Ynys Môn 2 (Mel McGinness, Liam Morris)
Western Isles 1 (Robert Shirkie)
Second-half goals from Mel McGinness and Liam Morris made it a winning start for an Ynys Môn side which trailed 1-0 at the interval to their Scottish visitors, reports Tomos Jones.
Both teams looked uncomfortable on the ball in the opening 10 minutes at Holyhead Hotspur’s New Stadium, and appeared very nervous when pressure was put on their defences.
It was developing into a very dull encounter with backwards and sideways passing from both sides. Neither team seemed prepared to take a gamble, through fear of losing the game.
Ynys Môn finally had an opportunity.when a well-worked corner set up Morris, whose driven shot was saved well by Western Isles goalkeeper Jack Maclennan.
Shortly after, the hosts had an opportunity cleared off the line. Yet another slick corner by Môn caused confusion for the Outer Hebrideans. The ball fell to the feet of Dean Garmey, who did everything right apart from score.
Môn were now starting to cause a lot of problems through Sam Jones and Morris. On 36 minutes, Jones put a good ball into the box towards the feet of Morris and his shot was yet again blocked on the line, Isles defender Neil Morrison the hero.
Western Isles now had their backs against the wall and once again Môn missed another glorious opening.
Mel McGinness’s lovely scorpion kick pass into the path of Morris set him up, but Maclennan once again foiled the Llangefni Town talisman.
Against the run of play, Western Isles took the lead on the stroke of half time.
Frazer Macleod found himself onside following a through ball over the top. His fine cross was aimed towards the back post where Robert Shirke was there to head into the back of the net.
Referee William Peel blew for the interval and it was 1-0 to the visitors.
The second half started exactly how the first started. Both sides were making unforced errors and the Môn men became frustrated with themselves and their team-mates.
Isles nearly doubled their lead, when a quick break by the highlanders found Luke Mackay free on the right flank. He picked out Archie Macdonald on the edge of the penalty area, but he was wasteful with his attempt on goal.
The travellers were looking dangerous on the counter attack and yet again they quickly broke, having a three-on-two, but fluffed a big chance to make it 2-0.
And they paid the price as Ynys Môn equalised in the 58th minute. McGinness found himself in a good position on the right-hand side, his audacious effort on goal rewarded with a leveller, and belief suddenly grew throughout the team.
Môn were now in total control and Jay Gibbs nearly put them 2-1 up with a spectacular effort, but Maclennan produced a magnificent save.
However, in the 65th minute, Anglesey turned the game on its head and took the lead. Jones found himself free on the edge of the penalty area. His poor cross was partially cleared but the ball was picked up by Jordan Taylor, whose 20-yard effort struck the post.
Luckily for Môn, the ball fell kindly to the feet of Morris who made no mistake in scoring his much-deserved goal.
This was Ynys Môn men’s 100th goal in the tournament – and what a vital one it was.
Môn had full control of the game and nearly put daylight between them and their opponents when John Littlemore was surrounded by several defenders, but did well to shrug them off and blast against the post.
Littlemore should have scored with his next opportunity. Alex Boss’ excellent ball towards the Porthmadog man was perfect and he had all of the goal to aim at, but his header struck the post and this was the final action of the match.
Ynys Môn: Paul Pritchard, Dean Garmey, Alex Jones, Tom Taylor, Jay Gibbs, Mel McGinness, Ryan Taylor, Jordan Taylor, Dafydd Jones, Sam Jones, Liam Morris. Subs: John Littlemore Alex Boss, Gari Owen, Guto Hughes, Gerwyn Roberts, Cai Powell-Roberts, Tomos Clarke, Daniel Thomas.
Ynys Môn will be looking for a better performance tomorrow evening when they take on Orkney at Gwalchmai FC, kick off 18:30. The Western Isles will be looking for a quick response as they face table-toppers Jersey at Glantraeth FC (6.30pm).
Ynys Môn 3 (Lexi Crawley 3)
Western Isles 1 (Beth Macleod)
Hat-trick star Lexi Crawley showed typical goal poacher’s instincts to ensure the Ynys Môn ladies got their tournament off to a flyer.
Crawley, who plays for Amlwch Town in North Wales League Division Two, but has stood out at Welsh Premier level in the past, was different class in attack as Anglesey’s females recorded just their second win in tournament history.
They had lost 4-1 to the Western Isles at the last Games in 2017, but it was a different story at the New Stadium, Holyhead.
Môn took an early lead when youngster Catrin Evans broke down the left, her cross was blocked, but the ball was hooked on for Crawley to finish well from close range.
Western Isles played their part in a fine encounter and had some close calls, experienced Welsh international stopper Nicky Davies proving magnificent in goal for the home team.
And the Scots kept up the pressure early in the second half, levelling through Beth Macleod.
Môn were not to be denied, though, and when Davies sent a long free kick into the Isles box, the visiting defence failed to clear and Jordanne Greenough headed into the path of Crawley, who finished smartly again.
The victory was sealed late on when again the Western Isles failed to cope with a long delivery forward, and Crawley pounced, racing into the box before applying a lethal finish from an angle to record the first female Môn hat-trick in the history of the games.
Team: Nicky Davies, Paige Williams, Carol Lewis, Laura Eynon (c), Sara Furlong (Beth Jones 63), Cerys Gadd, Ceri Slaney (Angharad Evans 89), Ffion Owen, Catrin Evans (Erin Maloney 63), Jordanne Greenough, Lexi Crawley. Subs not used: Anna Roberts, Ceri Lois, Emma Roberts.
Ynys Môn women will look to follow up this result tomorrow when they host Hitra at Amlwch Town, kick-off 6.30pm.