Pride of the north Penrhyn Bay aiming for more Welsh Cup glory this Sunday

Meet the Penrhyn Bay squad who will compete in the FAW Girls Cup Final on Sunday. Back row (l to r) – Charlotte Perry, Cristiana Allen, Phoebe Ellis, Millie Spencer, Alaw Rowlandson, Polly Wild-McGregor, Catrin Vaughan, Elise Rowlands
Front row (l to r) – Alys Davis, Erin Doran, Keira Moore, Rhian Edwards, Azita Ahari.
Picture: WILL DAVIS

The phenomenal Penrhyn Bay Under-16 girls side will compete in their third Welsh Cup final in four seasons this weekend.

Owen Davis’ young stars will take on Cardiff City in the FAW Girls Final at Park Avenue, Aberystwyth, on Sunday, April 10, kick-off 12.30 pm.

Penrhyn Bay beat Villa Dino Christchurch 3-2 in the 2018-19 final thanks to an Ella Jones hat-trick, then in the 2020-21 showpiece game a Sophie Rawling treble was not quite enough to prevent a 4-3 loss to Barry Town United.

Now the Bay wonders are back in the final again and aiming to become the only North Wales under-16 girls team to lift the Welsh Cup twice.

Having seen off Bethel and Bangor 1876 in the group stage of this season’s competition, they beat Bethel again in the first round proper before getting past Thornhill AFC on a quarter-final walkover, then defeating Treowen Stars in the semis on February 13.

Bay have already secured the North Wales League Under-16 division championship with an immaculate record of 12 straight wins and they remain in the League Cup, so the treble is still on.

First comes Sunday’s final and a meeting with Cardiff City Under-16’s, who have eliminated Abergavenny (8-1), Barry Town United (6-0), Talycopa AFC Rangers (4-1), Johnstown AFC (7-1) and, in the semis, North Wales’ Caernarfon Town 3-1.

Cardiff have lost just once in 22 matches this season, but Penrhyn Bay have also suffered only one defeat across 18 games in all competitions.

Penrhyn Bay manager Owen John Davis. Pic by Ashley Crowden/FAW)

Here is a look at the Penrhyn Bay squad with manager OWEN DAVIS

Penrhyn Bay Under 16’s Girls 2021/22
Total – 18 games – 17 Wins – 1 defeat – 116 goals scored – 20 goals conceded.
League Champions – 12 wins from 12 games.

Millie Spencer (GK) – Played 16 – Goals scored 1

Millie is a great character within the group, and though she has started the majority of games in goal, she would be equally as much of an asset playing out, being one of the more naturally gifted players in the squad with the ball at her feet. Mills is a long-standing member of the club, having played from an early age and is a very popular team-mate. Her performances between the sticks have improved as the season has progressed, never illustrated better than in last week’s cup game against Bethel, when she made a series of fantastic saves. A true asset to the team.

Charlotte Perry (Def) – Played 16 – Goals scored 2

Charlotte is a long-serving player for the club who has a fantastic footballing brain and can be relied upon 100%. Quietly spoken and so popular among her team-mates, Charlotte is the epitome of reliability and can cover a number of positions. Calm and collected with the ball at her feet and strong in the tackle, Charlotte was missed in the early part of the season after sustaining a knee injury in our opening game which resulted in a period on crutches. Her timely return to the squad has been critical in the successful season we have had.

Azita Ahari (Def) – Played 18 – Goals scored 1

Azita has been an ever-present this season and critically so. A key member of our defensive unit, Azita possesses a magnificent left foot and is equally adept at attacking as she is at defending our left flank. Azita has a superb attitude to the game and is another who quietly goes about her job never putting a foot wrong. If we were talking premiership footballers, Azita would be your typical under-rated player who avoids the limelight. However, within this group of girls, everybody knows that Azita is absolutely critical to the team and to any success that we achieve.

Catrin Vaughan (Def) – Played 17 – Goals scored 2

WOW! What a season Catrin has had for us thus far. A real class act at the back, Catrin has been hailed as our very own “Van Dijk” this season! Her ability to read the game and cover masses of ground has enabled us to tinker with different formations through the season, and has been instrumental in providing a solid base from which to free up our attacking talent. Catrin was superb in our Welsh Cup semi final against Treowen, as she has been in every game, and will aiming to emulate her sister Elen, who lifted the trophy for the club in 2019.

Keira Moore (Def) – Played 16

Where do I start with Keira??!!! Sensational!! Anybody who has watched us this season would simply not believe that this is Keira’s first ever season playing for a girls’ football team. She has slotted into our defensive unit and has just gone from strength to strength after her impressive debut in Llanfairpwll. Strong in the tackle, and deceptively quick to cover ground, Keira has simply been a revelation. On top of her great quality on the pitch, Keira is also a fantastic character within the squad, with her bubbly personality making her a leader-in-the-making.

Rhian Edwards (Def/Mid) – Played 15 – Goals scored 2

Another quietly-spoken girl, Rhian is another crucial component to a hopefully well-oiled cog! Without doubt the fittest member of the squad, Rhian covers every blade of grass and makes Ngolo Kante look lazy!! Rhian can play in a multitude of positions but is most effective centrally as part of the spine of the team. She is another great reader of the game and does the simple things well and effectively. Scored an absolute screamer in our home fixture against Bethel which secured the league title. Every team needs a Rhian!!

Alaw Rowlandson (Mid) – Played 18 – Goals scored 10

Alaw joined the team this season, having decided to re-start her football career by attending pre-season training. We were incredibly fortunate that she came along, as she is another who has been an absolute revelation and is an ever-present in the side. Alaw possesses masses of natural talent and is so comfortable with the ball at her feet but is also extremely strong and hard to knock off the ball. Possessing a fiercely competitive nature on the pitch, she is a driving force who can score goals as well as setting them up. Alaw is a real game-changer and another great character within the group.

Erin Doran (Mid) Club Captain – Played 15 – Goals scored 15

Erin Doran is a remarkable talent. Picture: WILL DAVIS

A name that many followers of North Wales girls’ football will already be more than aware of, Erin is our club captain bringing masses of talent and experience to the team. Getting Erin to sign up for the season was vital in us even being able to get a team together and competing in the league. A fantastic footballer, who has been involved in the Welsh international set up at younger age groups, Erin can run a game on her own. In the big moments this season she has really stepped up, with our vital 3-2 league win over Airbus being one such point in question. A driving force in midfield, “Ezza” has also chipped in with some great goals and has scored at an overall rate of a goal a game thus far.

Cristiana “Pops” Allen (Def/Mid/Att) – Played 15 – Goals scored 3

Pops is another long-serving player for the club, and a member of the side who contested last year’s final for us. Another who possesses a great deal of natural talent and a sublime touch, Pops is also extremely versatile and provides the ability to play in numerous positions. Pops has worked very hard this year and has applied herself admirably, working tirelessly wherever she’s asked to play. Pops has also chipped in with some vital goals to help us gain an advantage in certain games. Her opener in a tough away fixture at Brickfield was a catalyst for the team’s performance, she also netted against Treowen Stars in the semi final of this competition, and also scored a screamer to break the deadlock in last weekend’s cup tie against Bethel.

Elise Rowlands (GK/Mid/Att) – Played 15

Another very versatile player, Elise has a fantastic attitude and commitment to the team. Another who goes somewhat “under the radar” Elise has been a key member of our small squad and has shown a fantastic willingness to play wherever she’s been asked. She has stepped into the goalkeeping role for us twice this season, only conceding one goal in those games. Elise is a hard-working trainer and that application has continued to pay off with some great performances on both wings recently.

Alys Davis (Mid/Att) – Played 18 – Goals scored 18

Alys Davis (dark strip). Picture: WILL DAVIS

Another of our “ever presents” this season and another of last season’s losing finalists, Alys has enjoyed a very productive season in front of goal this season, with an overall return of 18 goals in 18 games. Operating on either wing, Alys is a hard-working member of the team who is willing to run herself into the ground for the cause. Her game has evolved this season, with increased awareness and has stepped up to be particularly useful with her set piece delivery. Alys scored a magnificent third goal, from all of 25 yards, in our 3-2 victory over Airbus, which essentially clinched the league title.

Polly Wild-McGregor (Att) – Played 18 – Goals scored 28

Polly Wild-McGregor (with Kiera Moore watching on). Picture: WILL DAVIS

The fourth member of our squad to have appeared in every game this season, Polly is quite simply a sensational footballer. Possessing oodles of natural talent, great skill and searing pace, Polly is also a cold-blooded killer in front of goal returning 28 goals this season so far. A very popular member of the team, Polly has been important to everything achieved so far and has been a real shining light. As well as being a great goalscorer, Polly has also been one of our most creative players and has struck up a fantastic partnership with Phoebe Ellis at the top end of the pitch.

Phoebe Ellis (Att) – Played 17 – Goals scored 34

What a season Phoebe has had!!! Averaging a ridiculous two goals per appearance this girl has it all! A real handful for any defender, Phoebe is physical, clearly has a killer instinct and has fantastically quick feet. Anybody wishing to compare girls’ football to their male counterparts’ game, needs to witness a Phoebe “rocket”!! This young lady can strike a ball with such ferocity that the nets need to be reinforced!! A quiet, humble personality conceal an iron will to win which has driven the team on and has been a leading example to girls older than herself. Phoebe still has another year left in Under-16s football, so watch out North Wales – this girl can go all the way!

Team statistics compiled by Owen Davis

FAW UNDER-16 GIRLS WELSH CUP WINNERS ROLL OF HONOUR

2006-07 Swansea Ladies
2007-08 Cardiff LFC
2008-09 Cardiff LFC
2009-10 Mardy Tigers
2010-11 Valleys United
2011-12 Cardiff LFC
2012-13 Cardiff City LFC
2013-14 Caernarfon Town Girls
2014-15 Prestatyn Girls
2015-16 Cardiff City LFC
2016-17 Rhydyfelin AFC Rebels
2017-18 Barry Town United Ladies
2018-19 Penrhyn Bay Girls
2019-20 Competition not completed – Final: Barry Town United Ladies v Tredegar Women and Girls (not played due to coronavirus)
2020-21 Barry Town United

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