PICTURE BY Edryd Jones shows Cemaes Bay hero Matt Reynolds celebrating one of his four goals v Arriva Bangor.
THE opening weekend of the 2022/23 North Wales Coast West Division One season proved to be a cracker.
The new season began with a clash between Llanfairpwll and Holyhead Town at Maes Eilian on Friday night.
And despite the Harbourmen strengthening their squad immensely over the summer, it was Pwll who triumphed with an impressive 3-0 victory.
Their two goalscoring stars of last season picked up where they left off – Marky Holland (17 goals last season) scoring the first goal of the new campaign on 18 mins via a Jay Finter assist.
Finter was one of the standout stars of the whole division in 21/22 and that looks set to be the case again this year if this game is anything to go by.
The 20-year-old, who ended last season with 24 goals to his name last season, provided the second goal of the game before converting a penalty to complete the scoreline.
Robert Thomas was dismissed for Town late on in the match.
A great start for Pwll who actually lost 3-1 to Holyhead Town on the opening day of last season!
Saturday’s fixtures brought about plenty more goals to talk about.
Bethesda Rovers – who finished bottom of the league in their first campaign as a club in 21/22 – are off to a flier in the new season after a huge 3-0 win over Bontnewydd.
Tristan Walker’s side were even top of the league at one point in the day (before the late kick-off) after the victory.
Goals from Iestyn Marlow, Osian Price and captain Rhun Morris – all scored in the first half – were enough to do the damage.
Meanwhile, league newcomers Gaerwen showed great heart in their 6-4 loss to Llanystumdwy in what was a thrilling contest.
The visitors found themselves 3-0 up just 11 minutes in through Tomos Williams (2) and Osian Pritchard before goals from Morgan Davies (17’) and Alan Owen (22’) for Gaerwen made things interesting again.
But Stumdwy powered on and found two more goals before the break – Rhodri Jones scoring on 26mins before a Gruff Sion penalty made it 4-2 just before the break.
In the second half, substitute Daniel Rhinds’ goal on 63mins looked to have put the tie to bed but credit to Gaerwen they kept on going.
Alan Owen scored again on 83mins before Osian Evans bagged a goal three minutes later to reduce the scoreline.
One of the league’s favourites Trearddur Bay were also off the mark with three points as they came from behind to beat Llangoed 5-2.
Nathaniel Evans fired the home side in front via a great header after just 15 minutes (pictured below).
But a Justin Williams goal (27’) and an Asa Thomas penalty (42’) turned the tie on its head for Bay before the break.
The visitors found their stride in the second half and a quick flurry of goals was enough to see them stretch their lead significantly.
The prolific Thomas added a second on 50mins, before Williams bagged again 5 minutes later.
On 57mins, Bay’s goalscoring was brought to a halt when Thomas – who scored 58 goals for Premier Division champions Bodedern Athletic in 21/22 – completed his hat-trick.
Llangoed stalwart Wayne Thomas pulled one back late on for the Puffins who fought to the very end.
Elsewhere, Caergybi picked up their first three points of the season from a good battle with Cefni, beating them 3-1.
Louis Chapman – the only tier five player to pass the 50-goal mark in all comps last season – opened the scoring 10mins in.
Cybi’s returning hero James Ryan – who hit 72 goals in a memorable campaign for the club in 2018/19 – opened his account for the season on 41mins.
But Luke Miles – who has impressed for Cefni in pre-season – pulled one back for his side just before the break.
The outcome of a closely-fought match was only decided through attacker Tom Hadley’s goal on the hour mark for Cybi.
There was a frantic end to the match between Mountain Rangers and Y Fali as the clubs shared a 1-1 draw.
Fali’s Jack Halton was sent off on 80mins before Rangers’ top scorer of last season Aled Rice will have thought he’d snatched all three points on 88mins.
But it wasn’t to be as the visitors left it very late to claim a dramatic point as Matt Williams netted in the 99th minute.
In the late kick-off, Cemaes Bay moved to the top of the league thanks to a 6-0 victory away to Arriva Bangor, who have returned to action after a season out.
A slow start to the match saw Bay struggle to breakthrough despite creating the chances to do so.
It was Tom Wood, who transferred over from Bodedern Athletic over the summer, who eventually broke the deadlock however with a ferocious effort just before half time.
In the second half, Bay moved through the gears and helped themselves to five more goals without reply.
Matt Reynolds – who bagged 38 goals for the club last season – was in ruthless form as he fired in four well-taken goals.
Matty Roberts also added a smart finish from a tight angle following a great through ball form substitute Josh Griffiths.
Arriva’s best chance of the game came when a backpass from a Cemaes player was unintentionally played straight through to sub Alvaro Banegil but he couldn’t find the back of the net with the goal gaping.
Here’s how the table looks after game week one then:
GD – Goal Difference
- 1 Cemaes Bay – 3pts (+6GD)
- 2 Bethesda Rovers – 3pts (+3 GD)
- 3Llanfairpwll – 3pts (+3GD)
- 4 Trearddur Bay – 3pts (+3GD)
- 5 Caergybi – 3pts (+2GD)
- 6 Llanystumdwy – 3pts (+2GD)
- 7 Mountain Rangers – 1pt (0GD)
- 8 Y Fali – 1pt (0GD)
- 9 Cefni – 0pts (-2GD)
- 10 Gaerwen – 0pts (-2GD)
- 11 Bontnewydd – 0pts (-3GD)
- 12 Holyhead Town – 0pts (-3GD)
- 13 Llangoed – 0pts (-3 GD)
- 14 Arriva Bangor – 0pts (-6 GD)
- Matt Reynolds (Cemaes Bay) – 4 goals
- Asa Thomas (Trearddur Bay) – 3 goals
- Alan Owen (Gaerwen) – 2 goals
- Jay Finter (Llanfairpwll) – 2 goals
- Justin Williams (Trearddur Bay) – 2 goals
- Tomos Williams (Llanystumdwy) – 2 goals