Prior to last Saturday’s 127th FAW Welsh Cup Final, which saw The New Saints beat Aberystwyth Town 3-2 at Wrexham’s Racecourse Stadium, the Football Association of Wales took the third oldest cup competition trophy in the world, on a tour through Wales.
One of the FAW’s many stops was Taff Vale Park, situated just off the Broadway in Treforest, behind Parc Lewis Primary School. This venue hosted Ton Pentre’s only Welsh Cup Final appearance in 1922.
The Bulldogs played an excellent Cardiff City team in that Final, which contained the likes of Len Davies and legend Fred Keenor, and lost 2-0 in front of 8,000 spectators.
The FAW’s decision to take the Welsh Cup on a history tour throughout Wales was an excellent idea as it allowed the Bulldogs to discover where their Welsh Cup Final took place, as throughout time many people believed it to have been played at Ynysangharad Park in Pontypridd.
Since the FAW’s Welsh Cup trophy tour on Friday last, Ton Pentre have been able to quickly research some details of the Club’s Cup Final venue – Taff Vale Park.
Taff Vale Park was first laid out for sporting purposes in the 1890s having originally been waste land adjacent to the Forest Iron Works.
Originally acquired by Pontypridd Rugby Football Club as their home ground, the site was subsequently leased by the Pontypridd Athletic Club in 1900 whose desire to transform Taff Vale Park into a multi-purpose sporting venue resulted in the departure of the rugby club in the same year.
Between 1900 and 1930, when the site was bought by the Pontypridd Urban District Council Education Committee for school use, Taff Vale Park was used for a wide variety of sports from professional football, boxing, and rugby league, the powderhall races and cycling, to baseball and rugby union trials.
In 1927, the ground was sub-let by the Athletic Club for the purposes of a greyhound racing track and speedway was also held there. The site still remains in use for schools in the town as well as being the home of Pontypridd Junior Rugby Football Club.
In the 1921/1922 Season, Ton Pentre entered the Welsh Cup in the Third Round when they beat Caerau 1-0 at Ynys Park, at the same stage Cardiff City hammered Newport County 7-1.
In the Fourth Round, Cardiff City achieved a 5-0 home win over Merthyr Town and Ton Pentre secured an excellent 1-0 win at home against Swansea Town.
In the Semi-Finals, Cardiff City met Pontypridd at Aberdare winning 3-0 and Ton Pentre had to travel to Shrewsbury where they overcame Wrexham with a 2-0 victory.
Despite overcoming both Swansea Town and Wrexham in the previous rounds, the Bulldogs were unable to defeat Cardiff City, and the Football League Division One outfit won 2-0 to lift the Welsh Cup for the third time.
The Bluebirds would go on to lift the Welsh Cup a total of 22 times while this was Ton Pentre’s only ever appearance in the Final. The Bulldogs did however, come close with Semi-Final appearances in 1911/1912, 1920/1921, 2001/2002 and 2002/2003 Seasons.