Two North Wales giants set to clash once more as league is announced – but not everyone is happy

Two of the biggest clubs in North Wales football are set to renew acquaintances as the league structure for Welsh football was finalised yesterday. Bangor 1876 and CPD Y Rhyl 1879 have been successful in their bid to ply their trade at tier 3 next season and will face each other in the Ardal North West League.

Bangor 1876 was formed in 2019 as a breakaway club in order to protect the future of football in the city, with various issues surrounding Bangor City FC – who look increasingly like their days as a functioning club are now over. CPD Y Rhyl 1879 on the other hand were formed as a phoenix club after Rhyl FC were liquidated in 2020.

Bangor and Rhyl share a historic rivalry going back decades. Although the two clubs are not strictly the same, the clash between the two will be eagerly anticipated and the rivalry is expected to be equally as fierce, especially considering that both clubs will be amongst the favourites for the Ardal North West title.

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They will undoubtedly face some stiff competition in the Ardal North West however, with Denbigh Town expected to be featuring at the top end and Bodedern Athletic, Llay Welfare, Llanrwst United and Llangefni Town almost certain to be competitive. Last year’s surprise package Llanuwchllyn have transferred to the Ardal North East League and that division is also expected to be a difficult one to call.

Not everyone was happy with the decisions surrounding the leagues however, with Hawarden Rangers (4th in North East Wales League), Halkyn & Flint Mountain (2nd in NEW League) and Bangor 1876 (2nd in North Wales Coast West League) gaining promotion to the third tier despite not winning their respective divisions. St Asaph City FC were one such club who were replaced in the third tier.

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Stadium for the North campaign logo

St Asaph City FC chairman John Roberts said: “As any team who are relegated from one league to another we were very disappointed to learn that we had been relegated from the Ardal North West League. Bodedern, Rhyl and Halkyn & Flint Mountain were promoted because of their achievements in their respective leagues and and we congratulate them and wish them well in what is an excellent division.

Stadium for the North campaign

“When we also realised that Bangor 1876 had been promoted despite finishing second in their league – with the regulations stating that only one team would be promoted – we were concerned. The biggest disappointment – and certainly the one we find harder to understand is Hawarden Rangers, who finished fourth in their league and have been promoted.

“As a result, five of the 16 teams in the league for the 2022/23 season are promoted teams, which must be a unique occurrence. We have contacted the FAW with our concerns.”

The FAW have been approached for comment.

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