is former Wales and British Lions legend Shane Williams who turned out for Amman alongside his brother Dean back in the autumn for a one-off league game.
There has been wild speculation that the ex Wales flier would be available for selection and likely to play against Cardigan but Williams is running in the London Marathon just a few weeks after the semi-final showdown and does not want to risk injury and jeopardise the vital funds he is raising for his chosen charity the Velindre Cancer Centre of which he is the patron and which he described as “a wonderful and vital charity”.
The biggest problem for Horscroft is that star centre Emyr Harries is not available as he has a far more important date in that he is getting married on that same day!
Second row Dean Harries and club captain Llyr Griffiths are also on the guest list and the town coach will have major selection headaches.
Club spokesman Hefin Harries told Sportsline:” As far as we know at present Emyr will be missing obviously as he is getting married and Dean will also be at the wedding but we can’t confirm as yet whether club captain Llyr is available to play.”
“It’s very disappointing for them to miss out after all the hard work to get this far but we have other players in the squad more than ready to step in.
” We inquired about changing the date but unfortunately this was not possible as the WRU dates are set in stone.”
Amman will cause enough of a headache on their own as they are currently flying high in Division 3 West B with twelve wins from as many games although there are a clutch of weak teams in the division with all the sides outside the top three having already lost at least eight games to date and there are plenty of one sided contests.
The Amman Valley men may well turn out to be much tougher opponents than Caerphilly as they beat League 3 East Central leaders Hartridge in the opening round, followed by wins over Cardiff-based St Albans, Monmouth by 18-7 and Burry Port by 13-3 in the quarter final.
Whatever the outcome it is going to be a big day for Cardigan RFC and their supporters and buses are already starting to fill in anticipation of this historic occasion which takes place in the 140th anniversary year of the Gwbert Road Club.