End of season joy for ambitious Flintshire club CPD Gronant

By N Beech

Report by Dave Jones of Grassroots North Wales

Great times for Flintshire-based football club CPD Gronant.

As well as winning the first trophy in the club’s short history under its present name at the weekend, they have also secured a long-term lease to develop their ground into a community facility to be proud of.

The club spent their debut season of 2021-22 under the name Llanelwy in North Wales Coast East League Division One, finishing fourth and scoring a tremendous 108 goals in 26 games.

This season, the club made the bold move of switching associations and joined the North East Wales FA under the name CPD Gronant.

They entered the North East Wales League Championship Division and on Friday lifted The Two Counties Cup, beating title favourites Ruabon Rovers 1-0 in the final at Rhydymwyn.

Gronant had lost three times to Ruabon over the season – 4-0 and 4-2 in the league and 4-3 in the Horace Wynne Cup. But it was a different story on May 12.

GRONANT 1 (Kirk 88)
RUABON ROVERS 0

Around 400 spectators watched Gronant upset the odds by beating treble-chasing Ruabon Rovers in The Two Counties Cup Final at Vicarage Road.

The opening quarter was very fast-paced going end-to-end.

Despite Rovers’ good start, Gronant found the net on six minutes through Steven Kirk, who was dubiously adjudged offside.

Both sides struggled for space with defences on top, although Ruabon’s Jimmy Jones looked a threat out wide.

Kirk then had another goal cancelled out for offside, but this time it looked the correct decision.

Ruabon went close when Connor Kendrick’s free kick was heading for the right-hand corner, only to be kept out by youngster Alistair Macaulay.

Rovers then had a goal of their own ruled out for offside.

Half-time: 0-0

Ruabon started the second half strongly and Gronant’s defence was fully tested, keeper Macaulay performing marvels to come out on top in a one-on-one.

Matty Lewis went close at the other end, but then a deflected long-range shot sent Macaulay the wrong way, only for the 17-year-old to somehow change direction in mid-air and keep the ball out.

Another fantastic Macaulay save kept it at 0-0 and penalties were looming before the final was decided in the 88th minute.

A Dylan Taylor lay-off. led to Kirk beating the Ruabon centre-back. It was a one v one and Kirk slotted home to make it 1-0, sending the Gronant support to cloud nine.

The last seven minutes of the game saw Ruabon chasing that equaliser, but Gronant coped with everything.

Rovers’ quality has an ominous feel to it, suggesting it was a matter of time before they nipped that equaliser. A shot coming across a crowded box rattled off the inside of the post.

Last-ditch blocks and tackles just managed to keep Ruabon out till the end,

The league committee Man of the Match award went to young Alistair Macaulay – a display worthy of it.

WINNING TEAM
Alistair Macaulay

Dylan Murray

Gyorgy Szabo

Matthew Pendleton

Steve Kirk

Adam Wright

Dan Price

Aidan Bell

Matthew Lewis

Gary Fazackerley

David O’Neill

SUBS
Cameron Berry

Dylan Taylor (for Fazackerley 72)

Owain Roberts

Chris Snow

Ashley Lloyd

GREAT NEWS FOR THE FUTURE

Great news followed a committee meeting at CPD Gronant this week.

The club is now in a great position to detail its long planned future and to build the profile of CPD Gronant within the village after securing a 27-year lease.

Work will soon begin on developing Gronant Playing Fields into a community sports facility to run alongside the football club.

On the heels of a great season, this news is welcomed with open arms.

Chairman Dave Farrell said: “The lease is monumental to opening so many doors for the community and the club moving forward. We are ready to commit to a minimum of a 27 year lease. We have proved we are for all communities to come and share sessions.

“With a great team of players all round it’s great timing. As chairman I’m extremely happy.

“We have a five-year plan and we are extremely excited about building a community club and one we can hope make the village of Gronant proud of. Work will begin and the club will grow now.”

CPD GRONANT – A BRIEF HISTORY

Formerly known as Llanelwy Athletic, the club was crowned undefeated Vale of Clwyd and Conwy League Division One champions in their debut campaign of 2018-19, but finished next-to-bottom of the Premier the season after, which was shortened due to Covid.

In 2021-22, still as Llanelwy, they competed in the new North Wales Coast East League Division One, finishing up fourth.

The club changed associations to the North East Wales FA for 2022-23, saying the move was forced upon them over the right to use the name Gronant. The village of Gronant is located just outside the NWCFA attachment area.

On top of running a first team, the club entered an under-19 squad into the Flintshire Junior League and therefore saw the switch as a sign of purpose.

First team manager Sandy Malone, who has enjoyed past successes with Llanfairfechan Town, Llandudno Amateurs and the former Llanelwy Athletic, has built a fine squad at Gronant including many of his past players and the future looks bright.

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