CEMAES Bay have been crowned the North Wales Coast Football Association (NWCFA) champions for the very first time.
The competition itself is among the most prestigious in North Wales as it includes teams from Anglesey, Conwy, Denbighshire and Gwynedd when the first round begins.
It is also the longest-running cup competition in North Wales having first been competed for way back in 1895.
Darren Thomas’ Bay side made their own piece of history last night as they beat Talysarn Celts 4-2 in what was surely one of the games of the season at Gaerwen’s Lôn Groes ground.
It was a piece of history for Thomas himself too as he won the cup as manager 25 years after he had won it as a player with Amlwch Town.
Both teams went into the tie having never lifted the trophy before and with Celts unbeaten v Bay in the league (2-2 draw and a 4-1 away win), many would have put them forward to be favourites to win.
And the match began in that fashion with Celts taking the lead after just seven minutes.
Midfielder Jac Pearce Jones, who has been in sensational form throughout the season, found acres of space just outside the box before unleashing a well driven low effort in past Bay keeper Dan Jones.
The green flares were already up and running from the huge number of Celts fans at the ground after that goal but the joy didn’t last long as Bay responded with an equaliser just nine minutes later.
Midfielder Ryan Folksman, who had gone close with an effort moments earlier, found goalkeeper Dan Tindall off his line and placed the ball perfectly over him for 1-1.
In what a very even affair, the two sides went into half time all square but a very lively second half awaited them.
Celts re-established their lead when a free-kick led to a cross into the box which found Glyn Hughes-Thomas who leapt highest at the back post to head home with a spectacular header on 51mins (captured in pictures by Ryan Foulkes/Foulkes Photography below!).
But again the lead didn’t last long – this time just seconds in fact before Bay equalised again.
In amongst the green smoke from the flares in the Celts’ penalty area, a corner played in found centre back Taylor Jones who fired home a bullet header for 2-2.
From there on out, Cemaes looked the more dangerous of the two sides but still had a lot to do in order to go on and lift that cup.
You felt like they needed something special to happen for them to take the lead and that’s exactly what transpired on 68mins.
The ball fell to Taylor Jones out wide – where there was no danger at all – but the defender produced a moment of magic when he took the ball down on his chest and struck the ball cleanly into the top left hand corner of the goal giving Tindall in the Celts net no chance.
The fourth and final decisive goal of the match came through substitute Jake Anderson who really contributed to Cemaes’ all-round game in the second half.
The former Arriva Bangor man did well to close down a pass to keeper Tindall before slotting home his first ever Cemaes goal on 77mins.
The game after that dragged to a slow close as Celts pushed for a goal that unfortunately for them just wouldn’t come with Luke Baum going closest with an effort which went over the bar.
A historic night for the Bay then and a fantastic battle between two top teams it has to be said.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Ryan Folksman of Cemaes Bay.
Midfielder who must have covered every blade of grass out on that pitch in Gaerwen and scored a stunner too.
Often overlooked but always quietly brilliant, makes things tick for Cemaes and showed that to no end last night.
TALYSARN CELTS: Dan Tindall (GK), Llion Jones, David Aaron Jones, Gerwyn Williams (C, 73’), Rhys Ynyr Jones (73’), Rhodri Jones, Luke Baum, Garem Jones, Glyn Hughes-Thomas ⚽️ , Jac Pearce Jones ⚽️ and Deian Williams (64’). SUBS USED: Tirion Roberts (64’), Peter Bridges (73’), Tom Usher (73’).
CEMAES BAY: Dan Jones (GK), Rhys Lloyd (C), Dylan Jones, Taylor Jones ⚽️ ⚽️ , Shane Pell, Matty Roberts, Ryan Folksman ⚽️ , Luke McKittrick, Sion Rowlands, Matt Reynolds, Gwynfor Owen (67’). SUBS USED: Jake Anderson (67’) ⚽️
HOW CEMAES BAY WERE CROWNED CHAMPIONS
- Round one: Cemaes Bay 4-1 Abergele (Own goal, Luke McKittrick, Matt Reynolds, Matty Roberts).
- Round two: Cemaes Bay 3-2 Rhos United (Matt Reynolds x2, Sam Wiltshire)
- Quarter final: Bodorgan 0-3 Cemaes Bay (Ryan Folksman, Sam Wiltshire, Sol Williams)
- Semi-final: Llanfairpwll 0-7 Cemaes Bay (Sam Wiltshire x2, Sol Williams x2, Matt Reynolds, Matty Roberts, Luke McKittrick) – match replayed due to ineligible player
- Semi-final replay: Llanfairpwll 2-3 Cemaes Bay (After Extra Time) (Own goal, Matty Roberts, Rhys Lloyd)
- Final: Talysarn Celts 2-4 Cemaes Bay (Taylor Jones x2, Ryan Folksman, Jake Anderson)