Remembering Rob….treble and Welsh Cup glamour – the CPD Gwalchmai years

Celebration time. Rob Hughes (third left in white tracksuit top) and fellow manager Paul Owen celebrate winning the 2009-10 Gwynedd League title with players Jon Williams, Andrew Sinclair, Kenny Hughes (GK), Jason Thomas and Steven Sinclair. Picture: Dai Sinclair

Continuing our celebration of the football life of the late Rob Hughes (1977-2020) we reflect on his successes at CPD Gwalchmai alongside Paul Owen.

Rob Hughes was involved in many exciting games in his managerial career.

But which one was the most thrilling of all?

For pure drama the 2009-10 Gwynedd League title decider between Bodedern Athletic v Gwalchmai would take some beating.

Having been manager at Bodedern until the club’s enforced resignation from the Cymru Alliance League in 2007-08, Rob accepted an invitation from Gwalch’s Paul Owen to become joint-boss with him at Maes Meurig in the 2009-10 season.

On May 4, 2010, Gwalch took on Boded needing just a point to be crowned Gwynedd League champions. A win for Boded would secure them the title.

Athletic were on course to finish top at half time after a Iwan Jones goal gave them a 1-0 interval lead.

Craig Evans celebrates his title-clinching equaliser against Bodedern. Pic: Dai Sinclair

Ricky Williams’ Boded side had chances to extend their lead in the second half before Craig Evans slammed in a stunning 30-yard equaliser for Gwalch.

That sealed the title for Owen and Hughes’ men, who were in only their second season at this level.

Despite finishing runners-up, Bodedern elevated to the Welsh Alliance League, along with Gwalchmai, for the 2010-11 season.

Gwalch also won the Gwynedd Premier Cup and Cwpan Gwynedd in 2009-10, making it a tremendous treble for Messrs Owen and Hughes.

The villagers also reached the NWCFA Intermediate Cup and Barritt Cup finals, but were beaten by Prestatyn Town Reserves and Pwllheli respectively at Farrar Road, Bangor.

“The league was the one we really wanted – the cups were a bonus,” said joint boss Owen.

In 2010-11, Owen and Hughes made more headlines when Gwalchmai progressed to the third round proper of the Welsh Cup.

Rob (left) and Paul prepare to be interviewed for S4C about the Port Talbot tie. Picture: Dai Sinclair

After knocking out Barmouth and Dyffryn United (4-0), Gwalch eliminated Cymru Alliance favourites Buckley Town in a giant-killing to secure a home tie with Welsh Premier League stars Port Talbot Town, beaten cup finalists the previous season, in the last 32.

In a match televised by S4C, Gwalch were beaten 4-1 by Mark Jones’ side, but put up a great show.

Another special memory for Rob Hughes’ memory bank, as well as everyone else connected with CPD Gwalchmai.

Rob later joined Llangefni Town as first-team assistant manager to Chris Roberts in 2014-15.

Previously, in 2002-03, Rob and John Buckland won a five-timer with Llangefni Town Reserves in the Anglesey League.

We will look back further at Rob’s Llangefni days soon.

RIP our good friend

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