Nomads women lift the NEWFA Challenge Cup

2021-22 NEWFA Women’s Challenge Cup winners Connah’s Quay Nomads. Picture: NIK MESNEY

NEWFA WOMEN’S CHALLENGE CUP FINAL 2021-22

Connah’s Quay Nomads 3

Llandudno 1

Report: Adam Angerer

Connah’s Quay Nomads women ended what had already been a promising season in the best way possible with a well-deserved cup success.

The Nomads defeated Adran North champions and double-winners Llandudno 3-1 in the NEWFA Cup Final at the Memorial Playing Fields in Ruthin on Sunday.

First half goals from Shannon Hobbs, Amber Bailey and Kylie Jones saw Nomads take a commanding lead they were able to hold onto after Tudno made a strong comeback in the second 45.

Nomads made two changes from the side that saw off Bethel in the semi finals as captain Kirstie Kural returned from a minor injury as well as Shannon Hobbs, who made her way back into the attack.

As for Llandudno, they made three changes from their semi victory over Llanfair as Hannah Smith, Jess Jones and Kelsey Davies were handed a place in the starting eleven, replacing Jasmin Dutton, Maddie Williams and Susie James.

Nomads made a dream start as just 10 minutes in, Chelsea Bloor’s ball over the defence to Hobbs saw the number 9 produce a quality finish into the bottom corner leaving Sara Williams no chance in the Llandudno goal.

There was a stoppage in play just moments later as goalscorer Hobbs went down with a nasty injury and had to come off the field. Her replacement was 17 year old Ella Wall, who impressed in the semi final win over Bethel last month.

Following the injury, Kural came agonisingly close to marking her return with a goal as her free kick smashed back off the crossbar and was cleared at the vital moment.

Nomads doubled their advantage on the 20-minute mark as Kural’s flag-kick found the unmarked Bailey who planted a superb header beyond Williams and into the top corner.

Substitute Wall almost found the back of the net but was denied by a great save from Williams.

An already terrific first half performance became more memorable after Nomads made it 3-0 in the 35th minute. Kural delivered another cross which the Llandudno back-line were unable to deal and Kylie Jones popped up to score with a header from close range.

Before the break, Tamara Hamer was released on goal. Her first effort was stopped by Williams and her follow up flew narrowly over.

Half-time: Nomads 3 Llandudno 0

The beginning of the second half saw Llandudno pose their first real attacking threat as they had numbers forward but a brilliant interception from Sienna Strapp averted the danger.

Ffion Owen almost reduced the deficit as her strike looked to be heading towards the bottom corner but a quite remarkable save from Charlie Bolland kept Nomads’ three-goal lead intact.

Minutes later, Stacey Tradewell’s free kick deflected off the Nomads wall and fell to Ffion Owen, who slotted home to give the Adran North champions some hope.

Nomads were somehow denied a fourth when shots from Niamh Grimshaw and Wall were cleared off the line.

Ffion Owen almost bagged a brace but her shot from just outside the box flew over the top.

Nomads’ player of the season Emily Luke proved her worth to the side with an incredible last ditch clearance to prevent Llandudno making it 3-2.

Bolland made another tremendous save from the edge of the box which fell back out to Ffion Owen but another last ditch block, this time from Llinos Hughes, saw the shot smash the woodwork and out of the danger zone.

That was the end of the scoring and the final whistle brought great scenes of celebration for a Nomads side which landed a first trophy.

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