Buoyed by last season’s first-ever title success, Connah’s Quay Nomads hit the ground running in 2020-21 by going undefeated in their opening seven matches – winning six.
Yet it could have all gone wrong right at the start as they trailed Bala Town 1-0 at home deep into injury time in their first match.
Enter Sameron Dool in the 94th minute with a 25-yard stunner to equalise and earn a point for the champions.
It was that type of character which typified the Nomads’ campaign.
Six straight wins ensued before a narrow 1-0 loss at The New Saints in a game the Quay deserved to get something out of.
After a 0-0 split with Barry Town United, the Deesiders embarked on a CPL club record nine consecutive victories.
At the end of phase one, Andy Morrison’s men were top of the table having taken 57 points out of a possible 66.
The second phase began badly for the Championship Conference leaders as they lost 2-0 to Penybont at Deeside Stadium – their first home league defeat in more than two years.
The response was emphatic – four wins on the bounce which included a magnificent 4-1 triumph at TNS. It was the Quay’s first win at Park Hall since the full-timers changed their name from Llansantffraid to Total Network Solutions back in 2006.
Despite a defeat at Bala in their next game, then a 0-0 draw with Saints at Deeside Stadium a week after the 4-1 massacre, Nomads lifted themselves for one last push, winning their final three matches to seal back-to-back championships.
Never more was their indomitable spirit called upon than when they were 1-0 down at Barry in their third-to-last game, but recovered to win 2-1 with a pair of late goals. The celebrations said it all.
It was very much a team effort with goals spread throughout the side. Mike Wilde led the way and passed 200 Welsh Premier goals in the process, but many others like Callum Morris (10), captain fantastic George Horan (7), Craig Curran (6) and Aeron Edwards (5) produced crucial net-finding contributions.
Nomads were pushed hard by TNS, harder than any CPL champions in the 32-game, 12-team era, but they proved an irresistible force and worthy title winners.
How the title was won
Final record: Played 32 Won 25 Drawn 4 Lost 3 Points 79 Position 1st (champions)
May 15: Penybont (away) 2-0 (George Horan, Aeron Edwards)
May 8: Caernarfon Town (home) 4-0 (Jamie Insall, Aron Williams, Callum Morris 2)
May 4: Barry Town United (away) 2-1 (Callum Morris pen, Craig Curran)
May 1: The New Saints (home) 0-0
Apr 28: Bala Town (away) 1-2 (Callum Morris pen)
Apr 24: The New Saints (away) 4-1 (Mike Wilde 3, Jamie Insall)
Apr 20: Bala Town (home) 2-0 (Declan Poole, George Horan)
Apr 17: Barry Town United (home) 1-0 (Mike Wilde)
Apr 13: Caernarfon Town (away) 6-1 (Declan Poole, Mike Wilde, Cai Jones OG, George Horan, Danny Davies 2)
Apr 10: Penybont (home) 0-2 – first home league loss in over two years
End of phase one: Played 22 Won 18 Drawn 3 Lost 1 Points 57 Position 1st
14 matches undefeated
Apr 2: Newtown (away) 5-1 (Craig Curran, Neil Danns, Callum Morris pen, Mike Wilde, Jamie Insall)
Mar 20: Haverfordwest County (home) 2-0 (George Horan, Mike Wilde)
Mar 16: Bala Town (away) 3-1 (George Horan, Callum Morris pen, Craig Curran)
Mar 13: Penybont (away) 0-0
Club record nine straight wins
Mar 9: Flint Town United (away) 1-0 (Mike Wilde)
Mar 6: Newtown (home) 2-1 (George Horan, Mike Wilde)
Dec 19: Cardiff Met (home) 3-1 (Mike Wilde, George Horan, Aron Williams)
Dec 12: The New Saints (home) 2-0 (Aeron Edwards, Mike Wilde)
Dec 4: Aberystwyth Town (away) 3-1 (Danny Davies, Mike Wilde 2)
Dec 1: Flint Town United (home) 2-0 (Danny Davies, Sameron Dool)
Nov 29: Barry Town United (home) 3-1 (Mike Wilde, Declan Poole, Aeron Edwards)
Nov 20: Cefn Druids (home) 2-1 (Mike Wilde, Ryan Kershaw OG)
Nov 13: Caernarfon Town (away) 2-1 (Mike Wilde, Callum Morris pen)
Oct 17: Barry Town United (away) 0-0
Oct 13: The New Saints (away) 0-1
First seven league games undefeated
Oct 10: Cardiff Met (away) 2-1 (Priestley Farquharson, Craig Curran)
Oct 6: Caernarfon Town (home) 3-1 (Priestley Farquharson 2, Mike Wilde)
Oct 3: Cefn Druids (away) 5-0 (Callum Morris 3, 1 pen, Mike Wilde 2)
Sep 30: Aberystwyth Town (home) 2-0 (John Disney pen, Aeron Edwards)
Sep 27: Haverfordwest County (away) 4-1 (Craig Curran 2, Aeron Edwards, Declan Poole)
Sep 20: Penybont (home) 1-0 (Kris Owens)
Sep 12: Bala Town (home) 1-1 (Sameron Dool)
Goalscorers (70 league goals)
19 – Mike Wilde
10 – Callum Morris
7 – George Horan
6 – Craig Curran
5 – Aeron Edwards
4 – Declan Poole, Danny Davies
3 – Priestley Farquharson, Jamie Insall
2 – Aron Williams, Sameron Dool, 2 Own Goals
1 – John Disney, Kris Owens, Neil Danns