Cymru League Cup
Founded1992
Number of teams46
Current championsThe New Saints
(10th title)
Most successful club(s)The New Saints
(10 titles)
2023–24 Welsh League Cup

The Cymru League Cup, currently known as the Nathaniel MG Cup for sponsorship reasons, is a cup competition in Welsh football organised by the Football Association of Wales.

The competition was established in 1992 and is considered to be the second-most important domestic cup competition for Welsh football clubs, after the older and more prestigious Welsh Cup. Unlike the Welsh Cup, where 135 teams entered in 2008–09, the competition is only open to the members of the Cymru Premier, the Cymru North, Cymru South and a very select few other clubs. It should not be confused with the Welsh Football League Cup, which was for the clubs in the Welsh Football League, which despite its name only covered the south and centre of Wales up until it was disbanded at the end of the 2018-19 season. For the 2023-24 season Cardiff City and Swansea City U21 sides are 'wildcard' entries into the competition.

Format

Since the inaugural season in 1992/93 the format of the competition has changed many times. The 2006/07 season saw the introduction of a new format for the competition.[1] Beginning in August, the eighteen premier league teams are split into six regionalised groups of three teams. The six group winners and two runners-up enter a quarter-final knock-out phase, followed by a two legged semi-final match before ending with the final in April.

The current format, introduced in 2014/15, saw a radical shake up for the competition. The 12 Cymru Premier teams are joined by six teams each from the two feeder leagues, and also four wildcard entrants. 24 teams enter Round 1, with the previous season's four semi-finalists receiving a bye through to Round 2. The draw for each round is regionalized as per competition rules, with teams being divided between northern and southern sections. The format changed slightly for the 2018/19 season, with each round up to the semi-finals being regionalized, and the semis an open draw. The semi-finals will also take place over a weekend for the first time.

From 2019-20 the format was expanded significantly with all 44 teams from the top two tiers of the Welsh football league system taking part as well as two wildcard entries. Twenty-eight clubs will enter in Round 1, which will be made up of any club without floodlights; the two wildcard entries; and the remaining teams ranked lowest in their respective Tier 2 league from the previous season. Round 1 will be regionalised, as will all rounds up to the Semi-Final stage. The fourteen winners will join the eighteen remaining sides in Round 2. This will be seeded so that Premier League sides are not drawn against one another. The winner of the tournament gained entry to the Scottish Challenge Cup.[2]

History

The first Welsh League Cup was won by Afan Lido in 1992/93, who beat Caersws FC 4–3 on penalties, after drawing in the final 1–1.[3] The New Saints hold the record for the most League Cup titles; they have won the competition six times. Bangor City hold the distinction of making the most number of appearances in the final and losing on every occasion (6).

The cup is currently held by Connah's Quay Nomads, who defeated Cardiff Met 10-9 on penalties after a 0-0 draw.

The New Saints dominated the competition between 2015 and 2018, winning all four finals during that period. Saints have won nine of the ten finals they have appeared in. They have however not made the final since beating Cardiff Met in 2018.

The 2018–19 final between Cardiff Met and Cambrian & Clydach Vale holds the record attendance in the competition, with 1,503 fans witnessing Met's first major trophy win.

Sponsorship

Since 2003, the League Cup has been named after its sponsor, giving it the following name:

Prize money

The total prize fund for the competition is £15,000. The league awards £1,000 to each losing semi-finalist, £3,000 to the runner-up and £10,000 to the competition winners.[1]

Past winners

Correct as of 6 February 2021.[4][5]
Season Winner Score Runner-up Venue
1992–93 Afan Lido 1 – 1 Caersws Park Avenue, Aberystwyth
Afan Lido won 4–3 on penalties  
1993–94 Afan Lido 1 – 0 Bangor City Park Avenue, Aberystwyth
1994–95 Llansantffraid FC 2 – 1 Ton Pentre F.C. Latham Park, Newtown
1995–96 Connah's Quay Nomads 1 – 0 Ebbw Vale Recreation Ground, Caersws
1996–97 Barry Town 2 – 2 Bangor City Park Avenue, Aberystwyth
Barry Town won 4–2 on penalties  
1997–98 Barry Town 1 – 1 Bangor City Farrar Road, Bangor
Barry Town won 5–4 on penalties  
1998–99 Barry Town 3 – 0 Caernarfon Town Park Avenue, Aberystwyth
1999–2000 Barry Town 6 – 0 Bangor City Park Avenue, Aberystwyth
2000–01 Caersws 2 – 0 Barry Town Park Avenue, Aberystwyth
2001–02 Caersws 2 – 1 Cwmbran Town Park Avenue, Aberystwyth
2002–03 Rhyl 2 – 2 Bangor City Belle Vue, Rhyl
Rhyl won 4–3 on penalties  
2003–04 Rhyl 4 – 0 Carmarthen Town Latham Park, Newtown
2004–05 Carmarthen Town 2 – 0 (a.e.t.) Rhyl Latham Park, Newtown
2005–06 The New Saints 4 – 0 Port Talbot Town Park Avenue, Aberystwyth
2006–07 Caersws 1 – 1 Rhyl Park Avenue, Aberystwyth
Caersws won 3–1 on penalties  
2007–08 Llanelli 2 – 0 Rhyl Latham Park, Newtown
2008–09 The New Saints 2 – 0 Bangor City Latham Park, Newtown
2009–10 The New Saints 3 – 1 Rhyl The Airfield, Broughton
2010–11 The New Saints 4 – 3 (a.e.t.) Llanelli Park Avenue, Aberystwyth
2011–12 Afan Lido 1 – 1 Newtown Park Avenue, Aberystwyth
Afan Lido won 3–2 on penalties  
2012–13 Carmarthen Town 3 – 3 The New Saints Latham Park, Newtown
Carmarthen Town won 3–1 on penalties  
2013–14 Carmarthen Town 0 – 0 Bala Town Park Avenue, Aberystwyth
Carmarthen Town won 3–1 on penalties  
2014–15 The New Saints 3 – 0 Bala Town Latham Park, Newtown
2015–16 The New Saints 2 – 0 Denbigh Town Maesdu Park, Llandudno
2016–17 The New Saints 4 – 0 Barry Town United Cyncoed Stadium, Cardiff
2017–18 The New Saints 1 – 0 Cardiff MU Park Avenue, Aberystwyth
2018–19 Cardiff MU 2 – 0 Cambrian & Clydach Vale Jenner Park, Barry
2019–20 Connah's Quay Nomads 3 – 0 STM Sports Latham Park, Newtown
2020–21 Cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic
2021–22 Connah's Quay Nomads 0 – 0 Cardiff MU SDM Glass Stadium, Bridgend
Connah's Quay Nomads won 10–9 on penalties  
2022–23 Bala Town 0 – 0 Connah's Quay Nomads The Rock Stadium, Wrexham
Bala Town won 4–3 on penalties  

Results by team

Club Winners Runners-up Total Appearance Last Final
The New Saints 9 1 10 2018
Barry Town 4 2 6 2017
Caersws 3 1 4 2007
Carmarthen Town 3 1 4 2014
Connah's Quay Nomads 3 1 4 2023
Afan Lido 3 3 2012
Rhyl 2 4 6 2010
Cardiff MU 1 2 3 2022
Bala Town 1 2 3 2023
Llanelli 1 1 2 2011
Bangor City 6 6 2009
Caernarfon Town 1 1 1999
Cwmbran Town 1 1 2002
Denbigh Town 1 1 2016
Ebbw Vale 1 1 1996
Port Talbot Town 1 1 2006
Newtown 1 1 2012
Ton Pentre 1 1 1995
Cambrian & Clydach Vale 1 1 2019
STM Sports 1 1 2020

Notes:

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c "The Loosemores League Cup". welshpremier.com. Retrieved 23 December 2010.
  2. ^ "Nathaniel MG Cup winners to qualify for IRN-BRU Cup from 2019/20 season". www.wpl.cymru. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  3. ^ "Welsh League Cup Final – Match Report 1992/93". welsh-premier.com. Retrieved 29 August 2009.
  4. ^ "List of Welsh League Cup Finals". The Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 29 August 2009.
  5. ^ "Welsh League Cup – All Time Results". welsh-premier.com. Retrieved 7 May 2011.