Flashback: NWCFA Challenge Cup Final – Denbigh Town v Rhyl (2005/06)

Rhyl captain Timmy Edwards lifts the NWCFA Challenge Cup. The Lilywhites won the competition for a record 16th time in 2006 after beating Denbigh in the final

Next season the North Wales Coast FA Challenge Cup competition is due to return after a six-year absence.

Grassroots North Wales is running a mini-series recollecting past finals.

We kick off with a corker from 2005-06 where Welsh Cup holders Rhyl were given a real battle by Welsh Alliance League underdogs Denbigh Town.

Denbigh Town 1 (Evans) Rhyl 2 (Moran 2, 1 pen)
NWCFA Challenge Cup Final – May 10, 2006

Three days after beating Bangor City 2-0 in the Welsh Cup Final, Rhyl found Denbigh Town of the Welsh Alliance a much harder proposition in the North Wales Coast Challenge Cup Final at Llanelian Road, Colwyn Bay.

With Denbigh having already lifted the Cookson Cup and Barritt Cup, the Vale of Clwyd underdogs were going for a knockout treble, but were very much second favourites going into the showpiece against Welsh Premier opposition.

However, Town produced one of their finest performances in years to make a real fist of an exciting final.

The full-strength Lilywhites took a 13th minute lead when Kevin Jones was guilty of handball in the area as Lee Hunt attempted to pass him and Andy Moran fired in the resulting penalty despite keeper Neil Bickley getting a hand to the kick.

A Timmy Edwards header from a Stuart Graves corner forced a fine Bickley stop, but Town were competing well and they levelled on 35 minutes with their first goal attempt of the match.

Richard Williams-Cooke threaded a lovely ball into the path of Ian Evans who drove home a right foot cracker from just outside the box – his 34th goal of the season.

Graves hit a right-footer just wide, but the interval arrived with the score at 1-1 and an upset still on the cards.

Half-time: 1-1

Four minutes after the break the Lilies bagged what turned out to be the winner when Hunt and Chris Sharp exchanged passes in the area and Moran drove in from 12 yards.

Moran should have made it 3-1 from a cross by substitute Chris Adamson but glanced his free-header wide.

Town so nearly equalised on 65 minutes when substitute Mark Roberts left Edwards for dead with his pace and his right foot effort was inches away from making it 2-2.

Had the shot gone in Roberts would have written himself into Denbigh folklore as he had produced the most exciting moment of the final.

Shaun Clements should have hit an equaliser moments later but miss-kicked with the goal at his mercy.

Hunt clattered the bar soon after and then forced a fantastic save from Bickley after latching on to a Marc Limbert through ball.

Kevin Evans blazed just over for Town before in injury time Hunt met a low cross by Limbert full force, but the brilliant Bickley pulled off the save of the match.

What a season for Denbigh! Cookson Cup and Barritt Cup winners, Welsh Alliance League runners-up and now heroic North Wales Coast Challenge Cup finalists.

Rhyl completed a double to make it seven trophies in four seasons under John Hulse.

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