Welsh Cup: Bangor City and Caernarfon Town renew old rivalry

Nathan Craig leads out Caernarfon Town
Caernarfon Town captain Nathan Craig leads out his side in the Welsh Premier League.

North West Wales footballing neighbours Caernarfon Town and Bangor City have experienced very different fortunes over the past few seasons.

The Gwynedd clubs renew an age-old rivalry when they meet in the Welsh Cup fourth round on Saturday.

Bangor City are one of Welsh domestic football's biggest names - three times Welsh Premier League champions, eight times winners of the Welsh Cup and regular participants in Europe.

Caernarfon were relegated from the Welsh Premier in 2009 and the club also encountered financial difficulties as well as suffering another relegation.

But the Canaries' revival on and off the field culminated at the end of last season, as they were promotion back to the Welsh Premier as Cymru Alliance champions.

In contrast Bangor were demoted from the Welsh Premier after they were denied the domestic licence required to play in the top flight, leading to discontent and concern among the club's fanbase.

"It's always been a massive rivalry," said Caernarfon captain Nathan Craig, who is from the town.

"But there's a bit more on it now obviously with us being promoted and their relegation due to off the field matters.

"In the past we've been underdogs but because of our league position we're possibly the favourites,"

Gary Taylor-Fletcher
Gary Taylor-Fletcher returned to Bangor City in November after a short spell at Llandudno

Renowned cup kings Bangor will be taking on a very different mantle - giantkillers.

"We're hoping to cause an upset. Caernarfon are flying in the Welsh Premier," said Bangor manager Gary Taylor-Fletcher, the ex-Leicester City and Blackpool striker.

"It's going to be a good game - two local rivals pitted against each other - but anything can happen in the cup."

Caernarfon have made a successful return to the Welsh Premier after a nine-year absence, securing a place in the top six and attracting the league's highest average gates.

"The place will be bouncing," ex-Everton youngster Craig told Newyddion 9.

"It's a cup game and anything could happen but we're full of confidence after what we've achieved so far this season."

Bangor were demoted despite finishing second in last season's Welsh Premier and are currently second in the Cymru Alliance.

"It's obviously a lot different to last year when we were in the Welsh Premier," Taylor-Fletcher added.

"Things happened which you had no control over with the unfortunate events at the end of last season.

"I want to come back and to do what I did last time, which was improve the club."

Watch a full preview of Bangor City v Caernarfon on Newyddion 9, Friday at 21:00 GMT on S4C.

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