RECENT articles in the Tivyside discussing which team was the greatest in the local area over the years has brought a response from the very first team to win five trophies in the one season - Ffostrasol.

Putting the case on behalf of the club is Peter Davies, a member of that team but now probably better known as a county councillor and immediate past chair of Ceredigion County Council.

The key season for Ffostrasol was 1974-75 but Peter reminded the Tivyside that during season 1969-70, 1970-1971 and 1971-1972, Ffostrasol became the first team in the history of the Cardiganshire League to win the championship on three successive occasions.

But, Peter explained, at the start of their epic 74-75 season, it was Newcastle Emlyn who were expected to dominate the league.

In 1975-76, Newcastle Emlyn lost in the final of the Emrys Morgan Cup but won it the following season.

“They were a very, very good team,” said Peter.

“I have bee involved with the Cardiganshire League for over 45 years and that Newcastle Emlyn team had three of probably the best players to have played in the league.

“Adrian Havard was a welsh Youth international and went on to play with distinction for Aberystwyth Town; Paul Hodges was an England international and ex-Wimbledon and the legendary Hywel Morris, who, a few seasons later, was to score 98 goals in the one season.

“I thought they would win everything and I could not see anyone defeating them.”

In one of the first games of the season, Ffostrasol were hosting Newcastle Emlyn and with 15 to 20 minutes to go, the match was finely balanced at 1-1.

Then Emlyn simply moved up a gear and eventually ran out 3-1 winners.

The two teams then met in the final of the Easter Monday League at Aberaeron, with Ffostrasol winning 2-1 as peter scored the winning goal.

“I was immensely relieved as Newcastle Emlyn could not now win everything but I certainly did not expect us to,” added Peter.

Ffostrasol went on to win the Emrys Morgan Cup in a thrilling final at Park Avenue, Aberystwyth, coming back from 3-1 down at half time to defeat Llanfechain 5-3 after extra-time.

The reference to Emlyn led to Peter raising another question: Was this team the only one in the history off the Cardiganshire League to have two internationals playing for them regularly in Hodges and Havard?

The reference to ‘playing regularly’ is quite deliberate as he referred to what he regards as probably the best performance by Ffostrasol.

“While it may sound strange, the match was a home league game against New Quay,” said Peter.

“As we were warming up and New Quay took to the field – this was before the changing rooms were built – we saw they had four Aberystwyth Town players in their line-up and three of them were current amateur internationals.

“Dias, as he was universally known, scored 476 goals for Aberystwyth in 433 games. Indeed, her scored 10 or possibly 11 goals in one game when he played for Bangor City, then in the Northern Premier League and only two steps away from the Football league. He scored six goals in one match.

“The other caps were the outstanding Will Lloyd and both Neil Blair and Alan Blair played. Alan, I think, was the amateur cap.”

In a superb game, Ffostrasol won 2-0.

“Huge, huge credit to the defence for not conceding a goal that day,” added Peter.

In 1974-1975, Ffostrasol also won the Mond Cup, as they had the previous season.

This was a cup for teams from the Cardiganshire League and the Carmarthenshire League, but also including Welsh league sides Carmarthen Town and Ammanford Town, who often included up to two or three ex-professionals in their line-up.

“Winning the Mond Cup in two successive seasons was a huge, huge achievement and I do not think Maesglas, St Dogmaels of Cardigan won the Mond Cup as one of their five trophies,” said Peter.

Interestingly, winning the Ffostrasol Summer Cup at the start of the 1977-1978 season stands out as one of Peter’s best memories.

“I regard winning this as one of my biggest achievements,” he said.

“This competition brought some of the best teams from the Cardiganshire League, the Aberystwyth and District League, the Carmarthenshire League and the Pembrokeshire League.

“You had many excellent teams in this great pre-season competition.”

In closing his chat with the Tivyside, Peter asked: “Who is the second best manager in the history of the Cardigan League?

“I would suggest the best manager has to be John Davies-Wstrws. He formed and developed the Ffostrasol team.

“They were the first to win the League Championship in three successive seasons, the first team to win five trophies in the one season and winning the Mond Cup in successive seasons was also a significant achievement.”