The facilities being available, the teams emerged. They arranged their own fixtures for matches, generally of an inter-Association character. Repre- sentative leagues and tournaments soon became the focal centre of interest.
Later, but before 1939, the Welsh Fraternal of YMCA Secretaries arranged league and tournament fixtures, but the advent of war resulted in a cessation of those splendid inter-Association visits.
In 1945, war ended and the Fraternal members renewed their efforts to arrange inter-Association games. A sub-committee was appointed for the purpose. It was agreed by those concerned that their aim was not to win trophies but rather to foster and develop good fellowship among Association members. Two trophies were donated, namely The Lord Merthyr Cup for senior football and the V. H. Mayne Cup for Juniors.
The popularity of these two tournaments was such that they never failed to maintain interest for over twenty years whilst, the "Finals" always produced much excitement. In 1947 the Lord Merthyr Cup was won by Newport YMCA, who defeated Ponthenry, a mining valley team, by the narrow margin of two goals to one. This Final was played at Port Talbot. After the match, both teams and their supporters were entertained to tea by the members of the local Women's Auxiliary. Everybody contributed to the excellent spirit of fellowship which pervaded everywhere.
In the final of the Junior Football League, Onllwyn, isolated at the head of the Dulais Valley, and whose gymnasium faces mountainous slag tips, prevailed over the Juniors of Cardiff Central by ten goals to one! The final was played at Aberaman. It was exciting to see the young miners holding "The City" boys, who did not once give up until the final whistle was blown. During the festivities at the Aberaman YMCA, after the game, the W.H. Mayne Cup was presented to the Captain of the Onllwyn team.
Other YMCA leagues or tournaments included Table Tennis, Basket Ball and Cricket.
This sport has a long history in the YMCAs of South Wales. In 1910, the Swansea YMCA fielded events.
A most beautiful and precious silver shield was presented to the committee of the Swansea YMCA by its president, the late Sir John Llewellyn. The Association magnanimously offered it as a trophy "For Athletic Championship Competition open to YMCAs in Wales and Monmouthshire". It was a rule of the competition that winners of the trophy in any one year should stage the next meeting on their own ground. This rule turned out to be too exacting. For various reasons long periods intervened when competitions did not take place.
The Shield was first held by Neath YMCA in 1914. It is not improbable that in the Neath Team that day was a young athlete, Cecil Griffiths, who represented Great Britain in the 1920 Olympic Games. The following Associations (listed in chronological order) participated in the Sir John Llewellyn Shield Competition and were winners for the year mentioned. These records are inscribed on the Shield. Some committee members may find pleasure in reviewing the past achievements of their athletes. Perhaps it may create also a desire to recommence these inter-