TWO goals from front-runner Adrian Hazelby helped Llandysul lift the Emrys Morgan Cup for first time ever as the Teifi Valley club completed an historic league and cup double with a 3-1 win over Berriew Reserves at Cae Baker.
Hazelby, who was injured in a heavy collision early on, soldiered on for the whole game and his never say die attitude typified the effort of the Costcutter Ceredigion League champions.
Beaten in last season’s final by Llanfair United Reserves at the same venue, there was relief and celebration for the Swallows as skipper Ian Barrett was presented with the silverware.
This outcome of this final was in the balance until late on, with the Montgomeryshire Amateur League side taking the lead through Mike Henderson-Smith, but Scott Thomas levelled, before Hazelby sealed it with a brace.
“I’m really proud of the lads, once again they showed huge character and never know when they are beaten,” said manager Chris ‘Coco’ Davies.
“When they fell a goal behind there was no panic, they battled on well and they have got what they deserved.”
In wet and windy conditions at Penrhyncoch, Berriew showed plenty of purpose as they used the flanks well, but the Swallows were creaing the best early chances.
Lewis Jones went close with one powerful drive, Scott Thomas missed narrowly from a corner and Hazelby and Sion Price had shots go just wide.
Last year missed chances had proven so costly for Llandysul and from Berriew’s first real attack of the game they went ahead as Henderson Smith took full advantage of some poor defending to slip the ball past Jon Drawbridge.
This sparked of a fine passage of play from the Montgomeryshire side, who had beat Cambrian Tyres Aberystwyth League leaders Bont in the semi-final - and they had a shouts for a penalty for handball turned away.
This could have changed the course of the game, but just a few minutes later came the best goal of the match.
Scott Thomas, who had not seen much of the action, picked up the ball just inside his own half and went on a mazy run that took him past several defenders, before calmly firing home from the edge of the penalty box.
This equaliser really lifted Llandysul and Hazelby forced a great save, whilst Ben Thomas also narrowly missed the target with a decent strike.
It remained all square at the break, with little to choose between the sides.
Llandysul bossed the first quarter of the second half, with midfielders Terry Maynard and Ian Barrett more influential in winning some big tackles.
It was Maynard who set up the second goal on 55 minutes when he made a break down the left flank and his cross in was met at the far post by Hazelby, who tapped the ball home.
With Berriew fast tiring against more physical opponents, Hazelby eventually sealed the win with his second goal when he latched on to a superb cross from Scott Thomas, who had raced down the left wing and presented him with the simplest of chances.
Berriew went close with a header from a corner that brushed the crossbar as they threw caution to the wind, but the Llandysul defence managed to keep them out, with none better than Scott Mayes, playing at sweeper.
Berriew boss Johnny Roberts said: “All credit to Llandysul, they played really well and they deserved the win.
“My lads deserve heaps of praise for getting to the final, and they put in a good performance, but it wasn’t to be.
“The conditions were atrocious, but the way my players battled to the end was admirable. I am proud of them.”