Caerwys FC celebrate 20th anniversary of their finest ever season

Caerwys FC pictured before their 2002-03 FAW Trophy semi-final against Tillery. Back row (left to right): Russ Pierce (manager), Adam Phillips, Jimmy Griffith, Rob Griffith, Haydn Williams, John Haseldin, Simon Rose, Dave Cooke, Colin Murray, Ben Temple and Wayne Shill. Front row: John Earnshaw, Matty Williams, Nick Voyle, Darren Edwards, Neil Edwards, Geraint Roberts and Mark Speakman (Assistant Manager)

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the greatest season in Caerwys Football Club’s history.

The Flintshire town team, which to this day competes in winter and summer league, were led by manager Russ Pierce and assistant Mark Speakman, two men with vast experience and plenty of success on their CV’s.

The 2002-03 season was Caerwys’ third in the tier-three Welsh Alliance League – the highest level the club had played at in its existence.

They were to achieve their best WAL finishing position – a modest 11th – not bad taking into account they were a small club with limited resources competing against a number of ‘heavyweight’ North Wales opponents.

While the Lon-yr-Ysgol side achieved a few good league wins that term, one of the best a 4-0 hammering of Rhyl Reserves, it was in the cups that Pierce and Speakman’s men really made an impact.

Caerwys reached THREE semi-finals – the FAW Trophy, North Wales Coast Challenge and Alves Cup.

They lost the three, but enjoyed some tremendous results in all three competitions.

Key Players

It is perhaps unfair to single out individuals from a good-sized squad filled with tremendous character and spirit, but mention must be made of Simon Rose, a formidable striker who notched 30 goals in 31 starts.

Rose netted 19 league goals and 11 in the cups, including six in the club’s brilliant North Wales Coast Challenge Cup run.

Geraint Roberts was another who knew where the goal was, scoring 17 times, while the 19-year-old Wayne Shill was a real livewire, netting on seven occasions.

Tom Lee was another who really shone in attack, registering nine goals.

Goalkeeper Darren Edwards, a past star in the Cymru Alliance with Denbigh Town, made the most appearances for Caerwys that season (39).

Darren’s brother Neil was a dazzling talent who hit 10 goals, while youngster Nicky Voyle featured in 38 matches and regularly caught the eye.

Johnny Haseldin is now a successful manager of Holywell Town

Current Holywell Town manager Johnny Haseldin chipped in with a few goals and could operate in defence or midfield, while future Caerwys boss Richard Roberts excelled on the wing.

Joe Griffith

At the age of 38, defender Jimmy Griffith made 31 starts for Caerwys in 2002-03 and was outstanding, having formerly played for Holywell in the League of Wales.

His brother Rob was another defensive rock, while Joe Griffith, son of the then club secretary and former player and manager Steve, also featured regularly.

Observations – secretary Steve Griffith

Steve when he was Caerwys manager back in 1987

I was club secretary then with the late Glyn Brooks as chairman.

They were really happy days with tremendous team spirit. The biggest disappointment was the 3-5 defeat against Llandudno (North Wales Challenge Cup semi-final) after we went 3-0 up, but we had a player sent off just before half time and couldn’t hang on.

It’s fair to say it still hurts even now!

FAW TROPHY

The run to the national FAW Trophy semi-finals was huge for Caerwys.

They knocked out Felinheli and Prestatyn Nova by 4-2 scorelines before pulling off a magnificent 3-0 win at Penrhyncoch, tier 3 Spar Mid-Wales League champions that season.

Next to fall at the hands of the Flintshire heroes were South Wales League Amateur League side Cwmaman Institute by a 3-2 margin.

Caerwys lost out 3-1 to Welsh League Division Three side Tillery in the semi-final at Aberystwyth.

Tillery, who only operated under that name for four seasons, were thrashed 4-1 in the final by Rhydyfelin Zenith.

Caerwys could only wonder what might have been – they were certainly good enough to win the competition that season.

NORTH WALES COAST CHALLENGE CUP

Caerwys saw off some really good names to reach the last four – Bethesda Athletic, Llanrug United, Holyhead Hotspur and Cemaes Bay before losing against Llandudno in a semi-final heartbreaker.

Goals from Simon Rose (2) and Neil Edwards put the Welsh Alliance side 3-0 up against Cymru Alliance opposition, but after Caerwys went down to 10, Tudno made the extra man count and rallied to win 5-3.

CAERWYS FC – RESULTS 2002-03 SEASON

WELSH ALLIANCE LEAGUE
Sealand (a) 2-2 (Simon Rose, Geraint Roberts)
Rhydymwyn (a) 3-5 (Nicky Voyle, Neil Edwards, Simon Rose)
Bethesda (a) 2-3 (Simon Rose, Geraint Roberts)
Conwy United (a) 1-4 (Simon Rose)
Glan Conwy (h) 3-1 (Joe Griffith, Geraint Roberts 2)
Glantraeth (h) 1-3 (Geraint Roberts)
Llandudno Junction (a) 3-3 (Simon Rose, Geraint Roberts, Richard Roberts)
Locomotive Llanberis (a) 0-2
Bethesda (h) 3-3 (Haydn Williams, Richard Roberts, Johnny Haseldin)
Penmaenmawr Phoenix (a) 3-0 (Johnny Haseldin, Wayne Shill, 1 OG)
Rhyl Reserves (h) 4-0 (Tom Lee, Simon Rose 2, Geraint Roberts)
Denbigh Town (a) 2-4 (Jimmy Griffith, Simon Rose)
Sealand (h) 0-5
Penmaenmawr (h) 5-2 (Matty Williams, Simon Rose 2, Geraint Roberts, Tom Lee)
Prestatyn Town (h) 3-4 (David Cooke, Jimmy Griffith, Geraint Roberts)
Bodedern (h) 0-2
Felinheli (a) 5-1 (Nicky Voyle, Neil Edwards, Colin Murray, Simon Rose, Wayne Shill)
Rhyl Reserves (a) 1-1 (Wayne Shill)
Denbigh Town (h) 2-0 (Joe Griffith, Simon Rose)
Rhydymwyn (h) 5-6 (Joe Griffith, Simon Rose 3, Geraint Roberts)
Prestatyn Town (a) 0-2
Bodedern (a) 0-6
Glan Conwy (a) 2-1 (Wayne Shill, Simon Rose)
Felinheli (h) 2-0 (Simon Rose 2)
Loco Llanberis (h) 0-1
Glantraeth (a) 1-8 (Johnny Haseldin)
Conwy United (h) 3-2 (Simon Rose, Tom Lee 2)
Llandudno Junction (a) 1-7 (Johnny Haseldin)

Final table 2002-03

WELSH CUP
Rhos Aelwyd (h) 2-0 (Geraint Roberts 2)
Brickfield Rangers (h) 3-3 – lost 8-9 pens (Neil Edwards 2, 1 OG)

WELSH TROPHY
R2 Felinheli (h) 4-2 (Simon Rose 3, 1 OG)
R3 Prestatyn Nova (a) 4-2 (Neil Edwards 2, Simon Bower, Geraint Roberts)
R4 Penrhyncoch (a) 3-0 (Neil Edwards, Tom Lee, Geraint Roberts)
R5 Cwmaman Institute (h) 3-2 (Tom Lee, Geraint Roberts 2)
SF Tillery (at Aberystwyth) 1-3 (Simon Rose)

COOKSON CUP
Felinheli (h) 1-4 (Simon Rose)

BARRITT CUP
Glantraeth (h) 1-3 (Richard Roberts)

NORTH WALES COAST CHALLENGE CUP
R2 Bethesda Athletic (h) 8-1 (Tom Lee 3, Simon Rose 2, Neil Edwards, Richard Roberts, 1 OG)
R3 Llanrug United (h) 3-3 – won 5-4 on pens (Haydn Williams, Johnny Haseldin, 1 OG)
R4 Holyhead Hotspur (h) 3-2 aet (Neil Edwards, Johnny Haseldin, Wayne Shill)
R5 Cemaes Bay (h) 3-0 (Simon Rose 2, Geraint Roberts)
SF Llandudno (at Colwyn Bay) 3-5 (Simon Rose 2, Neil Edwards)

ALVES CUP
R1 Rhydymwyn (h) 2-1 (Matty Williams, Colin Murray)
R2 Prestatyn Town (h) 3-1 (Colin Murray, Wayne Shill 2)
SF Denbigh Town (a) 0-2

LEAGUE
Played 28 Won 9 Drawn 4 Lost 15 Goals For 57 Goals Against 78 Position 11th
CUPS
Played 17 Won 11 Lost 6 Goals For 47 Goals Against 35

ALL MATCHES
Played 45 Won 20 Drawn 4 Lost 21 Goals For 104 Goals Against 113

GOALSCORERS (104 GOALS – LEAGUE AND CUP) 2002-03

30 – Simon Rose
17 – Geraint Roberts
10 – Neil Edwards
9 – Tom Lee
7 – Wayne Shill
6 – Johnny Haseldin
4 – Richard Roberts, 4 OG’s
3 – Colin Murray, Joe Griffith
2 – Jimmy Griffith, Nicky Voyle, Matty Williams, Haydn Williams
1 – David Cooke, Simon Bower, Adam Phillips

SQUAD (29 players)

Darren Edwards (GK)
Nicky Voyle
Colin Murray
Jimmy Griffith
Simon Rose
Geraint Roberts
Joe Griffith
Richard Roberts
Rob Griffith
David Cooke
Neil Edwards
Matty Williams
Wayne Shill
Johnny Haseldin
Simon Bower
Haydn Williams
Steve Allsopp
Tom Lee
Ben Temple
John Earnshaw
Adam Phillips
Bryn Roberts
Chris Morrell
Steve McConville
Gareth Davies
Aaron Barrett
Shaun Davies
Irfon Roberts
Dylan Thomas

FOOTNOTE

Caerwys is the smallest town in Britain with a Royal Charter, which it was granted in 1290.
According to Prof Hywel Wyn Owen, Caerwys means “fortified place”. The name appears in the Domesday Book of 1086 as “Cairos”.

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