Penydarren BGC captain Alex Lloyd determined to complete double by winning W.J. Owen Cup
Penydarren BGC take on Blaenrhondda AFC tomorrow evening at the Lakeside Sports Academy in the final of the W.J. Owen Cup. Pen skipper Alex Lloyd is looking forward to the game, and is fully aware that his players will need another strong performance if they’re to leave with the silverware.
It has been a season to remember for Penydarren Boys & Girls Club. The Merthyr Tydfil side were recently crowned champions of the South Wales Alliance Premier Division, and now have the chance to complete the double by winning the W.J. Owen Cup.
Kerri Mullins’ side also reached the semi-finals of the FAW Trophy, where they were beaten 0-3 by Conwy Borough, who will be playing two tiers above Penydarren next season.
Captain Alex Lloyd has been an important part of the team’s success this season, he began by saying: “Its been incredible what we’ve accomplished this year in the JD Welsh Cup and the FAW Trophy, its been an absolute fairytale.”
However, Lloyd makes clear what the main aim was for the season: “But most importantly the promotion was the key. What we’ve given back to the supporters and everyone involved with the club is a phenomenal journey of a season. To go unbeaten for a full league season is something special but to do it with Penydarren was something else. Its unreal to play every game and perform the way we have is a brilliant achievement at any level of sport.”
The Bont Playing Fields side won 27 of their 30 games in this season’s South Wales Alliance Premier Division, drawing the other three.
He continued: “We have not always been at our best, but we dug in hard week in, week out. To go unbeaten in the fashion we have is the greatest achievement. With us only conceding 14 goals and scoring a total of 117 goals in 30 league games is something else.”
Following their promotion, Pen will be playing in the Welsh Football League Division Three next season, the fourth tier on the Welsh football pyramid.
Lloyd revealed what has helped his side to the success they have had this term: “The secret to success this year is just the togetherness between teammates, management, volunteers and supporters. We all work equally as hard for each other.
The way we set targets at the beginning of the season and achieved them is really down to how much we wanted it. The club has been waiting for this success for many years and to finally give it to them is a fantastic feeling.”
The team finished 20 points clear of second-placed Ynyshir Albions in this season’s South Wales Alliance Premier Division.
Speaking on the final, Lloyd said: “I really cant wait for the final now, a double would really top off an eventful and incredible season for all involved. We will approach the game no different to what we have done before, whether it’s Bangor City or a league game.
We will go into the game with the same attitude that we have done week-in-week-out previously. Obviously they are two leagues below us, but we will take nothing for granted. Its a cup final and anything can happen.
Penydarren defeated Clwb Cymric 4-2 to reach the final, while Blaenrhondda saw off Caerphilly Athletic 4-2 after extra time.
Lloyd is under no illusions that Wednesday’s final will be a tough encounter: “Blaenrhondda have had a fantastic season too, going unbeaten in the South Wales Alliance League Division 2. I’ll be expecting a tough test and a great game for the neutrals to enjoy.
He finished: “No matter the outcome, nobody can take away the season we’ve had; but to get our hands on another trophy would really top this year off and make the party a little more special.”
Penydarren’s journey to the final:
Round 1: Penydarren BGC 4-1 FC Cwmaman
Round 2: Penydarren BGC 7-2 AFC Buetown
Quarter-final: Penydarren BGC 3-0 Merthyr Saints
Semi-final: Penydarren BGC 4-2 Clwb Cymric
Blaenrhondda’s journey to the final:
Round 1: Vale United 1-2 Blaenrhondda
Round 2: Llanharry 1-10 Blaenrhondda
Round 3: Blaenrhondda 3-0 Ynyshir Albions
Quarter-final: Blaenrhondda 2-1 Cwm Welfare
Semi-final: Blaenrhondda 4-2 Caerphilly Athletic (aet.)
W.J. Owen Cup final: Penydarren BGC vs. Blaenrhondda AFC (19:00)
Date: Wednesday 23 May 2018
Venue: Lakeside Sports Academy, Cambrian
(Featured image: Penydarren BGC)