Bangor City’s luck has never been in when it comes to one certain cup

Owain Tudur Jones scored for Bangor City in the 2002-03 League Cup Final at Rhyl. He later went on to play for Wales. Picture: FAW

Bangor City possess an illustrious history packed with trophy successes, big name players and managers, giant-killings and many glamour matches.

However, one competition where they have never quite got it right is the Welsh Premier League Cup, currently known as the Nathaniel MG Cup for sponsorship reasons.

I say quite, as they have actually reached SIX finals, but lost every one.

Only The New Saints (10) have made it to more finals (9 wins), with Bangor equal second on six appearances with Barry Town and Rhyl.

It will be 27 years tomorrow – May 21, 1994 – that the Citizens played in their first League Cup Final.

Four days after securing a first League of Wales crown with a 2-0 win at Porthmadog, City took on Afan Lido in the 1994 League Cup Final at Park Avenue, Aberystwyth. Bangor lost 1-0.

The Citizens met Barry Town in back-to-back finals in 1996-97 and 1997-98, but after drawing 2-2 and 1-1 respectively after extra time, they were twice beaten on penalties by the Jenner Park outfit.

The 1999-2000 final was a far more painful experience for City as they were caned 6-0 by Barry at Park Avenue.

In 2002-03, Bangor were in a fifth final, the opposition this time being Rhyl at their own Belle Vue stadium.

Sadly, another defeat on spot-kicks was in store for the all-blues.

Here is a rundown of the action on May 5, 2003

Rhyl 2 (Moran pen 15, McGinn 25)
Bangor City 2 (Evans 65, Jones 72)
(aet – Rhyl won 4-3 on pens)

A pulsating final ended with Rhyl winning their biggest trophy in Welsh football for 50 years.

The Lilywhites started at a gallop with Marc Limbert forcing a goal-line clearance which in turn fed Bangor’s Lee Hunt whose pass to strike partner Ross Jefferies led to a shot which forced a good save from keeper Paul Smith. The ball broke to Alan Goodall whose shot flashed wide.

With the wind at their backs Rhyl pushed forward for referee Simon Jones to award a rather harsh penalty against Chris Short for alleged handball.

Andy Moran scored confidently to put the Lilies ahead on 15 minutes. City fought back for Owain Tudur Jones to cross onto Hunt’s head but Smith denied the striker with a fine close range save.

On 25 minutes Rhyl doubled the advantage when a long ball skimmed over Short for Chris McGinn to fire home as Phil Priestley ran out to close the angles.

Limbert forced a good save from Priestley 10 minutes before the interval, and his well-taken corner needed a goal-line clearance from Aled Rowlands to keep the deficit within manageable proportions.

Half Time: Rhyl 2 Bangor City 0

With the wind at their backs Bangor had to do better, which is precisely what they did, forcing an amazing seven corners in the opening 15 minutes.

During this spell City’s Welsh international connection came to the fore, with Clayton Blackmore once and Simon Davies twice going close.

On 65 minutes City were back in contention as Ricky Evans sent a 30 yard scorcher past Smith into the top corner with unstoppable force.

Bangor pushed for an equaliser as Goodall brought the best out of Smith before Owain Tudur Jones headed home from a Davies cross despite the attention of Rhyl defenders.

City then sent on Marc Lloyd Williams for Jefferies with Gareth Williams replacing Short 10 minutes from time.

With 15 minutes remaining Goodall had to clear with Moran ready to pounce. Rhyl went close again through Adrian Moody before Hunt again forced a superb save from Smith after deceiving Mark Powell with a clever flick and turn.

And so to extra time.

Gareth Williams saw his shot palmed over whilst fellow substitute Lloyd Williams missed out from two yards. Michael Jackson went close for the hosts.

It came down to penalties, and Lilies keeper Paul Smith covered himself with glory as Rhyl won 4-3.

Bangor City: Phil Priestley, Aled Rowlands, Alan Goodall, Eifion Jones, Clayton Blackmore, Chris Short, Ross Jefferies, Ricky Evans, Lee Hunt, Simon Davies, Owain Jones. Subs: Gareth Williams, Marc Lloyd Williams, Kenny Burgess

Rhyl: Paul Smith, Mark Powell, Adrian Moody, Michael Jackson, Tim Edwards, Marc Limbert, Lee Atherton, Gareth Wilson, Gary Powell, Chris McGinn, Andy Moran. Subs: Nicky Brookman, Martyn Chalk, Mark Billingsley.

(REPORT: MIKE SMITH, CITIZENS CHOICE WEBSITE)

Bangor’s sixth and last League Cup final came in 2008-09 when they went down 2-0 against The New Saints at Newtown to complete an unwanted sextet of runners-up finishes.

Sometimes, certain competitions just don’t work your way, but the fact Bangor have won three Welsh Premier titles and eight Welsh Cups proves they have still been among the best at landing the silverware in Wales.

Copyright Dave Jones © All rights reserved. CoverNews by AF themes.
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