PICTURE by Wynne Evans.
WELL, that’s that then. Mynydd Tigers are your Kon-X Anglesey League champions for 2017/18 after beating Bryngwran Bulls 4-2 in a thrilling tie on Saturday afternoon.
The game, played in front of a decent crowd at Bangor City’s 3G pitch, was the final game of the season and anything but a Tigers win would have seen The Bulls crowned champions.
PICTURE: Familiar sight – this was the sixth time these two teams had met this season. Wynne Evans.
However, the youthful Tigers side came out fighting right from the off and thoroughly deserved to come out on top and take the title.
Mynydd, who had lost 5/5 matches against Bryngwran prior to this match this season (including two finals) took the lead when a Tomos Eames free kick found its way past goalkeeper Gwynfor Williams with just eight minutes gone.
Irishman Ciaran O’Brady was running things in midfield for Mynydd with his mazy running and it wasn’t long before they doubled their lead.
Twelve minutes after their first goal, Mark Hughes’ side made it 2-0 when in-form striker Mike Holroyd fired the ball home from close range.
The tie almost seemed beyond reach for The Bulls when wonderkid Herbie Hofsteede netted his 31st goal of the season to put the Tigers 3-0 up before half time.
Bryngwran blew their chance to pull one back in the dying moments of the opening 45 mins. Referee Heinz Broering awarded a handball and a penalty was given but Bulls top scorer James Ryan rattled his kick against the bar before captain Andrew Bailey headed the rebound over.
PICTURE: The midfield battle was tough as always, but The Tigers’ flair paid off. Richard Birch.
HT score: 3-0 and Mynydd in full control.
The Bulls has looked very much out of character in the first half and so the second 45 had to be so much better from them. And so it would prove.
Richard Owen’s side pulled a goal back when James Ryan fired a shot home just after the hour mark – his 53rd goal of the campaign.
The introduction of Nathan Lewis, Tony Meyer and Barry Edwards from the bench seemed to liven things up a little for The Bulls and they slowly began to grow in confidence.
Midfielder Iolo Jones (their star man on the day in my opinion) was doing his best to get his side back into the game, both vocally and physically. His passing and long balls over the top were pinpoint at times.
The Bulls began to attack the Mynydd defence and cracks were showing when substitute Edwards found space and poked home a neat finish to make it 3-2 and set up a very tense finale.
PICTURE: Edwards gave The Bulls some short-lived hope. Wynne Evans.
Fans of both sides were starting to think that The Bulls may have been able to produce an “Istanbul” type comeback – as all they needed was another goal to snatch the title for the Tigers claws.
However it wasn’t to be on this particular occasion and Bryngwran were caught out on the counter-attack. Striker Hofsteede netted his second goal of the game in the dying minutes to seal a famous win for The Tigers and the Anglesey League title in their debut season.
PICTURE: Mynydd Tigers goalkeeper David Ball, NWCFA President Dennis Bryant and club captain Mike Williams. Wynne Evans.
Bryngwran Bulls – who seemed to have become so accustomed to winning that they had forgotten how to lose – looked as though they had underestimated their opponents in this one, having done so well against them in previous encounters.
Mynydd Tigers simply wanted it more ok the day and although they came into the game as underdogs, they walked away from Bangor as kings of the division.
After the match, Mynydd manager Mark Hughes, who came on as a substitute during the game, said: “It’s been a long season with a lot of ups and downs but when it mattered we produced the goods.
“At 3-0 I thought it was game over but credit to The Bulls they showed character to push us to the end.
“At one point I thought our numerous missed chances would come back to haunt us but thankfully we got over the line!”
Congratulations to all involved at Mynydd Tigers on a fine campaign and commiserations to Bryngwran Bulls (although there is still a possibility of them winning a treble this year).
Mynydd Tigers: D. Ball, A. Griffiths, M. Williams, I. Owen, T. Griffiths, K. Bullock, W. Janes, T. Eames, C. O’Brady, H. Hofsteede and M. Holroyd.
Bryngwran Bulls: G. Williams, J. Earnshaw, H. Jones, H. Caldecott, A. Williams, J. Jones, M. Roberts, G. Jones, I. Jones, A. Bailey and J. Ryan