Survival Saturday: The Fight to Stay in the Huws Gray Alliance

 

Survival Saturday Banner v2

Introduction

This coming Saturday afternoon (27th April 2019) will see the final fixtures of the Huws Gray (Cymru) Alliance take place. After 29 years of the league being an important fixture within the Welsh football pyramid, it would be its final weekend of its existence. This is because the league’s direct governance with be transferred to the FAW, and the league will be transformed into the FAW Championship North for the 2019-20 season and beyond!

Despite its final weekend of life, the Cymru Alliance couldn’t have planned a more exciting and fitting finale. The championship title race was wrapped up very early by runaway leaders, Airbus UK Broughton, who managed to clinch the league title when they achieved an impressive 4-0 victory over Holywell Town at The Airfield. With a Welsh Premier League license also granted to the Wingmakers, it also meant they were guaranteed promotion to the top flight and regain their WPL status after a two season hiatus.

However it would be at the opposite end of the table where the excitement was developing. A combination of postponements earlier in the season, and a strange coincidence has curiously meant that two remaining fixtures of the final CA season would involve teams who were fighting for their second tier survival. With two provisional relegation places yet to be decided, the remaining games would determine who would suffer the drop into the third tier of Welsh football, and which team would survive. Sky Sports would have certainly have loved this drama!

2018-19 CA Final Games - 23rd April 19
The final two games of the 2018-19 Cymru Alliance season. [IMAGE: Non League Matters]
2018-19 CA Relegation - 23rd April 19
The bottom six spots in the Cymru Alliance, with Denbigh Town, Penrhyncoch and Holywell Town all fighting for survival. [IMAGE: Huws Gray Alliance Website]
Three teams that were threatened by relegation going into the final day of the CA season are Denbigh Town, Penrhyncoch and Holywell Town, with two of the three sides suffering potential relegation.

 

Denbigh Town

Denbigh Town

  • Position: 13th
  • Games Played: 30
  • Points: 29
  • Goal Difference: -28
  • Form: LLLLW

Last season’s runners-up, Denbigh Town, are currently in the ‘driving seat’ as they are positioned outside of the relegation zone, in the sought after position of thirteenth spot, with a points tally of 29 points and a goal difference of -28. However, their fate is completely out of their hands as they have completed their 30 game season. A 1-3 home loss to Holywell Town had put them in a dire position, but a final day 3-1 win over Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant ensured they given themselves a chance of survival in the CA. However they have had to wait two weekends before their fate has been determined.

A win from either Penrhyncoch or Holywell Town would condemn Denbigh Town into the bottom three and relegation (dependent on the results of the Tier 2 license decision later in the month). For the Central Park outfit to maintain their Tier 2 tenure for a sixth season, they would need both of their relegation rivals to slip up and avoid victory.

 

CPD Penrhyncoch

Penrhyncoch

  • Position: 14th
  • Games Played: 29
  • Points: 27
  • Goal Difference: -10
  • Form: LWDWD

Penrhyncoch are currently in fourteenth position on 27 points, and with a goal difference of -10. The Roosters were staring relegation in the face, but having earned themselves eight points in the last four games, with victories over Gresford Athletic and Bangor City, and a couple of draws against Flintshire sides. This included a crucial last minute equaliser against Holywell Town at Cae Baker in their previous match, ensuring they still have a strong chance of survival.

If they win at Cae Baker against the eleventh placed side, Conwy Borough, they would be guaranteed survival due to their superior goal difference in comparison with the other two teams. Conwy could potentially claim tenth position if they get a win, and with the likes of lethal forward, Corrig McGonigle in excellent form this season, Penrhyncoch will find this fixture tricky. Even more so considering they have only won three games at home all season.

 

Holywell Town

Holywell Town Badge

  • Position: 15th
  • Games Played: 29
  • Points: 27
  • Goal Difference: -23
  • Form: LWWDD

Holywell Town are probably in the worst position of the three teams vying for survival. The Wellmen are currently in fifteen position with a goal position of -23, but equal on points with Penrhyncoch. However they are on the same decent form as Penrhyncoch, having gained eight points from their last four games to give them a fighting chance of survival. Something which had seemed unbelievable four weeks prior. Crucial wins over Bangor City and Denbigh Town ensured they put themselves in a stronger position. Unfortunately they conceded a last minute goal at Penrhyncoch, which would have strengthened their position further had they won. Whilst they gained a hard earned point away at Guilsfield, the weekend prior to this final weekend.

Despite their worst league position, the Wellmen would have the easier fixture (on paper). Holywell would be playing bottom of the table, and already relegated side, Holyhead Hotspur at Halkyn Road. If they overcome the CA League Cup finalists, and Penrhyncoch slipped up, they would maintain their CA status for a fifth season. However Holyhead will be a tricky opponent, and with history between the clubs when they were rivals in the Welsh Alliance, Hotspur would love to relegate their fellow Holy team with them.

 

Survival Permutations

These are the permutations for who would survive dependent on the two results:

  • Penrhyncoch Win + Holywell Win = PENRHYNCOCH
  • Penrhyncoch Win + Holywell Draw/Lose = PENRHYNCOCH
  • Penrhyncoch Draw/Lose + Holywell Win = HOLYWELL
  • Penrhyncoch Draw/Lose + Holywell Draw/Lose = DENBIGH

 

Best of luck to all three teams for this coming weekend’s fixtures, and may the best team come out on top…

…although obviously I am hoping it will be the Wellmen…. 😉

 

What do you think the results will be this weekend, and who do you think will stay in the second tier for the following season? Let me know either in the comments below or via the social media links in my CONTACT page.

 

Diolch!

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