Nomads become first North Wales team to win League Cup three times and manager Harrison lands 14th major domestic honour

Nomads keeper and hero Oliver Byrne (blue) is mobbed by team-mates and supporters after Saturday’s Nathaniel MG Cup shoot-out victory. Picture: JOHN SMITH/FAW

Congratulations Connah’s Quay Nomads – the first North Wales club to win the Welsh League Cup three times.

Craig Harrison’s side completed the feat on Saturday when they beat Cardiff Met University 10-9 on penalties after a 0-0 match scoreline at the SDM Glass Stadium in Penybont.

Nomads made it back-to-back league cup (named the Nathaniel MG Cup for sponsorship purposes) successes to duplicate their achievement in lifting successive Cymru Premier League titles.

For Harrison, it was a first trophy as sole first-team manager at Deeside Stadium, the former Middlesbrough and Crystal Palace defender having progressed from being Nomads assistant boss to taking over from Andy Morrison, who stepped down in September.

Connah’s Quay Nomads coach Craig Harrison poses for a photo with the Nathaniel MG trophy. Pic By John Smith/FAW

Harrison previously enjoyed a trophy-laden stint as manager of The New Saints between 2011-17, winning……

6 Welsh Premier titles on the bounce
4 Welsh Cups
3 League Cups
2 domestic trebles
2 Uefa Champions League tie victories (won both legs twice)
13 major Welsh honours in all.

He was also in charge when the Saints set a new world record of 27 straight wins in 2016-17, beating the previous best set by Ajax in 1972.

Nomads coach Craig Harrison during the Nathaniel MG Cup Final between Cardiff Metropolitan University Connah’s Quay at the The SDM Glass Stadium, Bridgend. Pic By John Smith/FAW

After Saturday’s epic League Cup final win, Harrison said: “Everyone loves to win trophies, everyone loves cup finals and the drama at the end just sums up a cup final.

‘’I’m very pleased, but obviously, we would have liked to have won it in normal time and not go through all that stress and strain.

“But we’ve won another trophy and it gives everyone a bit more confidence to kick on again.

‘’I think the best way to win a final is to win 3-0 or 4-0 and be comfortable from early on. It’s probably the worst way to lose a final, but probably the best way to win one too.”

SHOOT-OUT DRAMA

Connah’s Quay Nomads goalkeeper Oliver Byrne celebrates a Cardiff Met penalty miss. Pic By John Smith/FAW

The two teams couldn’t be separated after 90 minutes at the Bridgend stadium and each side took 12 penalties each to determine the winners.

Callum Morris, Neal Eardley and Kris Owens all netted from the spot for the Nomads, but Eliot Evans, CJ Craven and Kyle McCarthy replied for the Archers – 3-3.

Striker Jamie Insall’s ‘Poundshop Panenka’ chip down the middle tried to catch Alex Lang off guard, but the keeper stood his ground in the shoot-out’s first save, with substitute Liam Warman then giving Met the upper hand.

Despite the pressure of needing to convert, Aeron Edwards netted, meaning Emlyn Lewis had the opportunity to clinch the trophy but his effort was denied by Byrne. 4-4

Met had another chance following Lang’s brilliant save from Paulo Mendes in sudden death, but Byrne produced a second stop to keep out Joseph Evans’ attempt.

Both goalkeepers then converted from 12 yards, before Eliot Evans, who had to score to keep Met in the tie, saw his effort denied by the post as the Nomads sealed the victory.

Connah’s Quay celebrate with the trophy. Pic By John Smith/FAW

Connah’s Quay Nomads

Oliver Byrne, George Horan, Paulo Mendes, Jamie Mullan (Jamie Insall 69), Callum Morris, Declan Poole, Danny Holmes, Kris Owens, Neal Eardley, Aeron Edwards, Connor Simpson (Craig Curran 62).
Subs not used: McKenzie Price-Griffiths (gk), Ryan Harrington, James Owen, Josh Williams, Giácomo Mello Corbellini.

NATHANIEL MG CUP/WELSH LEAGUE CUP LIST OF WINNERS

1992–93: Afan Lido 1-1 Caersws (Afan Lido won 4–3 on penalties)
1993–94: Afan Lido 1-0 Bangor City
1994–95: Llansantffraid 2-1 Ton Pentre
1995–96: Connah’s Quay Nomads 1-0 Ebbw Vale
1996–97: Barry Town 2-2 Bangor City (Barry Town won 4–2 on penalties)
1997–98: Barry Town 1-1 Bangor City (Barry Town won 5–4 on penalties)
1998–99: Barry Town 3-0 Caernarfon Town
1999–2000: Barry Town 6-0 Bangor City
2000–01: Caersws 2-0 Barry Town
2001–02: Caersws 2-1 Cwmbran Town
2002–03: Rhyl 2-2 Bangor City (Rhyl won 4–3 on penalties)
2003–04: Rhyl 4-0 Carmarthen Town
2004–05: Carmarthen Town 2-0 (aet) Rhyl
2005–06: Total Network Solutions 4-0 Port Talbot Town
2006–07: Caersws 1-1 Rhyl (Caersws won 3–1 on penalties)
2007–08: Llanelli 2-0 Rhyl
2008–09: The New Saints 2-0 Bangor City
2009–10: The New Saints 3-1 Rhyl
2010–11: The New Saints 4-3 (aet) Llanelli
2011–12: Afan Lido 1-1 Newtown (Afan Lido won 3–2 on penalties)
2012–13: Carmarthen Town 3-3 The New Saints (Carmarthen Town won 3–1 on penalties)
2013–14 Carmarthen Town 0-0 Bala Town (Carmarthen Town won 3–1 on penalties)
2014–15: The New Saints 3-0 Bala Town
2015–16: The New Saints 2-0 Denbigh Town
2016–17: The New Saints 4-0 Barry Town United
2017–18: The New Saints 1-0 Cardiff Met University
2018–19 Cardiff Met University 2-0 Cambrian & Clydach Vale
2019–20: Connah’s Quay Nomads 3-0 STM Sports
2020–21 Cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic
2021-22 Connah’s Quay Nomads 0-0 Cardiff Met University (Nomads won 10-9 pens)

WINS

9 – The New Saints
4 – Barry Town
3 – Connah’s Quay Nomads, Caersws, Carmarthen Town, Afan Lido
2 – Rhyl,
1 – Llanelli, Cardiff Met University

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