THE MP Foulkes Montgomeryshire Cup was dealt a devastating double blow this week.

Guilsfield and Caersws both resigned from the county cup with secretary Bernie Jones conceding the cup had now been devalued.

“Both are former winners and in Caersws’ case record winners of the competition so for two such clubs to withdraw represents a major blow,” said Jones.

The county cup has struggled to maintain its relevance in recent years with several clubs withdrawing due to clashes with league fixtures or failing to raise a side from within the 10 mile radius.

“In the past clubs tended to sign players from within the radius but nowadays clubs in the Huws Gray Alliance and even the Mid Wales League are recruiting players from further away and often enough cannot raise 11 players from their radius.”

While Jones insisted the competition remained popular among smaller clubs the withdrawal of Guilsfield and Caersws, coupled with Newtown’s long standing decision not to enter a side, had dealt the county cup another blow to its standing.

“Obviously the smaller clubs will now have their chance to win it which is fantastic for them but I cannot deny the loss of senior clubs over recent years has devalued the county cup.”

Caersws have endured a troubled week off the pitch with the villagers also withdrawing their reserve side from the J T Hughes Montgomeryshire League after failing to recruit a new manager.

The club will now run with just one senior team and with no under 19s side operating this season the Bluebirds will now be forced to rebuild the former conveyor belt of talent which it was once famed.

A statement read: “The club realises this is an extremely disappointing decision to make and we offer our sincere apologies to all concerned.

“We will look to revive the side next season.”