With no football to keep us entertained right now, it is a perfect time to look back on some of the greatest moments in the history of our domestic game in Wales, and what better way to do that then through the eyes of the people who have made them happen?
That’s why we’ve reached out to some familiar faces from the domestic game in Wales to hear more from them about what their best moments have been during their time spent in the Welsh game.
Today, you can hear from one of the most renowned personalities of our domestic game in Wales – Sgorio’s Nicky John – as she picks her top five moments in JD Cymru Leagues history.
Bangor City winning the 2010/11 JD Cymru Premier
That day I was up on the gantry watching and I don’t like heights! I stood underneath the gantry thinking ‘oh my God, if I go up there, I’m not going to be able to come back down before the end of the game’ and I was honestly stuck up there for four hours, because once I was up there I wasn’t coming down.
It was a crazy day. Everything rested on that game and the scenes at the end of the day, everyone running on the pitch and celebrating, and the fact that Farrar Road was considered as one of the most iconic grounds – that’s the only time in recent years we’ve seen someone other than TNS winning the league too! It was just a very special day all-round.
Caernarfon Town vs TNS in the 2014/15 JD Welsh Cup
Nobody expected to see Caernarfon going for TNS the way they did in that game, and there was an enormous crowd there as well to watch the game – even bigger than what we’re used to at Caernarfon.
Then Darren Thomas scored that goal, the wall came down and, of course, there was concern because you worry that people are hurt, but thankfully everyone was all right and the celebrations of that goal afterwards were massive.
The fact that Caernarfon had been able to cause the mighty TNS a bit of concern as well – ok, the result didn’t go Caernarfon’s way – but the whole experience will stay in the memory for a long, long time.
Bala Town winning the 2016/17 JD Welsh Cup
I went to speak to Colin Caton in the week before the game for an item and obviously everyone was looking forward to the final – the first time they’d got to the final, they’d never beaten TNS before, and so on.
To spend the morning in a local school in Bala trying to build a bit of hype for the game, you just realised how special the occasion was to them, and how against the odds it would have been for them to win.
But win they did, and the emotion after the game – not just from the players, but from the volunteers and everyone at the club, who people often don’t think about, and all the hours and hours they put in to run the club, I just remember the tears from them on the side of the pitch. It just showed what football means to people of all walks of life.
Everyone expected TNS to win it and bag the treble-treble, but for Bala to come back from one down and score two goals late in the game to win it, it was like a movie script – an amazing moment.
The New Saints winning the 2013/14 JD Welsh Cup
The New Saints have won and done pretty much everything there is to do in Welsh football. I was moving house on the day of this final at the Racecourse against Aberystwyth Town – another team that nobody was expecting to really challenge TNS.
It felt like a huge occasion to be at the Racecourse for the first time, and I love the JD Welsh Cup as it is – it is what I probably look forward to covering more than anything in terms of the domestic game.
Aberystwyth, against all the expectations were ahead by two goals at halftime and looked very comfortable, but in the second half they came back with Greg Draper getting two and Mike Wilde scoring one to win 3-2 and TNS had reminded everyone again why they were where they were and that they dominate the game in Wales.
The final fixture at Farrar Road
It was such an iconic stadium and there were so many goals in that game between Bangor and Prestatyn – it finished 5-3, and it was just very poignant to see names that you think of straight away when you think of those two clubs involved in such a big game.
I had been there during the week filming an item for Sgorio ‘Ffarwel i Ffordd Farrar’ and it brought a lump to my throat at the time to see those floodlights go off for the last time. That stadium had been home to football in Bangor for so many years. There was so much support there, and it felt like you were the heart of the city, and there was such a buzz around the place.
I just think of people like Gwyn Pierce Owen, Nev Powell, Peter Hoy, Jamie Brewerton, Michael Johnstone – and they were the team to beat at the time – plus to finish it all off against Prestatyn, which were always good games and good spirit between the fans and the players as well. It was a very emotional moment, absolutely, and is definitely one of my top five.