AS THE year comes to an end it’s time to once again take a look at some of the most memorable Anglesey League moments of 2019.
Here’s wishing you all a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year too – thanks for all your support during a year which has seen the blog continue to grow once again. Here’s to more success, goals and glory in 2020!
Here are some of the highlights from the year (2018/19 season) …
Arriva Bangor 3-2 Holyhead Hotspur Reserves (January)
Kevin Jones’ side completed the most miraculous of comebacks to keep their title hopes alive at the beginning of the year.
An Owain Roberts(Now at Valley) goal in the first half had given The Reserves the lead before Adam Morris doubled their advantage early on in the second half. Some fine saves from Hotspur’s young goalkeeper Dan Williams (now at Bangor 1876) had kept the score line the same until very, very late on in the match when the turnaround ensued.
With some substitutions being made a new formation introduced, Arriva suddenly came to life and three goals in the final six minutes were enough to the turn the tie on its head. Strikes from Liam Roberts, Mark Thomas and Jay Williams saw the home side produce a stunning comeback and claim the three points to remain second in the league table on 31 points.
Llanfairpwll 3-3 Arriva Bangor (January)
Spud Thomas’ Llanfair side stunned title-chasing Arriva with another fine comeback in this one.
It had all started off very well for the home team when debutante Callum Jones scored early on. However, goals from the prolific Scott Hughes (2) and Liam Roberts then put Arriva in the driving seat.
Or so it seemed, but Llanfair, and Shaun Morris in particular, had other ideas. Their top scorer took his tally for the season to double figures as he scored twice (including from a very late penalty) to secure them a surprising point.
Caergybi 1-3 Llanfairpwll (February)
Cybi’s Anglesey League title hopes took a huge blow on Saturday as Llanfair pulled off a stunning victory at Millbank.
Man of the Match Callum Jones had fired Spud Thomas’ side in front in the first half. Then, two penalties from Shaun Morris, who rarely misses from the spot, put them 3-0 up late on in the second half. Liam Williams’ strike was nothing but a pure consolation for Dale Moffat’s side who now seemingly need a miracle to be crowned champions.
It’s fair to say that Llanfair have improved greatly over their last 3 matches and look as though they can end their season on a high. There was some good news for Cybi after the game too as they confirmed that striker Gary Jo Owen, who bagged 59 goals for the club last season and 16 in just 4 matches before leaving for Holyhead Town last September, re-signed with the club, where he will once again play alongside brothers Liam and Casey Williams.
Pentraeth Reserves 6-4 Valley (Megan Cup, February)
The Reserves reached the final of the Megan Cup as they came from 4-2 down at half time to beat Valley in a thriller back in February.
Mike Williams (2), Paul Williams and Marc Wilson had put Dan Jones’ side in the driving seat, or so it had seemed. However, it was Pentraeth defender Matt Williams who eventually proved to be the ultimate hero on the day, bagging a hat-trick. Captain Tom Jones was at the double and young midfielder Dylan Jones was also on the score-sheet as Pentraeth completed an incredible turnaround in Extra Time.
The win was a testament to just how far The Reserves have come under the management of Danny Jones and Paul Matier, who took over from Justin Gallagher at the beginning of the 2018/19 season, bringing several of their Dreigiau Pentraeth (Sunday League) players along with them.
Bryngwran Bulls 2-3 Hotspur Reserves (Megan Cup, April)
Another Megan Cup thriller here as eventual winners Hotspur claimed a memorable victory and ended The Bulls’ hopes of winning every trophy available, inflicting their first defeat since September.
It had all been going so well for Richard Owen’s side, who were without keeper Konner Druce on the day, as they found themselves 2-0 up until the 50th minute of the match – thanks to goals from Matty Roberts and a great strike from Jerome Sillence.
However, several chances to kill the game off were not taken and, as a result, Hotspur’s youthful side found their way back into the tie. Goals from captain Kris Dunne and talented winger Casey Gregg took the tie to Extra Time.
Insult was eventually added to injury for Bryngwran when their former player, Owain Roberts, popped up to score a wonderful winner in Extra Time and send The Reserves through to the final.
Caergybi 5-1 Arriva Bangor (April)
Cybi officially secured a top-two finish in this one as they humbled Arriva, whose fading title hopes were officially dashed.
Dale Moffat’s side were determined from start to finish and five different goal scorers on the day (George Hibbert, Ian Williams, Marcus Bell, Glenn North and top scorer James Ryan, who bagged his 71st strike of the season), proved just how dangerous they could be. Liam Jones bagged a consolatory goal for Arriva.
Bryngwran Bulls 3-0 Arriva Bangor – League decider (May)
After years of going so close, yet so far, Richard Owen and his Bulls side finally claimed the Anglesey League title back in May with a straightforward victory over Arriva.
All they needed to do was win to pip Caergybi to the title – but the pressure heading into the game was immense. However, that didn’t show on the day.
Top scorer Craig Moore set The Bulls on their way to the title by netting a penalty within the first five minutes of the tie. Despite missing quite a few spot kicks that season, he made no mistake this time around, confidently dispatching the penalty, sending goalkeeper Dion Lewis the wrong way, to net his 57th goal of the season.
Soon after it was 2-0 when the in-form Gwynfor Owen got in behind the defence, took the ball round Lewis and slotted the ball home. The tie could have been turned on its head had referee Heinz Broering let the crowd get to him on 25mins. Bulls Goalkeeper Konner Druce came rushing off his line to chop down Arriva’s Liam Jones, who was through on goal. Many felt it could have been a red card for a “last man” challenge, but the man in the middle gave a yellow.
Bryngwran eventually killed the game off with a third goal before half time – Matt Reynolds’ strike hit Matty Roberts in the face and the ball found its way in past Dion Lewis. A quiet second half of very few chances saw the scoreline remain the same as The Bulls held out for a memorable win to finally be crowned champions after years of narrowly missing out.
Bryngwran finished on 46 points, with Cybi in second on 45 points.
And some of the best/eye-catching matches of what has been a thrilling 2019/20 campaign so far …
Cemaes Bay 4-3 Valley (August) – An opening day thriller.
Cemaes Bay 2-4 Hotspur Reserves (August) – Cemaes’ one and only league defeat to day.
Mountain Rangers 3-3 Cefni (August) – Cefni fought their way to a huge point after being 3-1 down.
Cemaes Bay 20-0 Holyhead Town Reserves (August) – yes, you really did read that right!
Holyhead Town Reserves 3-4 Llanfairpwll (August) – A non-stop encounter between these two.
Arriva Bangor 8-3 Cefni (September) – The home side bounced back from poor results in style.
Cemaes Bay 2-2 Mountain Rangers (September) – Could be a big result come the end of the season as the top two cancelled each other out.
Holyhead Town Reserves 4-4 Llandegfan (September) – Llandegfan’s first point in a year and a half.
Cefni 3-5 Llanfairpwll (September) – Goals galore as Cefni nearly come back to scare Llanfair.
Valley 1-6 Hotspur Reserves (September) – A shock scoreline as The Reserves ran wild on Valley’s home ground.
Arriva Bangor 1-8 Cemaes Bay (October) – Another shocker as the league-leaders put The Busmen to the sword.
Bodorgan 6-7 Holyhead Town Reserves (October) – Probably the game of the season and I doubt anything will beat it. Reserves picked up their first win as a club.
Pentraeth Reserves 3-2 Mountain Rangers (Car Boot Cup, November) – The Reserves picking up a huge win in the cup.
Cefni 1-0 Valley (November) – The home side cancelling out Valley’s attack to claim a big win.
Llanfairpwll 9-0 Holyhead Town Reserves (November) – Llanfair’s record win of the season as they were rampant.
The 2019 Cup finals …
Bryngwran Bulls 2-0 Arriva Bangor (Elias Cup, April)
Caergybi 2-1 Bryngwran Bulls (Dargie Cup, April)
Hotspur Reserves 4-1 Pentraeth Reserves (Megan Cup, April)
Caergybi 0-0 Bryngwran Bulls (3-1 on pens) (Lucas Oil Cup, May)
Arriva Bangor 3-2 Bryngwran Bulls (After Extra Time) (Benllech Car Boot Trophy, May)
Other stand out moments …
50 goals in one weekend?! (January)
During one eventful Saturday in January, the score-lines were:
Valley 12-3 Llandegfan
Arriva Bangor 9-0 Bodorgan
Caergybi 11-0 Llanfairpwll
Cefni 1-6 Bryngwran Bulls
Pentraeth Reserves 4-4 Hotspur Reserves
A cup final hat-trick from a centre back … (April)
Adam Morris was the hero for Hotspur Reserves in their 4-1 cup final win over Pentraeth Reserves.
The CB popped up with three goals on what was an unforgettable night for both himself and the club.
Ryan smashes the goal scoring record (May)
Caergybi forward James Ryan proved to be the greatest Anglesey League goal scorer of all time (unofficially but statistically) come the end of the 2017/18.
He smashed in a record-breaking 74 goals in a truly prolific season in which his side were promoted to the Gwynedd League.
Cup final goals, plenty of hat-tricks and an unforgettable season for the man who also hit 54 goals fro Bryngwran Bulls in 2017/18.
Big summer signings (June-August)
Here are some of the best …
Craig Moore (Bryngwran Bulls) to Hotspur Reserves
Tudur Williams (Llanerchymedd) to Valley
Steven Whittaker (Bodedern) to Cemaes Bay
Keenan Downey (Bodedern) to Cemaes Bay
Terry Watkinson (Arriva) to Mountain Rangers
Dylan Jones (Bro Goronwy) to Cemaes Bay
Andy Williams (Bro Goronwy) to Cemaes Bay
Jerome Sillence (Bryngwran Bulls) to Valley
Cemaes re-born (July)
News breaks that Cemaes Bay are getting the band back together – with the likes of Darren Thomas (Manager) and Alan Gray (assistant) as well as Steven Whittaker, Keenan Downey, Lewis Connor and so many others returning to School Lane.
Former Anglesey League winners re-grouped together and it’s paying off so far as they are currently top of the tree at Christmas.
New teams join the league (July)
Mountain Rangers and Holyhead Town Reserves are welcomed into the league, keeping it at eleven teams for the 2019/20 campaign.
Bryngwran Bulls and Caergybi were promoted to the Gwynedd League.
Cefni hit with massive points deduction (November)
In what is perhaps the biggest points deduction in league history (or at least in recent memory), Cefni were docked 18 points in November. However, since then they’ve gone on to win four games – every cloud eh?
Young stars break through (throughout 2019)
It’s always great to see the next big things shine through in the Anglesey League and 2019 has provided us with many glimpses of that.
From Owain Davies and Tom Zalot at Llanfairpwll to Mitch Jones, Cameron Eaton and Phil Jones at Hotspur Reserves, it’s been great to see the island’s next generation take to senior football.
The top 15 players who have impressed me the most throughout this year are (no particular order) …
1. James Ryan (Caergybi) – striker
74 goals for Caergybi in 2018/19 and a record-breaking season.
2. Nik Kontodios (Caergybi) – midfielder
Was incredible throughout for Cybi in the heart of the midfield and put in a MOTM performance in a 2-0 Elias Cup final win over Arriva.
3. Luke McKittrick (Caergybi/Cemaes Bay) – midfielder
Came out of nowhere to became a huge part of Dale Moffat’s side. Now back at Cemaes, his work rate is incredible.
4. Konner Druce (Bulls) – goalkeeper
Best keeper in the league in 2018/19 (officially by the league committee) – despite being an outfielder who bagged 25 in the season before.
5. Kieran Weeks (Caergybi) – goalkeeper
Another top, top goalkeeper who kept his side in games at times. Highly reliable shot-stopper.
6. Craig Moore (Bulls/Hotspur Res) – striker
Scored 60 goals for the title-winning Bulls team. Has this season hit 10 goals for Hotspur Res.
7. Mark Williams (Arriva Bangor) – midfielder
Strength, great passing and an eye for goal too, ‘Bych’ really caught the eye with some great performances.
8. Scott Hughes (Arriva Bangor) – striker
Another one who reached 60 goals for his club, Hughes was on fire in 2018/19 – just as he is this season too.
9. Grahame Jones (Cefni) – defender
Solid and experienced defender who made Cefni’s back line very hard to break down. Has become their manager since being injured.
10. Kris Dunne (Hotspur Res) – defender
Another reliable centre back who lead his team well. Dunne captained a young Hotspur Res side onto Megan Cup glory and is now playing for the first team.
11. Ben Wright (Cefni) – midfielder
One of the most underrated players in the division, without a doubt. Was key in the middle of the park as Cefni finished fourth in their first season.
12. Henry Caldecott (Cefni) – defender
Joined from Bryngwran Bulls in summer of 2018 and proved, once again, to be one of the best defenders in the league.
13. Matt Reynolds (Bulls) – midfielder
Class above in the midfield department, having arrived at the eventual league winners from Welsh Alliance side Aberffraw (where he has now returned to).
14. John Jones (Bulls) – defender
Can play both centre back and full back and despite his small stature is a fantastic defender. Stronger than he looks and quick too – he has been a dependant member of the Bulls squad for years now.
15. Marcus Bell (Caergybi) – defender
Vital part of Cybi’s defence who was solid throughout their campaign.
1. Keenan Downey (Cemaes) – midfielder
For me, the best CM in the league right now. Has scored 14 goals already this season.
2. Sam Williams (Mountain Rangers) – striker
27 goals in all comps in what has been a great debut Anglesey League camapign for himself and Mountain Rangers.
3. Steven Whittaker (Cemaes) – striker
Also 27 goals for the experienced forward this season. His return to Cemaes has been well worth it as they chase the title.
4. Scott Hughes (Arriva Bangor) – striker
The little forward is the current top scorer in all comps with 35 goals. Pacey and with a great finish, he’s one of the best around.
5. Dylan Jones (Cemaes) – defender
Arrived from Bro in the summer with a reputation as a quality CB and so it has proved. Has also popped up with an impressive eight goals.
6. Cameron Eaton (Hotspur Reserves) – defender
Burst onto the scene as a 16-year-old in 2018/19 – when he managed to stop James Ryan from scoring. This season, he’s a regular starter in the Hotspur Res side under Tom Scott, has scored four goals and looks like one for the future.
7. Aaron Jones (Bodorgan) – defender/striker
Has been the hero on the day many times already for Bod this year, scoring eight goals to date. Unlike most, he can play in a number of different positons – including full back and striker.
8. Ben Roberts (Arriva Bangor) – defender
Experienced CB/full back who has added some solidity to Arriva’s back line. He’s a very quick player with the ball at his feet too and loves to get forward. Great player to watch.
9. Daniel Jones (Cemaes) – midfielder
16-year-old who has taken to senior football really well whilst playing alongside far more experienced players at The Bay. Also plays for Caernarfon Town Academy and is one to keep an eye on.
10. Connor Hughes (Llanfairpwll) – goalkeeper
Has now transferred to Holyhead Hotspur but has been great between the sticks for Llanfair in 2019, pulling off some fine saves along the way.
11. Tudur Williams (Valley) – midfielder
Moved back to Valley from Llanerchymedd in the summer and has arguably been their main man, popping up with nine goals from midfield so far.
12. Phil Jones (Hotspur Res) – defender
Another 16-year-old who has broken through this season and has also played for the first team. Jones is a quality full-back who loves to get forward and score goals too – five so far this season.
13. Andy Williams (Cemaes) – striker
Experienced forward who, after years of banging in the goals fro Bro Goronwy in the Gwynedd League, arrived at Cemaes in the summer. His reputation as a goalscorer has continued this season with 15 scored so far.
14. Simon Kay (Mountain Rangers) – midfielder
A former Welsh Premier League footballer, Kay has been the main man in the middle for Rangers. The club captain has been a true leader for his side and has popped up with 10 goals.
15. Mike Edwards (Hotspur Res) – midfielder
Plays the game so, so well in the middle of the park – to the point where he makes it looks effortless. Always open for a pass and always willing to play a pass to a teammate too. He’s an experienced head in an otherwise very young Hotspur Res side.