This Wednesday four teams from Cardiff will contest the Ninian Stuart Cup Final and the Mallett Cup Final
The first game is the Ninian Stuart Cup final (KO 5:15pm) played between Llanrumney seconds and Rhiwbina thirds followed by the Mallett Cup Final (KO 7:15pm) between Llanrumney first and Rumney seconds.
This year sees the 108th Mallett Cup competition in a series that goes back to 1894 when Cardiff Reserves were the inaugural winners, beating Canton 8-0 in the final at the Harlequins Ground (current home of St. Peter’s RFC). The Cardiff Reserves side was captained by the then 19 year old Gwyn Nicholls (who went on to excel for Cardiff, Wales and the Lions) and apart from a couple of elongated breaks due to the two World Wars, the cup has been contested every season since. It is in fact the second oldest current cup competition in world rugby (only the London Hospitals Cup pre-dates it). This year also sees the 115th anniversary of the Mallet Cup first being played for at Cardiff Arms Park, that 1898 final being won by St. Paul’s who beat Canton 10-0.
The Ninian Stuart Cup competition stages the 87th final in the series, the inaugural winners in 1911 being Cardiff Nomads who beat Cardiff Welsh 4-0 after extra time at the Arms Park. For the 16 years prior to 1911, Cardiff & District ran a Union Shield competition which started in 1895 and was first won by Roath Park (initially competed for on a league basis). The first time the Union Shield was played for on a cup basis was in 1897 when St. Peter’s were victorious over Adamsdown by 5 points to 3 again at the Harlequins ground and the following season saw the first Shield final to be held at the Arms Park when St. Mary’s beat St. Andrew’s 14-0.
The matches are the latest chapter in the long history of Cardiff & District rugby with the finals of two of the oldest competitions in world rugby being staged by the oldest Welsh District Union.
Cardiff & District were formed on 14th November 1892 and as such celebrated their 120th anniversary during this current season with a commemorative dinner held for member clubs on the 14th November last year and a celebratory fixture against Cardiff RFC only a few weeks ago.