Ups and downs


J T Hughes Mitsubishi Welsh Premier League
CHAMPIONS
RHYL FC

RUNNERS-UP
TOTAL NETWORK SOLUTIONS

OTHER EUROPEAN QUALIFIERS
HAVERFORDWEST [Uefa Cup]
ABERYSTWYTH [Intertoto Cup]

RELEGATED
BARRY TOWN

PROMOTED

AIRBUS UK
[Cymru Alliance champions 2003/4]
LLANELLI AFC
[Welsh League champions 2003/4]

Review of 2002/3
Review of 2004/5

Review of the season
BRIDESMAIDS AGAIN - 2003/4
Michael Wilde improved to
score 18 league goals
John Toner returned to form late on in a season marred by injury
Steve Evans deservedly won the player of the year award.
TNS ended up as Welsh Premier bridesmaids yet again, after a season that started brightly and ended in disappointment.
No one can deny that Rhyl deserved to win their first title, but the taste of defeat was all the more bitter because several architects of the Lilywhites' success were released by the Saints for a variety of reasons, not least skipper Timmy Edwards.
The management were annoyed to lose the vital Easter Sunday clash at Rhyl to an offside goal and neglected claims for a penalty.
But in truth, the rot had started long before then. After the euphoria of 10 wins from the 10 opening games, TNS were shocked at Treflan as Rhyl signalled their title ambitions.
And Saints hit a patch of poor form, exacerbated by long term injuries to key players, which lasted for months.
Their victories had to be ground out and vital points were surrendered to Welshpool, Haverfordwest and Caernarfon, amongst others.
The 1-3 home reverse to Caersws was probably the result that eventually sent the title to Belle Vue.
Although the back-end of the season saw improved form in wins against Carmarthen, Afan Lido and Welshpool, it was too little, too late.
Rhyl kept their nerve and left Saints to rue another campaign of under-achievement, considering their full-time status.