Team-by-team progress report: the North Wales Women’s Football League 2019-20

Pwllheli have been a credit to the league this season

Here’s a look at how all 17 teams which make up the North Wales Women’s Football League have performed so far this season.
Will any of them kick another ball in 2019-20? It remains to be seen.

Airbus (Division One)
League: Played 7 Won 2 Drawn 1 Lost 4 Goals For 15 Against 16 Pos: 5th of 8
Cups: Betty Pickering semi-finals

Airbus have been competitive in Division One without pulling up any trees.
Their two league wins have both come against bottom side Wrexham.
New manager Mari Edwards has faced problems with player injuries and unavailability, as well as numerous postponements (like most clubs).
Becky Lees began the season with a great run of goals, but she has since been overtaken in the top-scorer stakes by Tegan Hewitt.
Airbus’ best win by far was their 4-0 victory over Bethel in the Betty Pickering Cup on January 12.

Amlwch Town (Division Two)
League: Played 9 Won 8 Drawn 1 GF 85 GA 12 Pos: 1st of 9
Cups: NEWFA Cup semi-finals, Betty Pickering quarter-finals

Amlwch began the season on a real high, not just through having signed a number of players who reached the summer Inter Island-Games Final with Ynys Môn, but also being still buoyed by winning the Supplementary Cup the previous season.
They began with a 9-0 win at NFA and have never looked back, piling on the goals having netted a remarkable 85 in nine league games.
Amlwch have four goal-scorers in double figures: Lexi Crawley (20), Ffion Owen (19), Catrin Evans (14) and Cerys Gadd (12).
Others like Ceri Slaney, Gail Manning, Meinir Thomas and Carol Lewis have also notched vital goals.
And defensively, Mo Eynon and Charlotte B Webb’s side have been very strong, the return of Charley Smith proving crucial alongside the likes of Lewis and Paige Williams. Amlwch always have a strong bench to call on as well.
Their only defeat all season has come in the Welsh Cup at Division One Llanfair, while just Connah’s Quay Nomads have denied them maximum points in the league.

Bethel (Division One)
League: Played 5 Won 4 Drawn 1 GF 25 GA 8 Pos: 2nd of 9
Cups: NEWFA Cup semi-finals, Welsh Cup quarter-finals

Bethel lost a few players in the summer, mainly through the birth of Llanberis, but also gained some from the disbanding of Bethesda.
As well as that, the Maroons youngsters from last season have continued to develop and results overall have been fantastic.
Bethel’s only real disappointment was a 4-0 Betty Pickering Cup loss to an Airbus outfit they had previously beaten twice.
Goals have flowed in league and cup, the bulk provided by Erin Maloney with 21 and Ffion Williams (11).

Defensively, Bethel are awesome with Beca Williams, Anest Roberts, Llio Henshaw, Jenna Tugwell, Kelly Jones and Erin Allen all capable of doing a fine job. The recent signings from Llandudno of Jordanne Greenough and Fflur Williams only make the team a stronger unit.
Ben Bolton’s side made it to the Welsh Cup quarter-finals where they put up a great show in a 4-0 defeat against Welsh Premier League leaders Swansea City.
Bethel’s finest results have been 8-0 and 4-2 cup beatings of otherwise undefeated Connah’s Quay Nomads, as well as a 4-3 Welsh Cup triumph at Rhyl.

Caernarfon Town (Division Two)
League: Played 8 Won 2 Lost 6 GF 18 GA 55 Pos: 8th of 9

Once the top team in North Wales, Caernarfon are these days in a process of rebuild with a group of mainly local youngsters.
Their only wins have come against novices Holywell, the remainder of their matches comprising mainly heavy defeats.

Connah’s Quay Nomads (Division Two)
League: Played 6 Won 5 Drawn 1 GF 38 GA 8 Pos: 3rd of 9
Cup: Welsh Cup semi-finals

Still undefeated in the league, these exciting newcomers are the only team to take a point off leaders Amlwch.
Sara Hilton’s side’s best performance came in the Welsh Cup, where they caused a sensation by knocking out Welsh Premier outfit Port Talbot to set up a semi with Swansea.
Nomads’ only losses have come versus Bethel in the Betty Pickering and NEWFA Cups.
Hilton has built a classy squad, a number of ex-Rhyl and Llandudno players standing out.
Impressive striker Candice Nellist is top markswoman on 16 goals, while Jasmin Dutton, Rachael Nattrass and Tonicha Dickens, all with vast Welsh Premier experience, have been key.

Corwen (Division One)
League: Played 7 Won 2 Lost 5 GF 11 GA 21 Pos: 7th of 8

Mainly a season of adjustment for Division One new arrivals Corwen thus far.
Alaw Davies-Smith’s side have just home wins against Northop Hall and Wrexham on their record in seven outings.
The squad has found it tough to cope with several injuries, but the potential is there for better in the future.

Denbigh Town (Division One)
League: Played 4 Won 2 Lost 2 GF 13 GA 13 Pos: 6th of 8
Cups: Betty Pickering Cup semi-finals

Pretty average season for Denbigh to date, a notable feature being the lack of league games played – just four by the middle of March and no prospect of any more during the Wales-wide suspension of fixtures due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The team has struggled for players at times, and the chance of them finishing their fixture list (even minus the Coronavirus issue) looks slim.
Yet there have been pluses, not least the 18 goals scored by Rosie Hughes (including two double hat-tricks and a quadruple).
Results tend to have either been dynamic or disastrous.

Holywell (Division Two)
League: Played 10 Lost 10 GF 8 GA 104 Pos: 9th of 9

A baptism of fire for league newcomers Holywell, but they have continually played with a smile and made many friends along the way.
The closest they came to a point was a 3-2 home defeat against Caernarfon Town back in October.
Some losses have been heavy, but they’ve managed a few goals with Ruby McGilloway and Caitlin Hadaway among those players to shine.

Llanberis (Division Two)
League: Played 11 Won 4 Drawn 2 Lost 5 GF 30 GA 41 Pos: 4th of 9

New faces who have been worth more points than the table shows.
Some losses should have been draws and a couple of draws could have been victories.
Experienced players who joined pre-season from Bethel, such as Sioned Phillips, Ffion Bee and Leonie Prytherch have performed well, while ex-Bethesda front pairing Ffion Mair Roberts and Awel Ellis have been tremendous.
Quality youngsters such as Elin Arwen and Charley Davies have also caught the eye. Basically a good squad with an excellent team spirit.

Llanfair United (Division One)
League: Played 5 Won 5 GF 32 GA 4

Cups: Betty Pickering Cup quarter-finals, NEWFA Cup semi-finals

Last season’s joint champions lead the Division One table with five wins from five but remarkably have not played a league game in 18 weeks (November 3, 2019).
The awful winter has decimated Llanfair’s fixtures, as has been the case with other clubs, and there has to be a doubt now where they can complete the set even if the Coronavirus situation improves within the next month.
Nonetheless, the Powys side remain in contention for a treble, with Betty Pickering and NEWFA Cup matches against Amlwch still to play.
In the games they have played, Llanfair have looked good, despite being slightly lucky to scrape past Rhyl 2-1.
Last term’s top-scorer Gemma Jones is leading the way again on 12 goals.
Llanfair’s only loss came in the Welsh Cup – a 6-1 hammering at Llandudno.

Mountain Rangers (Division Two)
League: Played 6 Won 3 Drawn 1 Lost 2 GF 32 GA 11

Possibly the unluckiest team of the season so far with so many postponements and endless injuries affecting their progress.
To date, Rangers have played just seven matches in seven months in all competitions.
They started really well, winning their first three league games, but have not recorded a victory since last October.
At their strongest, they could compete with the best in the division, but it’s been such a frustrating season overall, although being part of such a great club environment has no doubt helped keep them going.
Top scorer is the experienced Katie Bowe, with 11 goals. including 7 in one game.

NFA (Division Two)
League: Played 9 Won 6 Lost 3 GF 32 GA 26 Pos: 2nd of 9

Although they started off with a 9-0 home loss to Amlwch, part of that could have been down to them being such a new team with so little time spent together.
Since that day, the Rhyl-based side have really improved, first making their mark when ending Mountain Rangers’ 100% record.
Ex-Rhyl FC players such as Emily Jones, Amy Webster, Rachel Lloyd and Ashleigh Mills have been the main goal providers, but young talent like Llinos Hughes, Amy Chesters, Jess Mills and Chloe Evans have really come to the fore too.
With a good experienced head like Andy Lloyd at the helm, NFA won’t go far wrong.

Northop Hall (Division One)
League: Played 7 Won 3 Drawn 1 Lost 3 GF 11 GA 27 Pos: 4th of 8

Hall started off with a fine draw at Airbus, but then suffered a succession of severe league and cup defeats before November 17 delivered a first win at the expense of Corwen.
Despite losing vital players to injuries, the Flintshire side have risen to fourth in Division One thanks to a double over Wrexham.
Eleanor Thomas has been impressive up front, while Bethan Thomas remains one of the finest keepers around.

Penrhyn Bay (Division Two)
League: Played 7 Won 3 Lost 4 GF 33 GA 22 Pos: 7th of 9

Having boosted their squad this season with a number of the 2018-19 FAW Under-16 Cup winning side, Penrhyn’s results have benefited.
Action has been thin on the ground at times, but big wins over Holywell and Caernarfon will have boosted confidence.
Bay have also given a number of higher-placed sides good contests, suggesting they are never a pushover these days and are a team on the up.
Players like Mia Rawling, Ffion Evans and Hannah Smith have been consistent net-finders.

Pwllheli (Division Two)
League: Played 10 Won 4 Drawn 1 Lost 5 GF 39 GA 38 Pos: 5th of 9
Cup: Betty Pickering semi-final

Pwllheli decided to drop down into Division Two this season due to concerns over lack of player availability throughout the campaign.
The players who have turned out for the Llyn side have done them truly proud.
Pwll have been involved in numerous great games, and even when losing have put up a good show.
Their best result to date is probably a 3-0 victory over Rhyl in the Betty Pickering Cup, although a recent 2-0 home success against Mountain Rangers was also a notable result.
Pwllheli have gained a lot of friends through their never-say-die spirit and sporting attitude towards opponents.
Stacey Sansome, Lowri Hughes and Amy Roberts have all been in the goals, while the recent return to the club of defender Cara Hughes can only be a positive.

Rhyl (Division One)
League: Played 6 Won 4 Drawn 1 Lost 1 GF 15 GA 6 Pos: 3rd of 8

Promoted to Division One this season, Rhyl have performed really well.
Currently third in the standings with four wins in six, the Lilywhites were unfortunate in their only defeat, a 2-1 loss at home to Llanfair, missing out on a point after failing to convert an injury-time penalty, so their position could be even better.
Last season’s Rhyl Development have lived up to their name, coming along nicely with experienced heads such as Caroline Gardner, Natalie Harrison and leading markswoman Ceri Purvis inspiring those around them.
The cups have not gone as well for the Lilies, with defeats in the Betty Pickering and NEWFA to Division Two teams Pwllheli and Amlwch respectively.

Wrexham (Division One)
League: Played 7 Lost 7 GF 4 GA 31 Pos: 8th of 8
Cup: NEWFA semi-finals

The table may not make happy reading for Wrexham, but they are definitely a better side than their position suggests.
They have proved what a useful side they can be in the cups, beating both Pwllheli and Llanberis in the NEWFA en route to the semis.
Once (or if) they get that first league victory, it could serve as a great weight lifted off their shoulders.

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