21 Years Ago Today – Llansantffraid Lift The Welsh Cup
It was 21 years ago today (May 19 1996) that a small village team from the back of beyond not only made it to the final of the Welsh Cup, but went on beat the then mighty Barry Town, to take the prestigious silverware back to Montgomeryshire.
With the League Of Wales, as it was then known, still in its fledgling state, Llansantffraid reached the final courtesy of a 4-1 semi-final aggregate win – it was home and away legs in those days – against Inter Cardiff.
The route to the final saw Graham Breeze’s team see off Llandyrnog United, Abergavenny Thursdays and Pontypridd Town, as well as the the side from the capital.
Down at the National Stadium in Cardiff, in front of 2,666 fans, Llansantffraid’s chances were written off by most. However, in a true David v Goliath encounter, the team that would eventually metamorphose into The New Saints, went on to lift the trophy.
Going ahead twice in ninety-minutes (T. Morgan, G. Evans), then again in extra time (C. Whelan), Barry bounced back on each occasion to take the game to penalties. In a tense shoot-out, with both sides failing to take all their chances, it was a save from keeper Andy Mulliner that eventually settled it once and for all.
We caught up with Tomi Morgan – who is now of course one of Sgorio’s ‘red-button commentators, along with Mark Jones – for his thoughts on that memorable day.
On reflection that was one of the best days of my career. To play at the National Stadium and beat the hot favourites Barry Town, you could only dream about (that).
To score and lift the cup will stay in my memory till the day I die.