How women’s football in North Wales today would benefit from a return to the glories of the 1990’s and early 2000’s when Bangor City Girls were a major force.
Three Welsh Cup wins, becoming the only women’s team from the North to compete in Europe via the Uefa Cup and pushing the high-flyers in the English pyramid tier-two FA Women’s Premier League Northern Division.
The likes of Tania Jones, Ceryl Jones, Siwan Elenid, Manon Lloyd-Williams, Iona Williams and Cheryl Foster were all stars not just for Bangor, but also the Wales women’s national team.
Here is a look back to Bangor City Girls’ three Welsh Cup Final triumphs
Bangor City 3 (T Jones, Foster, C Jones)
Newcastle Emlyn 0
(Park Avenue, Aberystwyth – April 27, 1997)
Keith Fearns’ Bangor side had lost the previous two Welsh Cup finals, but it was third time lucky at Aberystwyth in 1997.
Taking on Newcastle Emlyn, City took a first-half lead when Ceryl Jones broke down the left and slipped the ball inside for Tania Jones to score with a long range beauty.
Cheryl Foster doubled the lead in the second half when a neat ball from midfield put the striker in the clear and she finished with clinical precision.
The game was sealed when Foster turned provider, releasing Ceryl Jones who calmly slotted past the keeper inside the penalty box.
Bangor City 3 (C Jones 2, Foster)
Newport County 0
(Latham Park, Newtown – May 6, 2001)
Bangor blitzed Broughton Ladies 12-0 away before sweeping aside much-fancied Barry Town 4-0 in the semis, setting up a meeting with Newport in the final at Newtown.
In a goalless first half, City did all the pressing but were unable to break the deadlock.
The second half followed the pattern of the first with Bangor again on top but failing to turn possession into goals.
It needed something special to break the deadlock and Ceryl Jones produced it with a 25 yard shot into the top corner.
Two goals in five minutes put the game safe for Bangor as Cheryl Foster and Ceryl Jones made it 3-0.
Victory was especially sweet for captain Bev Bourner, who was injured when City first won the cup in 1997, and for Siwan Elenid, who broke her leg in that final and missed out on the post-match celebrations.
Bangor team – 3-5-2: Nicki Davies, Karen Williams, Bev Bourner (c), Gill Smith, Siwan Elenid (Eleri Earnshaw), Tania Jones, Manon Lloyd Williams, Alwen Williams, Iona Williams (Kelly Davies), Cheryl Foster, Ceryl Jones.
Bangor City 4 (K Williams, C Jones, Orlik, Foster)
Newport County 2 (Jones, Morgan)
(Recreation Ground, Caersws – May 12, 2002)
City got off to a great start at the Recreation Ground in Powys when good work from full-back Alwen Williams put in Katie Williams to score after only 10 minutes.
Ceryl Jones doubled the lead after her free kick was dropped over the line by the Newport keeper.
Kelly Davies then suffered a cut to her forehead, which required lengthy treatment and Bangor were temporarily down to 10 players.
Davies bravely returned to the fray but Bangor then suffered a double blow.
A Newport free kick resulted in goalkeeper Nicky Davies being laid-out by a challenge. Play continued around the stricken keeper and Newport’s Emma Jones took full advantage to score into the unguarded net.
Davies had to leave the pitch with a facial injury and the diminutive striker Katie Williams went between the posts for Bangor.
Newport sensed the opposition were on the back foot but Bangor managed to hold onto their 2-1 lead to half time.
City started the second-half brightly and scored a third goal after good work from Foster set up Ailsa Orlik.
Newport though would not lie down and Morgan scored a good goal to make it a tense finish for the cup holders.
The game was only made safe in injury time after a long-range Cheryl Foster effort secured Bangor the Welsh Cup for the third time in their history.
Bangor team (4-4-2): Nicky Davies (Ailsa Orlik), Alwen Williams, Gill Smith, Louise Barlow, Laura Pritchard, Iona Williams, Tania Jones, Kelly Davies, Ceryl Jones, Cheryl Foster, Katie Williams.
Bangor City appeared in eight Welsh Cup finals in all. Their losing efforts were:
1994/95 Inter Cardiff 1-1 Bangor City – Inter won 4-3 pens (Cardiff Arms Park)
1995/96 Newport Strikers 1-0 Bangor City – aet (Racecourse, Wrexham)
1997/98 Barry Town 3-0 Bangor City (Weirglodd, Rhayader)
1999/00 Barry Town 2-2 Bangor City – 3-0 to Barry on pens (Caersws)
2002/03 Cardiff City 1-0 Bangor City (Welshpool)