Flashback: When Llandudno Ladies were 90 minutes away from national glory

Llandudno line-up before the 2016 Welsh Cup Final

Four years ago today Llandudno FC Ladies broke new ground when they reached the Welsh Cup Final for the first time in the club’s history.

On March 20, 2016, Sarah Colville’s side defeated Denbigh Town 4-0 in an all-North Wales semi-final at Belle Vue, Rhyl.

That set up a meeting with Cardiff City FC Women in the final, where Tudno would seek to become the first northern winners of the national knockout since Bangor City in 2002.

Llandudno’s quest was to end in failure as despite taking an early lead they were eventually beaten 5-2 by Cardiff.

Nonetheless, it was a great achievement by the Maesdu maidens to make the final.

Connah’s Quay Nomads will emulate them this season if they win their semi-final against mighty Welsh Premier leaders Swansea City, currently postponed indefinitely due to COVID-19.

So let’s look back to 2015/16 and Llandudno’s great run to the Welsh Cup Final….

Round One
Oct 18, 2015
Llandudno 4 Rhyl and Prestatyn 0

Rosie Hughes struck twice

It was a good test first up on paper for Tudno against fellow Welsh Premier League side Rhyl and Prestatyn.
The match itself, however, ended in a comfortable win for the hosts, Rosie Hughes leading the charge with a double.
Katie Bowe and Catrin Thomas, with a great shot from the edge of the box, completed the scoring.

Round Two
Nov 15, 2015
Llandudno 7 Llanfair United 1

Katie Bowe starred in this dominant home display from Llandudno with a scintillating hat-trick.
There were also two goals apiece from Sofie Owen and Rosie Hughes as the Powys visitors were caned out of sight.

February 14, 2016
Cwmbran Celtic 1 Llandudno 2

It was a long trip down south for Llandudno, but it proved very rewarding as they celebrated a 2-1 victory over fellow WPWL side Cwmbran.
The hosts took a sixth minute lead through North Wales girl Lois Regan, a Wales international who began her football at Llewod Llanrug.
And for a long time it looked like that might be enough, until Katie Bowe levelled in the 72nd minute with a fierce strike, then Kelsey Davies bagged the winner on 80 via a magnificent side-foot lob.

March 20, 2016
Llandudno 4 Denbigh Town 0

Celebrations in black and white from victorious Llandudno

Tudno started strong favourites to get past Town, reigning champions of the level below North Wales Women’s League.
If Denbigh needed to avoid anything it was conceding an early goal, but this is exactly what they did. their keeper Netty Jones misjudging a long distance effort from Stacey Tradewell.
Katie Bowe clattered the post before there were two goals in quick succession as Denbigh’s Emily Morris got the last touch for a 27th minute own-goal, then talented centre-back Jemila Bukari finished a well-taken solo effort on the half-hour.

Denbigh did really well to make the semi-finals

It took just seven minutes after the break for Llandudno to score again as striker Rosie Hughes finished clinically.
Denbigh never stopped trying to get back into the tie with Mari Edwards, a hat-trick hero in the previous round against Northop Hall, working hard up front to no avail.

Despite not scoring against Denbigh, Katie Bowe (stripes) was the game’s stand out performer

For the winners, Bowe did everything but score, her overall performance being absolute class.

April 17, 2016
Llandudno 2 Cardiff City FC Women 5

If the referee had blown the final whistle after eight minutes this would have been the perfect day!
Of course he couldn’t and didn’t – football’s not like that and neither is life!
Still the first few minutes of the final at Newtown will long live in the minds of Llandudno supporters.
Katie Bowe had been one of the stars of Tudno’s run to the showpiece, her stunning long range goals putting her more in the limelight than ever before.
And in the fifth minute at Latham Park, her left-foot wonder strike over keeper Ceryn Chamberlain following a lovely build-up put Llandudno ahead and their supporters entered dreamland – temporarily!
Sadly, that was about as good as it got for Sarah Colville’s girls.
Four minutes later Kylie Nolan capitalised on a very lucky rebound to make it 1-1.
Claire Colville produced an amazing goal-line clearance before Shannon Thomas volleyed Cardiff in front.
Rosie Hughes was centimeters away from scoring with a header and Sofie Owen lashed a fine shot just wide as Tudno rallied.
Then, disaster. In trying to prevent a third Bluebirds goal, Llandudno’s star defender Jemila Bukari badly twisted a knee and her final was effectively over.
After the break Evans made it 3-1 before being brought down for a penalty which Chelsea Cochrane converted.
Still the North Walians battled on. Catrin Thomas headed in a Bowe free kick for 4-2 before Hughes had a golden opportunity from close range only for Chamberlain to deny her. A third for Llandudno at that stage and who knows?
Cardiff ended the contest when Thomas raced into the box and lashed in for her hat-trick.

FAW Women’s Cup history (1992 – )

North Wales have lifted the FAW Women’s Cup four times since the competition began 27 years ago.
Pilkington (Rhyl) won it in 1992-93 and 1993-94 and Bangor City were successful in 1996-97 and 2001-02.
We have had a few finalists since then, but none came particularly close to winning.

FAW Women’s Welsh Cup list of finals
(North Wales teams in bold)

1992-93: Pilkington (Rhyl) 1-0 Inter Cardiff
1993-94: Pilkington (Rhyl) 2-2 (4-2 pen) Inter Cardiff
1994-95: Inter Cardiff 1-1 (4-3 pen) Bangor City
1995-96: Newport Strikers 1-0 Bangor City
1996-97: Bangor City 3-0 Newcastle Emlyn
1997-98: Barry Town 3-0 Bangor City
1998-99: Barry Town 3-0 Newport Strikers
1999-2000: Barry Town 2-2 (3-0 pen) Bangor City
2000-01: Barry Town 3-0 Newport Strikers
2001-02: Bangor City 3-0 Newport County
2002-03: Cardiff City 1-0 Bangor City
2003-04: Cardiff City 4-0 Newtown
2004-05: Cardiff City 4-1 Cardiff City Bluebirds
2005-06: Cardiff City 11-0 Pwllheli
2006-07: Cardiff City 6-1 Caernarfon Town
2007-08: Cardiff City 9-0 NEWI Wrexham
2008-09: Cardiff City 3-0 Caerphilly Castle
2009-10: Cardiff City 6-0 UWIC
2010-11: Swansea City 3-0 Caernarfon Town
2011-12: Cardiff City 1-1 (4-2 pen) UWIC
2012-13: Cardiff City 3-1 Cardiff Met
2013-14: Cardiff Met 4-0 Swansea City
2014-15: Swansea City 4-2 Cardiff City
2015-16: Cardiff City 5-2 Llandudno
2016-17: Cardiff Met 2-2 (5-4 pen) Swansea City
2017-18: Swansea City 2-1 Cardiff City
2018-19: Cardiff Met 2-0 Abergavenny

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