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Football: COUNTY ARE HIT FOR SIX IN FINAL; Wrexham 6, Newport Cty 1.

WREXHAM succeeded where Cardiff City failed dismally in the FAW Premier Cup.

The Bluebirds were left red faced with embarrassment when they lost and couldn't score against Newport County in the semi-finals, but Wrexham showed how it's done with a six-goal hammering of their non-League opponents last night.

Wrexham, who have scored 17 goals in their last three home matches, collected a pounds 100,000 prize as cup winners and capped an outstanding season.

The North Walians, already promoted to Division Two, for next season, were ahead inside 90 seconds and completely outplayed their non-League visitors at the Racecourse Ground.

The movement and pace of the Wrexham players left Newport gasping. The gulf in quality and class was enormous, although the Dr Martens League side should take credit for their battling spirit. They were already six goals down by the time Garry Shephard struck with their consolation after 73 minutes.

This was a fifth appearance in the final for Wrexham and the fourth time they have won the trophy.

Wales manager Mark Hughes watched from the main stand as Scouser Lee Trundle, a striker plucked from League of Wales football with Rhyl for pounds 50,000, played a star role for Wrexham with two well taken goals.

Trundle, 26, a former Burscough, Chorley, Stalybridge Celtic and South-port player, was named man of the match by tournament sponsors BBC and gave two former Bluebirds defenders, Jeff Eckhardt and Jason Perry, a torrid time.

"The early goal settled us down and we were able to play our football," said Trundle. "I'm delighted to have finished the season with Wrexham's final goal - and it was one of the better ones.

"We have a team who can do well in Division Two next season. Andy Morrell and I are both keen to stay and I hope the prize money will help ensure we can." Dennis Lawrence, Morrell, with his 39th goal of the season, Jim Whitley and Trundle were Wrexham's first half scorers with Sean Pejic and Trundle completing the tally.

More than 500 Newport fans followed Newport to Wrexham and they cheered their team right to the end despite the scoreline.

Newport manager Peter Nicholas was quick to pay tribute to Wrexham saying: "Their attitude was excellent. They didn't stop running and Wrexham's movement was excellent." Wrexham: P Whitfield, S Pejic, B Carey, D Lawrence, C Edwards, P Edwards (S Holmes), P Barrett (S Thomas), S Green (L Jones), L Trundle, A Morrell, J Whitley.

Newport County: G Wesson, J Eckhardt, J Perry, C Collins, M Fowler (A Stevenson), A Thomas, S Benton (M Dickeson), Neil Davies, Nathan Davies, G Shephard, M Rose.

Referee: Ray Ellingham (Cardiff).


# HIGH POINT Newport scorer Gary Shephard gets above the
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:May 9, 2003
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