Three teams will represent Ceredigion leagues in the semi finals of the J.Emrys Morgan Cup and it will take a brave punter to bet against the silverware remaining in the county for another season following wins for both Llandysul and Newcastle Emlyn over the last two seasons.
Lampeter Town and the Saints, both previous winners, will fly the flag for the Costcutter League and Penparcau who won in 2008 will represent the Cambrian Tyres League in the latter stages of this prestigious competition.
St Dogmaels produced arguably their best performance for many a year to put Crannog to the sword at the Urdd Centre. The Saints were on fire throughout and were well worth their 5-0 success with the hosts, who are their nearest rivals for the League title, totally outplayed and hardly having a sniff at goal.
The visitors who played against the stiff breeze in the opening half managed to defend the attacking threat of George Colven and co and were able to effectively clean up the mainly long ball approach by the blues. The visitors took the lead on twenty minutes when Billy Myers set Louis Harding free down the right flank and he in turn picked out Pete Almond who nodded the ball home from six yards.
With the wind advantage after the break it took very little time for the Saints to extend their lead when Rhys Jones blasted home a shot from the edge of the penalty box to beat stand in keeper Rhydian Morgan and the game was all but over a few minutes later when Harding was brought down in the box by Mark Davies and the powerful striker duly dusted himself down and slotted home from the spot to make it 3-0. Davies was then sent packing to the dressing room for a second yellow card.
The Saints totally dominated the match after this and Jones added his second goal with another long range effort and the score was rounded off when Harding slipped past keeper Morgan to poke the ball into the empty net to make it 5-0.
Speaking after the game Steve Williams said that his team had been outstanding and added: ”To be honest we totally deserved the win especially as our keeper Casey Walters hardly had a save to make.
The whole squad deserve credit as on the day it really was a bit of a mis- match and I can’t praise my players enough. If we continue with this sort of form we are going to be very hard to stop. I am very proud of the lads.”
Crannog manager Rhydian Morgan who in typical fashion blamed himself for two of the goals had to don the keepers gloves at the very last minute due to an injury to regular custodian Michael Bridges, said that his team had suffered a bad day at the office and added:”We were very disappointing and St Dogmaels thoroughly deserved the victory.
Losing Michael Bridges in goal with an ankle injury was a huge loss to us but to be fair St Dogmaels were stronger in every department and we never really looked like scoring.”
Ceredigion Costcutter League rivals Lampeter joined the Saints in the last four following a convincing 5-1 victory over Bow Street Reserves.
The North road side, who were missing several players through injury, took the lead when Jason Jones scored after 28 minutes and the Lampeter front runner added a second just five minutes later to make it 2-0 at the interval.
The Magpies responded on the hour mark but the hosts hit them with a quick fire burst of goals with two from new signing Rhys Douglas and one for Gethin Hunter after great work by captain Marc Evans. The hard working skipper was drafted on to the field in the second half to shore up the Town midfield despite struggling with injury and there was no way back for the Magpies after this.
Penparcau booked their place in the semi final following a 4-2 success over Guilsfield Reserves but they were forced to come from behind on two occasions. The reds took an early lead when Dan Barton took full advantage of some sloppy defending to fire home from close range before the hosts equalised when Matty Davies turned sharply on the edge of the box and drilled in a cross for Liam Jaques to poke the ball home. The visitors took the lead once again when Graham McGill struck with a sweetly taken free kick from just outside the box and they should have made it 3-1 soon afterwards with a shot that crept past the far post.
Penparcau rode their luck and hit back with two very good chances before a long ball over the top found Andrew Gittins and he slipped the ball past the advancing keeper to level matters. The hosts were then handed a golden opportunity to score from the spot but the penalty attempt hit the crossbar and bounced away to safety. However a goal eventually arrived when wing back Antony Evans broke down the right flank and skilfully threaded the ball past the Guils keeper to put Arky 3-2 ahead. There was further drama at the other end minutes later when a McGill header appeared to cross the line but play was waived on.
The hosts made the most of this touch of good fortune when Matty Davies was presented with the simplest of chances following good work by Evans to make it 4-2 and he should have made it 5-2 late on when his chip over the keeper floated just wide of the posts.
Bishops Castle also went through to the latter stages but they had to do it the hard way against Trefonen FC. The scores were locked at 1-1 after both normal and extra time and the hosts Bishops Castle eventually went through after a penalty shoot out by 4-1.
Pics by Julie John and Chris Howells.