Top 20 teams in North Wales football 2018-19 (Nos 8-5)

No 8 Porthmadog

Porthmadog Reserves celebrated a season of invincibility

Porthmadog finished third in the Huws Gray Alliance – their highest position under departing manager Craig Papirnyk – but it was the club’s reserves team which brought home the silverware.

Led by Sion Eifion Jones, who will manage the firsts in 2019-20, Port’s second team won the Welsh Alliance League Reserves Division by 11 points, going unbeaten through all 26 games, winning 24, drawing two and amassing 126 goals.

They also landed the Reserves Division Lock Stock Fireworks Challenge Cup, defeating Colwyn Bay 2-1 in the final.

Striker Sion Parry bagged a stunning 41 goals for the reserves over the campaign and his reward is promotion to become a permanent member of the first team squad next term.

After the end of an invincible season for the reserves, Sion Eifion’s final comment before taking over the firsts, was: “Unbeaten season, winning the League and Cup double with a great group of lads has come to an end. Onto next season to take this club back to where we belong.”

Port’s first team also made the Huws Gray Cup semi-final this season, but were defeated 1-0 by double-winners Airbus UK Broughton.

No 7 Connah’s Quay Nomads

Mike Wilde heads home Nomads’ winner at Falkirk in the Irn-Bru Cup. Picture: Nik Mesney @ NCM Media

While they did not win any trophies at first-team level, Connah’s Quay Nomads can certainly look back on 2018-19 as a success.

At the end of the 22-match first phase in the Welsh Premier League, Andy Morrison’s men looked more than capable of pushing The New Saints all the way for the title.

Unfortunately for the Deesiders, TNS upped the gears and went on to comfortably clinch an eighth championship in a row and record 13th in all.

Nonetheless, runners-up spot ensured the Nomads advanced to the Europa League first qualifying round.

Quay lost their grip on the Welsh Cup when beaten in the final by TNS, but it was in the Irn-Bru Scottish Challenge Cup where Morrison’s men excelled the most.

Nomads eliminated Falkirk (1-0 away), Coleraine (2-0 home), Queen’s Park (2-1 away) and Edinburgh City (5-4 on pens after 1-1) before taking on eventual Scottish Championship champions Ross County in the final.

The Welsh Premier side led 1-0 until the 75th minute when three goals turned the tables in favour of Ross at the Caledonian Stadium in Inverness.

No 6 Plas Madoc

There was no stopping Plas Madoc this season

Another stunning season for Wrexham-based Plas Madoc FC.

At the first attempt, Madoc won the Welsh National League Division One title by a huge 19 points, going all 22 matches unbeaten, recording 20 victories and netting 106 goals.

And Ryan Roberts’ side completed the double by lifting the Division One Cup, beating Rhydymwyn 3-0 in the final at Alyn Park, Mold.

That made it back-to-back league titles for Plas, who in 2017-18 finished top of the North East Wales League, scoring 130 times in their 23 wins coupled with three defeats.

Madoc also enjoyed a great run to the quarter-finals of the national FAW Trophy in 2018-19, eventually going out 4-2 to beaten finalists Pontardawe Town.

In previous rounds, the Wrexham outfit had dumped out Welsh Alliance Division One clubs Mynydd Llandegai (5-2) and St Asaph City (4-1).

Next season Plas are set to test themselves in the Welsh National League Premier Division.

They are the latest team to emerge from the breeding ground for champions, the North East Wales League, to make a big impact at a higher level.

No 5 Llangefni Town

Happy times for Llangefni Town

Llangefni Town were crowned Welsh Alliance League champions for a record fifth time this season, following on from previous successes in 1990/91, 1991/92, 1993/94 and 1998/99.

Their latest triumph clinched them promotion to the tier-two Huws Gray Alliance (set to be renamed Championship North and Mid), which Cefni have also won twice in 2006/07 and 2009/10.

This season saw Chris Roberts’ side locked in a fierce Division One title battle with Anglesey rivals Bodedern Athletic, which Llangefni did not win until the final game, beating Boded 2-0.

Town also lifted the Cookson Cup, defeating Penrhyndeudraeth 1-0 in the showpiece game, but their aim of a treble was quashed after they were beaten 2-1 in extra time by underdogs Llanrwst United in the Mawddach Cup Final.

There were other highlights for Llangefni. They knocked Welsh Premier club Llangefni Town out of the Welsh Cup before exiting at the hands of another top flight outfit, Llandudno, in the last 16.

And the Lon Talwrn club also made it to the FAW Trophy quarter-finals prior to losing dramatically to Bodedern.

Over the 2018-19 season, Llangefni played a challenging 47 games in all competitions, winning 36, drawing four and losing seven. They scored 119 goals, with Liam Morris, Alan Mark Owen, Kevin Lloyd and Matthew Jones all netting around the 20 mark.

Cefni went unbeaten in their first 17 competitive matches, winning 16 of those.

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