10 memorable JD Welsh Cup final moments

The 135th JD Welsh Cup final takes place on Sunday 28 April as Connah’s Quay Nomads take on holders The New Saints at Rodney Parade, Newport (5.25pm).

To celebrate this latest showpiece of the third-oldest cup competition in the world, here is a look back at ten significant JD Welsh Cup final moments in history.


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1877/78 – Wrexham win the first final

A last minute winner from James Davies would be the difference between Wrexham and Druids in March 1878 when Wrexham became the first club to win the Welsh Cup.

The final took place in Wrexham, but at Acton Park rather than the unavailable Racecourse, and a reported crowd of around 1,500 came out to witness the completion of this new competition.

However, Wrexham were defeated by Newtown White Stars in the final the following year, while Druids made amends by lifting the trophy for three consecutive years between 1880 and 1882. All their victories were played at the Racecourse, and in 1883, Wrexham eventually lifted the trophy at their own stadium with another 1-0 win over the Druids. 

1926/27 – Cardiff City and a unique cup double

A crowd of over 90,000 people were present at Wembley Stadium as Fred Keenor captained Cardiff City to FA Cup glory against Arsenal on 23 April 1927, with a 1-0 victory taking the trophy outside of England for the one and only time in its history.

Just a fortnight later, less than 10,000 fans would be present at the Racecourse in Wrexham. Taking on Rhyl in the Welsh Cup final, Cardiff manager Fred Stewart remained loyal to the majority of the team that had won at Wembley, and goals from Len Davies and Irishman Sam Irving earned a 2-0 victory to complete an incredible and very unique national cup double.

1939/40 – Wellington beat the Swans on the outbreak of war

Although the Second World War was already raging across Europe on 1 June 1940, the Welsh Cup final would go ahead in Shrewsbury as English side Wellington Town won the competition for the third and final time in their history with a resounding 4-0 win over Swansea Town.

It would be the last final played until the competition resumed in 1946/47 when the Welsh Cup remained in England as Chester defeated Merthyr Tydfil 5-1 in a reply following a 0-0 draw.

1960/61 – Swansea head into Europe as Welsh Cup winners

Swansea Town claimed the Welsh Cup in 1960/61 with a 3-1 win over Bangor City at Ninian Park and the victory meant that they would become the first Welsh club to compete in Europe as the following season they would take part in the newly-formed and expanded UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, a tournament introduced the year before following the success of the European Cup and comprising of the national cup competition winners of each member association. Swansea would come against German side SC Motor Jena, losing 7-3 on aggregate in the opening round.

1966/67 to 1975/76 – Cardiff City reach 10 finals in a row

Cardiff City were blessed with some star names during the 1960s and 70s and they played their part in the side reaching ten consecutive Welsh Cup finals. The side would win the trophy seven times in this period, with the great John Toshack achieving domestic success before moving to Liverpool.

It was during his formative years at Ninian Park that the striker claimed two Welsh Cup winners’ medals in consecutive seasons, the first in 1968 as Hereford United were comfortably defeated over two legs, while a year later Toshack scored in both games against Swansea City as his side successfully defended the trophy. 

1994/95 – A record win for Wrexham

Wrexham have appeared in 45 of the 134 Welsh Cup finals that have been played to date, winning the trophy a record 23 times. Gary Bennett scored twice in a 2-1 win over Cardiff City in 1994/95 to move them clear of their opponents in the all-time winners’ table in a final that marked the end of the involvement of clubs competing in the English pyramid system.

Although they would be invited back in 2011/12, only Merthyr Town, Newport County and Wrexham accepted the offer and all failed to make an impression on the competition. The experiment was withdrawn the following season.

1996/97 – Barry Town achieve the very first treble

Achieving the domestic treble remains one of the toughest achievements in the game, and the first Welsh domestic treble was claimed by the great Barry Town side of the 1990s.

A 2-1 win over Cwmbran Town at Ninian Park in 1996/97 ensured the side completed a clean-sweep of silverware as they complimented their League and League Cup titles with their third-ever Welsh Cup triumph. The side had previously lifted the trophy in 1954/55 and again in 1993/94 when they famously upset the odds to defeat Cardiff City. 

2003/04 – Rhyl complete a memorable campaign

There was a brief time of transition in the domestic top-flight as the demise of the dominant Barry Town side opened the path for The New Saints to take charge.

However, this period of change allowed others to challenge and John Hulse’s impressive Rhyl side took full advantage of the situation to complete the domestic treble 30-years ago this season.

A 1-0 win over the Saints, known at the time as Total Network Solutions, at Latham Park arrived thanks to an extra-time own goal from Chris Taylor when he converted a cross from Marc Limbert into his own net.

2007/08 to 2010/11 – Bangor City win 22 Welsh Cup games in a row

Nev Powell managed Bangor City to four consecutive Welsh Cup finals between 2008 and 2011, lifting the trophy on the first three occasions and not losing a single match in the competition between his appointment in May 2007 and the 2011 final against Llanelli.

Over the course of those four campaigns, Bangor City won 22 consecutive games, defeating Llanelli, Aberystwyth Town and Port Talbot Town in the 2008, 2009 and 2010 finals respectively.

Powell represented Bangor City with distinction both domestically and in Europe during his own playing career, and repeated his achievements as manager with a unrivalled cup record.

2015/16 – The New Saints complete the first-ever double-treble

Of course, if achieving the domestic treble is a tough ask in itself, then what odds on the double-treble? That was the reward for The New Saints in 2015/16 during current manager Craig Harrison’s first spell in charge at the club.

To add to the achievement, the side also claimed the world record for consecutive victories in all competitions that season.

“To win all three domestic trophies was very special and historic,” said Harrison as he reflected on that success that culminated with a 2-0 win over Airbus UK Broughton in the Welsh Cup final. “That side’s winning mentality was relentless, the players were really focused and tuned in and to do it once was very special, but to do it twice was absolutely amazing.”

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The Story So Far

The JD Welsh Cup from the qualifying rounds to the final

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