Macron Newfa Challenge Cup goes to Ruthin
Written by The North East Welsh FA, May 25, 2018
The first ever NEWFA Saturday Challenge Cup that was sponsored saw a closely contested final between Ruthin Town and Holywell Town at the Hollingsworth Stadium on a Friday night under the lights. From the start the match was played at a relentless pace with the contest being between the superior physicality of the Wellmen and the speed of the young side from Denbighshire.
Ruthin had an early call for a penalty that was repelled by referee Dan Foggerty and Holywell grabbed an early lead from a set play that resulted in a mini scramble before Holywell turned the ball into the net, much to the delight of a significant contingent dressed in the famous red and white stripes. Holywell had made this a real family event with the Under 6's escorting their players onto the pitch prior to kick off and I'm sure all would agree that the atmosphere for the final had a real positive vibe.
Whilst Holywell had gained an early advantage this was short lived as Ruthin played some quick one touch passing and as the striker beared down on goal he was adjudged to have been fouled by the on rushing goalkeeper. as always in such situations one team will question whilst the other team say it was a cert. It was always a decision given the context of the game that would leave the audience split. Ruthin stepped up and duly equalised from the spot. With only quarter of an hour gone the scores were back level.
The remainder of the first half saw both teams create chances and it seemed destined to be all square at half time, until a move in the 44th minute saw Ruthin take the lead. Whilst there was disappointment to be trailing at half time for Holywell there was jubilation for Ruthin, although neutrals may well have argued that level would have been a fair reflection after 45 minutes. One thing for certain was that both teams were providing some decent entertainment.
The second half started in a similar manner at an extremely high tempo and once again both teams created chances. It was quite amazing that as the 90th minute approached that the score had not changed despite valiant efforts from both teams. There was a clear anxiety now from he boys in blue as Holywell surged for one more chance. Further anxieties came from an additional 8 minutes time played and whilst Ruthin were calling for time Holywell looked for that one last chance. As it happened it didnt come and credit must be given to some resolute defending. One thing is for certain both teams produced some eye catching football and this was a good advert for football in the North East Wales area. It was comisertaions to Holywell and congratulations to Ruthin, but most improtantly we all look forward to another entertaining competition next season.
Picture shows a jubulant Ruthin Captain presented the Macron Sponsored NEWFA Saturday Challenge Cup by NEWFA Chairman Mr Cliff Evans.