FIFTY not out and a first ever double, writes SHAUN DAVIES.
That was the tale as Henllan concluded their greatest ever Summer League season in terrific fashion.
After almost seven decades of trying, the Top Park side won their first ever double on the back of a comprehensive 4-0 victory versus Llanfair in the final of the Tony Evans Memorial Shield.
Leading the charge for the team in green-and-white was striker Sam Jones, who bagged a hat-trick during the Friday night showdown to take his tally for the season up to a fantastic 50 goals.
Henllan fully deserved their 22nd victory in 24 matches this season, but Llanfair battled through right until the end and only an unbelievable late save denied them a goal.
In front of the S4C Newyddion 9 cameras, Dylan Pugh’s Llanfair made the brighter start.
Two minutes had elapsed when Henllan lost the ball in midfield and Llyr Morris picked up possession to release Dafydd Evans.
The winger had a chance to take a touch, but he opted to take it first time and his shot from the edge of the box went over the top.
Henllan looked to gain a foothold in the contest and it took a terrific tackle from Cai Hilditch to deny Sam Jones a clear run through on goal four minutes later.
At the other end, Roger Beech was a little optimistic when he went for goal from a 40-yard free kick, while Wil Jones couldn’t divert his header on target from Dafydd Evans’ inviting delivery.
Henllan won four corners in the opening quarter-of-an-hour as they cranked up the pressure, but it was from a free kick that they took the lead.
Mike Halsall was penalised for his foul on Sam Jones right on the edge of the box.
Jones took the ensuing set piece and his thunderbolt crashed into the corner of the net, leaving Llanfair keeper Steve Roberts with no chance.
Llanfair dangerman Llyr Morris had his first glimpse of goal after half-an-hour, but his shot from the edge of the box was comfortable for Henllan number one Gareth Beach, while it was Henllan who were celebrating once more 10 minutes shy of the interval.
Following a quick break, Sam Jones found the corner of the net from 20 yards for his second goal of the evening.
Llanfair attempted to respond and Huw Price’s wicked delivery looked destined for the head of Llyr Morris until a slight Henllan touch conceded a corner.
Henllan were looking the more likely to score again, though, and a curling effort from Ynyr Clwyd was just a foot wide as the half neared its close.
Sam Jones had a hat-trick in his sights a minute before the break, but he was denied by a good save from Steve Roberts following a fine run.
The rebound fell to David Lawson-Cooke, but he spurned a glorious opportunity to seal the deal by hitting it straight at Roberts.
Henllan came out for the second half with all guns blazing and Sam Jones was once more denied by Steve Roberts.
The ball rebounded to hit Huw Price on the hand and Henllan’s vociferous appeals for a penalty were turned away.
It was pretty much game over 10 minutes into the second half when Henllan added their third goal of the contest.
A defensive slip opened the door for Sam Jones and he nipped in to complete his hat-trick... and reach 50 goals for the season.
Man of the match Ynyr Clwyd was in scintillating form throughout the second half and he forced a good save from Steve Roberts, before his tantalising cross was just too high for Tom Jones in the box.
Henllan went so close to extending their lead 18 minutes from the end as Llanfair failed to clear a corner and Tom Jones’effort from 12 yards clattered against the post.
Jones was on the hunt for a goal and another corner a minute later saw him being denied by Steve Roberts’ fine one-handed save.
Sam Jones should have had his fourth goal in the 78th minute, but he blazed well over from Tom Jones’ pass.
However, a fourth Henllan goal did arrive with three minutes left to play.
Ynyr Clwyd bagged the goal that his display merited.
To their credit, Llanfair bossed the closing stages and they should have registered a goal.
Elgan Lightfoot dragged a great chance wide of the post in the 88th minute and it added on time, Llyr Morris appeared to have found the target with a powerful strike from 10 yards.
However, Gareth Beach made a top notch save to somehow keep that strike out.
Henllan: Gareth Beach, Bradley Jones (Deio Clwyd (88)), Elgan Roberts (Steffan Tomos (77)), Dafydd Williams, Neil Davies, Ed Jones (c), David Lawson-Cooke (Rhys Brown (89)), Ally Stubbs (Dewi Jones (82)), Tom Jones, Sam Jones (Matthew Jones (89)), Ynyr Clwyd
Llanfair: Steve Roberts, Meirion Pugh, Roger Beech, Mike Halsall (Alan Davies (63)), Cai Hilditch, Elgan Lightfoot, Dafydd Evans, Huw Price, Llyr Morris (c), Jamie Jarvis (Dylan Pugh (79)), Wil Jones
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