PICTURE by Richard Birch.
AT LONG LAST Mynydd Tigers Football Club have got what they fully deserve – promotion to the Gwynedd League.
After months of “will they? won’t they?” the Football Association of Wales has finally granted the Bethesda-based side a place in the division above after they scooped the Anglesey League title during 2017/18.
It was a highly memorable debut campaign for Mynydd which culminated in them pipping Bryngwran Bulls to the trophy on the final day of the season – beating them 4-2 to become the first non-Anglesey-based team to be crowned champions of the division in nearly a hundred years.
It proved to be a long-awaited triumph for The Tigers who certainly had to battle through some hard times to get to the good.
At one point in the season, manager Mark Hughes (who had reached big four-zero at this point) had decided to put his boots back on in order to help their mostly youthful side have a bit more physicality and aggression within it. It worked too, as his ability to control the game in the midfield and find the pass, as well as score a few goals, proved to be very handy!
The results began to improve and the young stars within the team grew in confidence and the goals began to flow. Summer signing Herbie Hofsteede (below) was particularly impressive. After arriving from Caernarfon Town’s youth academy – the 18-year-old ended the season on 32 goals and was impressive throughout in that attacking midfield/forward role.
17-year-old Kieran Bullock (below) was another young star who worked his socks off throughout the campaign and played in a number of positions throughout it. Mainly playing as full-back/winger – he ended up adding 18 goals to Mynydd’s tally.
Perhaps the most standout of all though was their Irish winger, Ciaran O’Brady (below). His work rate, dribbling, passing and scoring ability out wide made him a threat to any team and so its little wonder he drew so much praise and attention from fans, managers and players alike.
As I said before though, the tough periods existed throughout. Having reached the Lucas Oil and Dargie Cup finals, the formidable Tigers eventually lost both matches to Bryngwran Bulls. The latter was particularly devastating as they lost out to an extra time goal scored by Bulls forward Nathan Lewis having been 1-0 up for a long portion of the game.
Losses like that would have, fairly understandably, been enough to write some teams off for the rest of the season in terms of confidence, but the aptly-named Tigers came back fighting every time and their spirit was superb.
It’s fair to say that that heartbreak may have been the thing that spurred them on to eventual victory and they got that last laugh on the final day of the 2017/18 Anglesey League campaign. Heading into the game they were underdogs, but they certainly didn’t seem to mind that.
Tomos Eames put The Tigers 1-0 up with a free kick before lively striker Mike Holroyd doubled their lead just twelve minutes later. Herbie Hofsteede made it 3-0 before half time and the game looked all but over with Bulls’ main man of last season James Ryan missing a penalty just before the whistle blew.
In the second half, Bryngwran lifted the spirits a little. Goals from James Ryan and Barry Edwards sent shivers up the spines of The Tigers as they pulled it back to 3-2. However, this time around it wasn’t to be Bryngwran’s day as Hofsteede added his 32nd goal of the season to hand his side the league title.
Over to captain Mike Williams (below with David Ball and NWCFA President Dennis Bryant), who had himself been a rock throughout the 2017/18 campaign, to lift the title and spark scenes of celebration as Mynydd completed a stunning and memorable debut season together.
In 2018/19, they will be managed by goalkeeper of last season David Ball who takes over from Mark Hughes who has decided to step down from the role. Can this team of talented players continue what has so far been an absolute fairy tale? It certainly won’t be easy by any means, but they have proven already they have what it takes to win games.