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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 May, 2004, 19:52 GMT 20:52 UK
Rhyl 1-4 Wrexham
Brian Carey rises at the far post to give Wrexham the lead (SportPix)
Brian Carey rises at the far post to give Wrexham the lead (SportPix)
Wrexham ended Rhyl's trophy run with a dominant display to retain the FAW Premier Cup at Belle Vue on Wednesday.

Rhyl had already won the Welsh Premier title, the Welsh Cup and the Welsh League Cup but this time lost out.

Brian Carey's header gave the Dragons a narrow lead at half-time, but the floodgates opened in the second half.

Paul Barrett stabbed home from close range before Hector Sam struck twice, although Rhyl had the consolation of Andy Moran's right-foot rocket.

As well as the trophy and flying the flag for the Nationwide League over the Welsh Premier, Wrexham will be delighted with the 100,000 winner's cheque that goes with the title, while Rhyl receive 50,000.

This season questions have been asked about Wrexham's financial stability, after players were paid late several times.

The opening 10 minutes was a cagey affair as the two sets of players weighed each other up.

Wrexham had the better of the possession but it was Rhyl who launched the opening salvo, a swift counter-attack ending in Gareth Wilson blazing over the crossbar from distance.

We've had an average season so we needed some silverware to stick on the shelf
Wrexham's man-of-the-match Carlos Edwards

It took another 10 minutes for Wrexham to produce their first shot on goal, and that came from a defender as Dennis Lawrence forayed forward only to produce a weak effort.

The deadlock was broken on the half-hour mark when Carey was first to Darren Ferguson's looping free-kick into the box, then exchanged headers with Steve Roberts before nodding into the net.

Rhyl continued to struggle to defend the visitors' set-pieces, and five minutes later were relieved to see Carey this time head wide from a corner after again failing to pick up the defender.

The danger was starting to come from open play as well, with the Dragons nearly doubling their lead after Carlos Edwards jinked down the right and fired just over the junction of post and crossbar.

Rhyl had an early chance after half-time to get back on level terms, but Timmy Edwards just failed to connect with a free-kick from wide on the left.

Hector Sam races clear for the second of his two goals (SportPix)
Hector Sam races clear for the second of his two goals (SportPix)

That proved even more costly as Barrett doubled Wrexham's lead on 48 minutes.

James Brewerton failed to get enough height on a clearing header and the ball rebounded back into the Rhyl box off Chris Llewellyn - a recent call-up to Mark Hughes' Wales squad.

Paul Smith rushed forward but Barrett was quicker and the Wrexham midfielder popped the ball over the Lilywhites goalkeeper.

Another six minutes and the Dragons were out of sight, Edwards and Llewellyn carving open the Rhyl left flank before Llewellyn fired a low cross that Sam converted to make it 3-0.

Sam struck again on 63 minutes, Thomas winning the ball in midfield and sending his pacey striker clear to curl the ball past the despairing Smith.

Rhyl pulled a goal back 15 minutes from the end when Moran showed why he now has 47 goals to his name this season - pouncing on a knockdown to lash a right-foot shot past Michael Ingham.

Wrexham substitute Chris Armstrong was involved in an unseemly scuffle with Brewerton - both booked for their troubles - as several Rhyl players showed their frustration.

But it failed to spoil the spectacle that provided a fitting end to the Welsh domestic season.


Rhyl (from): Paul Smith, James Brewerton, Timmy Edwards, Marc Limbert, Lee Atherton, Stuart Graves, Mark Powell, Gareth Wilson, Steve Walters, Chris McGinn, Andy Moran, Gary Powell.

Wrexham: Michael Ingham, Steve Roberts, Brian Carey, Dennis Lawrence, Carlos Edwards, Paul Edwards, Darren Ferguson, Paul Barrett, Steve Thomas, Hector Sam, Chris Llewellyn. Substitutes: Paul Whitfield, Shaun Holmes, Mark Jones, Lee Jones.




WATCH AND LISTEN
Wrexham boss Denis Smith
"It was an important game for us financially and pride-wise"


Wrexham's Carlos Edwards
"Rhyl have been wonderful all season but it was our day"



SEE ALSO
FAW Premier Cup 2003/04
07 Apr 04  |  Welsh
Ferguson slams off-field strife
09 May 04  |  Wrexham
Rhyl 1-0 TNS (aet)
09 May 04  |  Welsh
Rhyl claim second trophy
03 May 04  |  Welsh
Rhyl passion wins through
05 May 04  |  Welsh
Rhyl crowned champions
01 May 04  |  Welsh


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