PICTURE by Connah’s Quay Nomads.
THE 2019/20 campaign will go down as perhaps the strangest footballing season of all time.
The coronavirus outbreak put the game as a whole on hold from March onward and the campaign itself never returned as the Football Association of Wales (FAW) officially called an end to it on May 19.
As a result, champions were crowned – some deserved and others perhaps a little controversially as the final tables were decided on a Points Per Game (PPG) system (Points earned divided by number of games played).
There have been some people on social media calling these trophies won ‘tainted titles’, given the fact the season was never completed. But the fact remains – the clubs who have come out on top are champions nevertheless. With that said, here’s a look at some of the country’s winners.
Connah’s Quay were crowned Cymru Premier champions for the first time in their history, bringing an end to nearly a decade of dominance from The New Saints’ (TNS).
The Nomads, who played 26 games just as TNS did, ended up four points clear of the latter on 56 points.
As a result, Andy Morrison’s side will take their place in Champions League qualifying as Wales’ representative. TNS finish in second, earning them a Europa League spot, alongside Colin Caton’s Bala Town and Gavin Chesterfield’s Barry Town United, who qualify for a second year in a row following the abandonment of the Welsh Cup – at the expense of Caernarfon Town.
Five years ago, Connah’s Quay were bottom of the top-flight table. But since then, they’ve gone on to play in two Welsh Cup finals, winning one of them, reached one Scottish Challenge Cup final and been on several European campaigns, before being crowned Cymru Prem champions this week.
And judging by Quay manager Andy Morrison’s karaoke antics on Twitter just last night, I would say they’re all a very happy bunch right now!
WELSH PREMIER WOMEN’S LEAGUE
The first of two successes down in Swansea this season, as their ladies took the title.
The Swans finished four points clear of rivals Cardiff Met on 31pts, with another rival, Cardiff City, finishing in third on 22pts.
Prestatyn Town set the pace early on in this division and were worthy winners of the title in the end, claiming 65pts in 24 games and ending up 16 points clear of second placed Flint Town United (22 games, 49pts, 2.23PPG).
In third place were Guislfield (43pts), who despite having less points than Colwyn Bay (47pt) , finish above the latter as their PPG was 2.05 compared to Bay’s 1.96.
Swansea University (56pts) were crowned champions of this division, pipping Haverfordwest County to the title by a single point and a PPG of 2.24 to 2.20.
Their Cymru South success is another milestone in the clubs’ history after a rapid rise through the Welsh pyramid system since their reformation in 2011. They will now hope to join another University side – Cardiff Met – in Wales’ top flight next season.
In third were Briton Ferry Llansawel who picked up 47pts in 24 games, earning a PPG of 1.96.
NORTH WALES LEAGUES
WELSH ALLIANCE ONE (16 teams)
Holyhead Hotspur came out on top here with 46pts from their 12 games (2.71PPG).
Denbigh Town finished in second with 38pts from 17 matches and Llanrwst United were third with the same amount of points and matches played.
WELSH ALLIANCE TWO (14 teams)
Y Felinheli did Gwynedd proud by coming out on top in division two. 41pts from 18 games was enough to win them the league, with Llannefydd’s 36pts from 17 games (giving them 2.12 PPG) enough to put them ahead of Penmaenmawr Phoenix on 41pts from 21 games (1.95PPG), who ended up third despite having the same amount of points as the champions.
Bangor 1876, who only formed last summer, have been crowned GL champions for 2019/20 – with a perfect record of 3PPG.
With a host of former top-flight stars such as Les Davies and Michael Johnston in their ranks, alongside some great young talents such as Dylan Summers-Jones and Cian Williams, the club won 16 out of 16 games in the division, earning 48pts.
Nefyn United finish in second place after picking up 32 points in 14 games (2.29PPG), with Menai Tigers (34pts in 15 games) in third with 2.27PPG and Trearddur Bay Bulls (38pts in 17 games) fourth on 2.24PPG.
Cemaes Bay are your AL champions for this year, but Mountain Rangers pushed them close on PPG.
The Bay finished with a PPG of 2.56 (16 games played, 41pts picked up) with Rangers in close second with a PPG of 2.53 (15 games played, 38pts).
In third were the young Hotspur Reserves side, who picked up 39pts in 17 games (2.29PPG).
VALE OF CLWYD & CONWY PREMIER
Rhuddlan Town came out on top in this division, picking up 41pts in 16 games (2.56PPG) . Llanfairfechan Town’s 28pts from 12 matches (2.15PPG) is enough to put them above third placed Llansannan (23pts in 11 games, 2.09PPG) and fourth placed Abergele (29pts from 15 games, 1.93) and into that runner-up spot.
VALE OF CLWYD & CONWY DIVISION ONE
NFA (North Football Association) are the champs of this division – but only just. They picked up 32pts in 12 games (2.67 PPG) compared to runners-up Llysfaen who had 29pts in 11 games (2.64 PPG).
In third are Llandudno Amateurs Reserves who picked up 25pts in 14 game, giving them a PPG of 1.79.
MID WALES LEAGUES (POWYS AND CEREDIGION)
MID WALES LEAGUE DIVISION ONE (15 teams)
Champions: Llanidloes (60pts from 23 games)
MID WALES LEAGUE DIVISION TWO (14 teams)
Champions: Penparcau (42pts from 17 games), just pipping Machynlleth (42pts from 18 games) on PPG.
WREXHAM AREA LEAGUES
WELSH NATIONAL LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION (16 teams)
Champions: Holywell Town (42pts from 17 games)
WELSH NATIONAL LEAGUE DIVISION ONE (9 teams)
Champions: Hawarden Rangers (30pts from 12 games)
SOUTH WALES LEAGUES
WELSH LEAGUE DIVISION ONE (16 teams)
Champions: Trefelin BGC (54pts)
WELSH LEAGUE DIVISION TWO (16 teams)
Champions: Penrhiwceiber Rangers (31pts) – having played 13 games so with a 2.38 PPG finish ahead of second placed Ynysgerwn (42pts from 19 games) who had 2.21PPG.