When Denbigh and Llandudno ladies did North Wales women’s football truly proud

Denbigh Ladies marched on to the semi-finals of the Welsh Cup for the first time in their history. Pictured in the middle row furthest left is hat-trick hero Mari Edwards

Five years ago this week there was excitement in North Wales women’s football when Denbigh Town and Llandudno advanced to the Welsh Cup semi-finals.

And when the draw for the last four was made, the Gogledd Cymru duo were paired together!

In the quarter-finals, North Wales League side Denbigh cast aside Northop Hall 3-0, while Welsh Premier Llandudno edged a hard-fought 2-1 victory at Cwmbran Celtic.

Here are the respective match reports…..

Denbigh Town 3 (Edwards 25, 40 & 65)
gap Northop Hall 0

Mari Edwards (orange No 10) scores Denbigh’s opener

Hat-trick hero Mari Edwards led Denbigh into their first-ever Welsh Cup semi-final.

Taking on fellow NWWFL side Hall, Town began the game well, pressing the away team back and came close to scoring on 10 minutes when Chelsea Williams fired a shot just past the post.

Northop, with their quick forwards, were looking dangerous on the break and could have taken the lead themselves but some fine defending from Gwawr Williams prevented an effort on goal.

The home side gradually gained the upper hand with Chelsea Williams, Mari Edwards and Chelsea Doherty all going close.

The pressure had to tell and on 25 minutes the opening goal came, after Gwawr Williams broke up an attempted counter attack just inside the Denbigh half.

Williams strode forward and played the ball through for Edwards, who drove at the defence before unleashing a shot into the top corner of the net, to the keeper’s right, from outside the area.

It was one-way traffic now with Denbigh dominating possession and creating chances. Chelsea Williams again went close, first firing over from just inside the box, then heading narrowly wide from a great cross from Edwards.

It seemed only a matter of time before the second goal would arrive but it took until the 40th minute for it to happen.

After some good interplay with Chelsea Williams, Joanna McKinney played an inch perfect through pass for Edwards to score her second, sliding the ball past the keeper and the despairing lunge of a defender from an acute angle.

Half time came with the home side leading 2-0 but it could have and should have been more.

The first 20 minutes of the second half were a complete turnaround as Northop came out strongly and pushed Denbigh back as they searched for a goal to get themselves back in the game.

The home defence were standing firm but were indebted to goalkeeper Netty Jones on the hour mark as she dived full length to her right to push the ball onto the bar and as it came down captain Siwan Roberts cleared to safety.

Denbigh’s defenders were putting their bodies on the line to maintain the lead and it paid dividends on 65 minutes when they increased their lead.

On a rare foray into the Northop half Edwards picked up the ball and attacked the defence.

From 25 yards out, she struck a shot which the keeper was at full stretch to keep out and it looked as though she had succeeded until the eagle-eyed referee’s assistant raised her flag to signal the ball had crossed the line.

Cwmbran Celtic 1 (Regan)
MBi Llandudno 2 (Bowe 67, Davies 75)

Llandudno ladies progressed to the last four. Kelsey Davies (front row – furthest left) scored the winning goal

Tudno, who travelled with a squad of just 13 players, recovered from a goal down to win at Cwmbran.

In the first half, the South Wales outfit were well on top and come the interval they should have been further ahead than a goal from Wales Under-19 international Lois Regan.

Llandudno should have equalised when Kelsey Davies sent in a peach of a cross but Rosie Hughes failed to connect.

The visitors bucked their ideas up in the second half and when the equaliser came at the midway point, it was well deserved.

Katie Bowe let fly with a fierce strike from outside the box which flew in for her 10th goal of the season.

And Tudno took the lead with the final quarter-hour approaching.

Bowe hit a sublime long range pass over the defence into the path of Davies, who produced a magnificent side-footed lob beyond the goalkeeper to make it 2-1.

Cwmbran fought back strongly in a bid to equalise, but come the final whistle it was Llandudno who progressed.

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