IT’S not too often that you grab yourself a hat-trick and still end up on the losing side.
That’s the honour that befell Ysceifiog hotshot Tim Hughes as an amazing match at Rhewl just about went the way of the hosts.
While Hughes’ goals were all poacher’s efforts, Rhewl’s strikes encompassed both the sublime and the ridiculous.
Did Ian Williams intend to score with a second-half cross from the right that drifted into the top corner?
What were Elis Owen’s intentions before his 60-yard clearance from the heart of defence, which bounced over Ysceifiog number one Dan Davies and bulged the net?
The hosts’ remaining two goals were superb efforts and were worthy of winning any match.
After a pretty even opening spell, Dan McClean gave Rhewl the lead after 20 minutes with a stunning chip into the top corner.
But the home side nodded off and within 30 seconds Ysceifiog were level as Hughes waltzed through a stagnant backline to level things.
Some good handling from impressive Rhewl keeper Bryn Jones denied the visitors a chance to take the lead, when he kept hold of a free kick, but with the sides seemingly heading for their half-time break on level terms, Rhewl suddenly sprang into life.
There seemed little danger when Ysceifiog cleared the ball out to Dyfan Lloyd close to the touchline on the right, but on the half-volley the Rhewl full back hit a 40-yard stunner into the net.
The coming of the rain saw Ysceifiog take early control of the second half and only they will know how they failed to level following a scramble and a spot of pinball in the box.
It was even again as Hughes got through for his second on 57 minutes, while the same player was close to scoring again two minutes later but his side-footed strike beat the far post.
At the other end Chris Shone’s header was cleared off the line, but Tim Hughes had another sniff of goal with 25 minutes left, only to be stopped in his tracks by a brilliant Arron Knights tackle.
With minds drifting towards a draw, Rhewl reclaimed the lead in unusual fashion.
Ian Williams received the ball wide right and delivered a cross that caught the wind and went in with a quarter-of-an-hour left!
That was nothing compared to Rhewl’s fourth of the evening with nine minutes remaining.
With Ysceifiog pressing, centre back Elis Owen - well inside his own half - gave his clearance plenty of air, but even he must have been surprised to see the ball nestle in the net.
Ysceifiog, who had the bulk of second half possession, did manage to pull one goal back in the last two minutes, after Arron Knights was adjudged to have fouled Danny Jones in the box.
Tim Hughes stepped up to complete his hat-trick from the spot.
Rhewl: B Jones, Dyfan Lloyd, Dion Lloyd, Knights, Owen, E Jones, Willsdon, James, Shone, Williams, McClean. Sub: R B Jones
Ysceifiog: Davies, O Jones, Penrhyn-Jones, Parry, Carney, D Jones, Evans, Hughes, Mulvey, Cochran, Rook. Sub. Parry
See full story in the Leader