North Wales rule when it comes to FAW Trophy – we’ve won EIGHT of last 10 finals

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Cefn Albion’s resounding 4-0 FAW Trophy Final victory over Pontardawe Town last Saturday further cemented North Wales’ domination of the competition in recent times.

The national knockout for clubs competing at tier-three of the pyramid and below has seen eight of the last 10 finals won by teams from the north.

Here is a rundown of all the finals since 2009-10.

2009-10: Glan Conwy – Clydach Wasps 5-1

The Welsh Alliance League villagers celebrated the greatest achievement in their history in style with an emphatic victory at Park Avenue, Aberystwyth, under the management of Jon Chapman.

Glan took the lead after just four minutes when man of the match Aled Stapleton cut in from the flank and scored with a 25-yard cracker.

It remained 1-0 up to half time, but virtually straight from the restart striker Ashley Smith doubled the Glan advantage.

The Gwent County League Division One side gave themselves some hope when James Schofield reduced the deficit on 54 minutes, but it was not long before Smith made it 3-1 from the penalty spot.

Stapleton’s second virtually clinched the match just before the hour and the icing on the cake was provided by Gareth Davies, whose 20-yarder completed Glan’s nap.

2010-11: Holywell Town – Conwy United 3-2

Surely the most dramatic final in the competition’s history.

Leading 2-0 going into the 90th minute at Belle Vue, Conwy looked absolute certs to win a cup they had last lifted in 1982, but Holywell produced the most stunning of comebacks by converting two penalties and then adding a winner in the fourth minute of injury time.

United took the lead on 17 minutes when Toby Jones’ free kick was diverted home by centre-back Chris Quinn.

With Holywell pressing for the equaliser, Conwy grabbed what they thought was a decisive second goal five minutes from time when a Paul Cassidy cross was turned into his own net by Tony Hogan.

What happened in the next few minutes defied belief. A Holywell shot from just inside the area was going in until Conwy’s Mark Orme handled on the line and was sent off by referee Mike Jones. Steve Thomas converted the spot-kick

The assistant referee displayed there would be five minutes of added time and Holywell were then given a second penalty after Quinn was adjudged to have pushed Sam Jones. Thomas went straight down the middle for 2-2.

With four minutes of the five played, a goalmouth scramble saw Hogan poke home the winner.

2011–12: Sully Sports – Holyhead Hotspur 2-1

South Wales Senior League champions Sully Sports defeated quadruple-chasing Holyhead Hotspur at Aberystwyth.

Gareth Hemmens fired the winner after 66 minutes as Sully lifted the FAW Trophy for the first time.

Alex Long put Sports ahead on 38 minutes, while Jay Gibbs equalised with an absolute stunner for Hotspur early in the second period.

Then came that Hemmens winner for Sully, which destroyed Hotspur’s hopes of becoming just the second Anglesey team to win the competition.

Hotspur did win the Welsh Alliance League title that season, as well as the Cookson and Barritt Cups.

2012–13: Caernarfon Town – Kilvey Fords 6-0

It was a day to remember for the Cofi Army at Latham Park, Newtown as Lee Dixon’s heroes recorded the biggest -ever victory in an FAW Trophy Final.

Swansea Senior League outfit Kilvey were swept aside by goals from Darren Thomas (2), Lee McArdle (2), Dion Donohue and Darren Gowans.

Caernarfon were also crowned Welsh Alliance League champions and Cookson Cup winners in that treble-lifting campaign.

2013–14: Llanrug United – Chirk AAA 3-2

Two-goal hero Kevin Lloyd guided Llanrug to the biggest win in their history as they landed the FAW Trophy after a thrilling final at Rhyl’s Corbett Sports Stadium.

In the 56th minute the deadlock was broken when Dan Pyrs’ cross from the right clipped the bar and David Noel Williams was on hand to head home.

On the hour United went two up when Carl Griffiths made a superb run into the box and squared to Lloyd, who netted with a fantastic finish.

Chirk pulled one back two minutes later when defender and captain Phil Pearce headed home a corner.

Rug made it 3-1 in the 80th minute when Griffiths delivered from the right and Lloyd’s bullet header proved too powerful for Ryan Roberts to keep out.

Chirk gave themselves late hope in the second of four added minutes when Jamie Foulkes headed in after Jamie Jones’ attempt came back off the bar, but Llanrug held on to lift the Trophy for the first time.

2014–15: Holywell Town – Penrhyndeudraeth 4-2


Cecil became the first reptile to be sent off in an FAW Trophy Final in 2015. Picture: Richard Birch

Welsh Alliance treble-winners Holywell came out on top in a thrilling final at Maesdu Park, Llandudno.

The Wellmen made a 12th-minute breakthrough when Phil Lloyd headed home a corner.

Penrhyn levelled in first-half added time, 37-year-old former Wales Under-21 and Wrexham striker Paul Roberts stabbing in for 1-1 at the break.

Steve Thomas volleyed in from an angle to put Town ahead, but back came Penrhyn, Tom Hughes driving in at the back post for 2-2.

In the 70th minute Lloyd gave the Flintshire side the lead for a third time with a formidable low shot from the edge of the area.

On 79 minutes referee Nick Pratt adjudged Tom McElmeel was sufficiently impeded to award a penalty and Sam Jones made it 4-2 from the spot.

This game immortalised Holywell’s newly-adopted mascot Cecil the Crocodile, who was sent (carried) off by match official Pratt for simulation in the area.

2015-16: Abergavenny Town – Sully Sports 1-0

A very rare all-south final saw a second-minute goal from Craig Norman secure the victory for Welsh League debutants Abergavenny over their South Wales Alliance League opponents.

2016-17: Chirk AAA – Penlan Club 2-1

Chirk lifted the trophy they hadn’t won since 1963 with an extra time win over Swansea side Penlan.

It was a spirited performance from The Colliers as they had to come back from a goal down after 20 minutes to draw level through leading scorer Matty Thomas on 70.

Chris Bennion grabbed the winner in the eighth minute of extra time.

This was Chirk’s fourth Trophy success in all, putting them joint second on the all-time list.

2017-18: Conwy Borough – Rhos Aelwyd 4-1


Conwy Borough lifted the 2017/18 FAW Trophy

Welsh National League underdogs Rhos took a first-half lead when James Haynes found the net after 33 minutes.

Just before the break Leigh Craven produced a composed finish to make it all-square.

Boro went ahead for the first time on 48 minutes thanks to a strike from Brendun Hogan.

Things got even better for the Tangerines soon after when the prolific Corrig McGonigle made it 3-1.

Treble-winners Conwy’s success was confirmed with another well-worked goal on 69 minutes through Tom Creamer’s superb finish.

2018-19: Cefn Albion – Pontardawe Town 4-0

In just their fifth season of existence, Welsh National League Premier Division side Cefn lifted the national trophy at Park Avenue, Aberystwyth.

Albion’s form in the lead up to the final had not been the best, but it all came up roses on the day for Sean Jones and Stephen Davies’ side as they thrashed Pontardawe.

A seventh piece of silverware in Cefn’s short history was secured thanks to goals from Nathan Williams, Conner Kendrick, Kian Morris and Jamie Foulkes.


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