In the latest of a series of articles, Grassroots North Wales looks at the plight of clubs currently struggling but whose achievements in the recent past offer hope that the corner can be turned.
Today’s subject is PRESTATYN SPORTS
While the current football season has been far from kind to Prestatyn Sports, the club has still come a long way in a short time.
Formed in 2013-14, they were runners-up to Conwy Legion United in their debut season in Vale of Clwyd and Conwy League Division One, but the following campaign saw Sports land a unique quadruple.
When the Prestatyn side rounded off the season by defeating Llandudno Albion 2-1 in the Presidents Cup Final at Rhyl, it completed a tremendous four-timer the likes of which had not been done before or will ever be achieved again.
Sports won the Premier Division by a very comfortable 13-point margin, winning 19 out of 20 games and 10 from 10 away, hammered Waunfawr 5-1 in the final of the NWCFA Intermediate Cup and battered Rhyl Rovers 9-2 in the Premier Cup Final.
Goals flowed throughout the season for Mark Hughes and John Hargreaves’s team – 178 in 36 matches in all competitions making it an average of almost five per game.
After losing their fourth match of the campaign, 3-2 at home to Conwy Legion United, Sports then embarked on a remarkable run of 29 straight victories before exiting the Clwyd Cup at the semi-final stage to eventual competition winners Aston Park Rangers.
The club itself actually celebrated a five-timer in 2014-15 as Prestatyn Sports Reserves won the Vale of Clwyd and Conwy Division One title.
Sports had been second best in their debut season to Division One champions Legion, but they gained revenge in 2014/15, winning three out of four tussles with the Conwy outfit and finishing 13 points ahead of them in the Premier.
Darren Cassidy was top-goalscorer with 51 and Craig Griffiths notched 45.
Sports were promoted to the Welsh Alliance in 2015-16 and in their first season finished sixth in Division Two and were Take Stock Van Hire Challenge Cup runners-up.
The following campaign, the Prestatyn side went one better and won the Take Stock Van Hire Challenge Cup, also claiming third spot in Division Two.
The 2017-18 season was an amazing one for Sports as they romped to the Division Two title, ending up eight points clear and recording a perfect home record of 14 straight wins.
In their first season in Division One, Sports finished a very respectable seventh and it is only in the current campaign that the team has found life a struggle for the first time, still seeking a first win after 20 attempts and sitting bottom of the pile.
It remains to be seen how the future lies for Prestatyn Sports, but one thing is for sure, in their seven seasons of existence they have achieved an awful lot to be proud of.
And they have proved many detractors and critics wrong along the way.
Prestatyn Sports – league record
Vale of Clwyd and Conwy Division One runners-up: P 18 W 14 D 1 L 3 GF 81 GA 21 Pts 43
Vale of Clwyd and Conwy Premier Division champions: P 20 W 19 D 0 L 1 GF 107 GA 20 Pts 57
Welsh Alliance Division Two (6th position): P 24 W 11 D 4 L 9 GF 72 GA 57 Pts 37
Welsh Alliance Division Two (3rd): P 26 W 17 D 2 L 7 GF 93 GA 51 Pts 50 * 3 pts deducted
Welsh Alliance Division Two (1st): P 28 W 24 D 3 L 1 GF 117 GA 30 Pts 75
Welsh Alliance Division One (7th): P 28 W 12 D 3 L 13 GF 53 GA 56 Pts 39
Welsh Alliance Division One: P 20 W 0 D 2 L 18 GF 27 GA 72 Pts 2. Current position: 16th (bottom).
Goals For 550
Goals Against 307
2014/15 – Vale of Clwyd and Conwy League Premier Division champions, NWCFA Intermediate Cup winners, Premier Cup winners, Presidents Cup winners
2016-17 – Division Two Take Stock Van Hire Challenge Cup winners
2017-18 – Welsh Alliance Division Two champions