Bubbly Reds Celebrate Welsh League Title Triumph

Llanelli Town had plenty of champagne available when they clinched the Nathaniel Cars Welsh League title.

Their players are have to take a certain item to every match – and for their fixture at Port Talbot Town that item was a bottle of champagne each.

Failure to turn up with the item selected results in a fine with the money going into a team fund, but every player was ready for the big moment.

“There was certainly plenty of bubbly available,” said Llanelli Town chairman David Craddock.

Llanelli Town, it seems, have won their battle to regain Welsh Premier League status.

The Reds have won the Welsh League title and are ready to follow Barry Town United, promoted a year ago, back to the top flight.

Only five years ago Llanelli were preparing to play Carmarthen League football after the old club went into liquidation, but they have fought back with spirit and character.

They are preparing for a return to top flight football and look certain to go up along with Caernarfon Town, who are Huws Gray Alliance champions in North Wales.

Caernarfon have been awarded the domestic licence needed to play Welsh Premier League football, but Llanelli’s application was initially turned down. The club have appealed and appear confident they will be given the go-ahead for promotion.


Chairman David Craddock says: “As far as I am aware we have now passed all requirements.

“Yes, we need potential investors to come forward. After five years I am stepping down from my role of chairman. We need to fill that role and bring in new directors.

“Right now it is highly satisfactory having been crowned champions.”

Craddock took charge of the club when they were at a low ebb and has led an astonishing recovery.

Club official Bob Jeffries says: “David came into the club with a five-year plan and, unfortunately for us, that plan is now coming to an end.”

Craddock, nicknamed ‘DC’, was approached in 2013 to become the chairman of the reformed Llanelli Town and Jeffries says: “To say it has been an eventful five seasons is an understatement. When I first approached DC to takeover the Reds we did not even know which league we would be playing in.

Celebration time for Llanelli Town.

“We set our stall out to play in the Carmarthenshire League. Due to maybe luck or determination by us all and Barry Town’s lawsuit against the FAW, we found ourselves in Welsh League Division Three. The rest is history.

“The towns football community will forever be indebted to David for keeping the football team going and making dreams become reality.

“What David has done for football in the town is nothing less than a miracle in such a short period. He has used his own finances to grow the football community, using his own time in and out of his own company to ensure that the club is run correctly.

“Thanks to David, the club has and will continue to be in the black, with no outstanding debts. David has always insisted that the towns football team should be for local talent and this is a philosophy of which has been instilled within the Academy set-up.”

Llanelli have earned three promotions, three titles and are holders of the Nathaniel Cars League Cup.

They are Welsh League champions with two matches to play, against Cwmamman United away on Wednesday, May 9 and at Cwmbran Celtic on Saturday, May 12.

Llanelli then finish their season in the League Cup final against Trefelin BGC at Garden Village FC on Friday, May 25.

A year ago the Reds were crowned Welsh League Division Two champions and lifted the League Cup.Now they are on course for a double double, having won the First Division with the cup final to come.

Llanelli became First Division champions when they won 3-1 at Port Talbot Town.

While the Scarlet half of Llanelli may have been crying into their pints Guinness on Saturday evening after a 38-18 defeat against Leinster in the European Rugby Champions Cup, their Red counterparts were celebrating an historic occasion,

Llanelli Town, clinched the Welsh League Division One title.

They needed a point to guarantee the title at the Genquip Stadium and Llanelli created numerous chances, but goalkeeper Rory McCreesh in the home goal was in top form.

Former Cardiff City junior McCreesh, who has also played for fan Lido, Bridgend Street, Pontypridd Town, Taffs Well and Bryntirion Athletic, even saved a Lee Trundle penalty.

Llanelli ‘keeper Craig Morris was rarely troubled by the home attack.

Chris Jones fired Llanelli in front, while Port Talbot equalised after 22 minutes when player-manager Cortez Belle crossed and Chris Keene was able to score after Morris and team-mate Chris Thomas both tried to clear.

When Trundle was brought down referee Kim Fisher awarded a penalty, but McCreesh dived low to his left and pushed the spot-kick against a post.

Llanelli’s Lee Trundle. Pic: Llanelli FC.

Trundle was not to be denied, though, and he scored after 51 minutes when he smashed a shot home from a tight angle following a Kyle Graves throw-in.

The Reds scored a third on 68 minutes with Trundle turning provider by picking out James Loveridge, who struck a quality finish from distance past home keeper McCreesh.

Llanelli then made three substitutions, with Jordan Follows, Kurtis March and Liam Samuel replacing Chris Jones, Ross Jones and Chris Thomas.

The Reds now have an 18 day wait before the first of their final two away league games of the season, against Cwmamman United on Wednesday, May 9 and Cwmbran Celtic three days later.

The League Cup final versus Trefelin at Garden Village is on Friday, May 25.

Port Talbot Town: McCreesh, Johns, Pike, Keene, Owen, Holmes (capt), Llewellyn, Emlyn-Jones, Belle, Humphreys, Thomas. Subs not used: Budge, Whatley, Miller.

Llanelli Town: Morris, Graves, Facciuto, Finselbach, C Thomas (March 74), R Thomas,
C Jones (Follows 71), R Jones (Samuel 74), Clarke (capt), Trundle, Loveridge. Subs not used: Morgan, Rees (gk).

Referee: Kim Fisher (Cardiff).

Welsh League One 2017-2018

1 Llanelli Town 28 22 3 3 69
2 Penybont 30 18 6 6 57
3 Cambrian & Clydach Vale BGC 28 16 2 10 50
4 Haverfordwest County 25 15 3 7 48
5 Afan Lido 28 15 3 10 48
6 Undy Athletic 29 13 5 11 44
7 Goytre United 27 12 7 8 43
8 Taffs Well 28 11 5 12 38
9 Port Talbot Town 29 9 10 10 37
10 Goytre 24 11 2 11 35
11 Cwmbran Celtic 24 10 4 10 34
12 Briton Ferry Llansawel 25 8 7 10 31
13 Monmouth Town 28 7 4 17 25
14 Cwmamman United 24 5 6 13 21
15 Caerau (ELY) 25 3 3 19 12
16 Ton Pentre 26 1 6 19 9

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