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Football: Gap Connah’s Quay defend title as Buckley Town move into second

FOR the second successive season Gap Connah’s Quay clinched the Huws Gray Alliance title at home against Cefn Druids.

But whereas last time it was a 0-0 draw that sealed the Alliance crown, this time the jubilant scenes were sparked by a 2-0 victory, clinched by a goal from 17-year-old Rhys Healy five minutes from time.

Nomads got off to a solid start with, just before the half-hour mark, Alliance top scorer Gary O’Toole popped up with his 22nd goal of the campaign.

But Druids are a tough outfit and they were not ready to take part in a big promotion party for Mark McGregor’s men.

The home side were not able to relax until late on when substitute Rhys Healy, a product of Nomads’ flourishing Academy, hooked home a shot inside the box to make it 2-0 and spark wild celebrations as Nomads secured the title and, more importantly, promotion back into the Welsh Prenmier League, two years after being relegated from the top flight.

Nomads will be presented with the Huws Gray Alliance trophy at their final league game of the season this Saturday, away at Penycae (2.30pm).

BUCKLEY TOWN are currently second in the table after beating Llanrhaeadr 3-2 at Globe Way.

Despite being forced into two changes, replacing keeper Khalid Al Samaarie with Stuart McIntosh and Andy Moran replacing the injured Joe Desormeaux, Gareth Thomas’ Bucks took the lead after only three minutes, Tom Smith nodding home a Neil Wynne cross.

Moran then doubled the home side’s lead after 11 minutes but before half time the visitors reduced the deficit and five minutes into the second half they equalised.

The Bucks then had to withdraw Lee Atherton with a dislocated shoulder and it was left to Wynne, 20 minutes from the end, to fire home an Anthony Lipson cross for the winner.

“Injuries are mounting but the players will just have to pull togather for one final game,” said Thomas.

“We need three points to get a top three finish. We are awaiting news from the hopital about Lee’s shoulder injury but we hope it’s not as bad as it looked.”

The Bucks go to Druids on Saturday (2.30pm) for their final game but victory will not guarantee second spot as Rhyl have a game in hand.

A Jamie Hayes double saw FLINT TOWN UNITED come from behind twice to draw 2-2 at Rhos Aelwyd.

The Silkmen have two games left and could still finish fifth with two wins, the first of which could come on Saturday at Porthmadog (2.30pm).