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Ten great matches at Belle Vue which did NOT feature Rhyl FC

Amlwch Town Ladies were overjoyed to win the Supplementary Cup at Belle Vue in 2019

Being such an in-demand stadium, especially after major improvements were carried out from 2000 onwards, Belle Vue staged many prestige matches which did not feature the Lilywhites.

Cup finals, European ties and even internationals have taken place at the home of the now-to-be former Rhyl Football Club over the past 20 years.

Here are some of the finest I covered as a reporter, I’m sure you readers can think of many more.

Holywell Town 3 Conwy United 2 (2010/11 FAW Trophy Final)

Holywell celebrate their amazing success. Pic: Tony Mottram

The 2011 FAW Trophy Final at Belle Vue was one of North Wales football’s most amazing matches ever.

Conwy led after 17 minutes through 40-goal top scorer Toby Jones and the Tangerines looked to have one hand firmly on the coveted prize in the 85th minute when Tony Hogan found his own net.

Entering the 90th minute, Conwy’s Mark Orme handled on the line, was sent off by referee Mike Jones, and Steve Thomas scored from the spot.

The assistant referee displayed there would be five minutes of added time and the Wellmen levelled from a second Thomas penalty.

With four minutes of the five played, Hogan turned from villain to hero by poking home the winner.

Wales 6 Gibraltar 2 (Four Nations semi pro 2008)

Craig Jones of Rhyl scored a hat-trick for Wales (Photo by Neal Simpson – PA Images via Getty Images)

Rhyl’s Craig Jones netted a hat-trick at his home ground in a 6-2 victory for Wales in the 2008 Four Nations Semi-Professional Tournament.

Belle Vue staged all three of Wales’ matches, but the Gibraltar clash brought their only win.

Bangor City’s Les Davies also scored with a pair of headers and Chad Bond added a single.

From 1979 to 1987 the tournament was known as Torneo delle Quattro Nazioni per Rappresentative di Lega, and originally involved Scotland Semi-Pro, England Semi-Pro, Netherlands Amateurs and Italy Serie C U-21s.

The tournament was cancelled in 1986 and then scrapped from 1988 to 2001

When it returned in 2002, the semi-pro teams of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales competed.

The Gibraltar full national team replaced Ireland in 2008.

Gibraltar’s anthem was superb, it got a massive round of applause at Belle Vue and I liked it so much, match delegate Ceri Stennett gave me the CD with it on.

Amlwch Town 2 Wrexham 1 (North Wales Women’s League Supplementary Cup Final 2019)

Team-mates Carol Lewis (left) and Laura Pritchard-Eynon celebrate at the final whistle. Amlwch Town pictures: Gethin Jones

A wonderful occasion saw a lively crowd at Belle Vue witness Amlwch’s women secure a first major trophy.

Wrexham took the lead on 35 minutes through Savannah Palin and stayed in front till half time.

Two goals in five minutes after the break settled it.

Cerys Gadd’s firm shot could only be palmed into the net by the Dragons keeper before Lexi Crawley knocked in the winner.

After the game, Amlwch partied like it was 1999. Scenes!

Bala Town 2 FC Differdange 1 (Europa League 2015-16)

Bala were desperately unlucky not to experience Europa League joy at Belle Vue

Utter heartbreak for Bala as an injury time goal denied them progression in the Europa League.

Trailing 3-1 from the first leg in Luxembourg, the Lakesiders pulled level in the tie through goals from Conall Murtagh (48) and Ian Sheridan (83) and Town were set to advance on away goals at that stage.

But from virtually their first threat of the night, Differdange striker Er Rafik volleyed home in the fifth added minute (four were signalled) following a desperate lob into the box.

I’ve rarely felt as dejected at the end of a match.

North Wales Under-21 tournament (August 2001)

What an occasion it was at Belle Vue in 2001 as Rhyl and Wrexham jointly hosted an international under-21 tournament.

Manchester City, Aston Villa, Juventus and Wrexham competed over four days and nights of quality action.

Belle Vue staged most of the matches: Juventus v Manchester City, Juventus v Villa, Wrexham v City and Villa v City, with the Racecourse the venue for two other games.

City won the tournament, Villa were second, Wrexham third and a very young Juventus squad fourth.

FC Mally 1 Sun Inn 1 (Lee Jones Cup Final – Mally won 5-4 on pens, 2015)

Mally celebrate making it back to back quads at Rhyl in 2015

Belle Vue regularly staged Sunday League finals and in 2015 Llandudno Junction side the Mally completed back-to-back quadruples by pipping local team Sun Inn on spot-kicks.

Goalkeeper Chris Twist produced a phenomenal first-half save before Mally took a 77th-minute lead through Mezz Knight.

Rhyl side Sun equalised in injury time to force an added half-hour which produced no more goals.

So it was down to penalties and Twist pulled off another great stop, ensuring successful kicks by Knight, Tom Patel, Mally Tidswell, Sam Magill and Nick Hughes sealed the quad for Nathan Watson’s side.

Bangor City 1 The New Saints 0 (Welsh Cup semi-final 2012-13)

Chris Jones (left) sank the Saints at Belle Vue. Jones is pictured with then Bangor manager Neville Powell (Photo by Martin Rickett/PA Images via Getty Images)

Chris Jones’ late dipping effort secured a fantastic win for City over hot favourites TNS in this Welsh Cup semi at a sunny Rhyl.

Bangor lost four times to Saints in the Welsh Premier that season, but they were fired up from the first whistle at Belle Vue and deserved their success.

Match-winner Jones was chaired off the field by City fans at the end as the club reached its fifth Welsh Cup final in six years.

Abergele 2 Prestatyn Town Reserves 2 (Abergele won on pens – 1998-99 NWCFA Junior Cup Final)

Only a short journey for these two finalists to Rhyl and they served up a cracking showpiece.

It finished 2-2 after extra time and Gele triumphed on penalties. I cannot recall the scorers, but Andy Davies was a big player for the winners.

Bangor City 5 Cefn Druids 0 (Welsh Cup semi-final 2001/02)

Marc Lloyd Williams scored 66 goals in all competitions for Bangor City in 2001/02 – 47 in the League of Wales. Pic: Citizens Choice website

City had already been to Rhyl once in the Welsh Cup this season, two Simon Davies goals seeing off the Lilywhites 2-1.

There was a massive crowd for the semi against Cefn Druids, most of them Citizens followers.

It ended up a no contest, Bangor leading 2-0 at half time and adding three more after the break.

The unstoppable Marc Lloyd-Williams hit a hat-trick for the victors, Kenny Burgess and Craig Roberts – with the goal of the game – the rest.

Cefn Druids 4 Airbus UK Broughton 1 (Welsh Cup semi-finals 2011/12)

Huws Gray Alliance side Druids claimed their third Welsh Premier scalp in the competition when they swept aside Airbus at Belle Vue to reach the final for the first time since 1904.

Tony Cann (2), Andrew Swarbrick and a Tommy Holmes own goal put paid to the lacklustre Wingmakers, whose only response was an Adam Hesp OG.

Druids lost in the final to TNS, but still reached Europe for the first time with Saints having qualified for the Champions League through winning the Welsh Premier.

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