There are eight rounds of league games left this season and the Top Six teams are competing for a place in Europe, while the Bottom Six clubs are battling to avoid relegation. 

The New Saints are 17 points clear at the summit and are in a promising position to claim their third championship in a row and lift the trophy for the 16th time in their history. 

In second place, Connah’s Quay are 13 points clear of Bala Town in the race for the second automatic spot in Europe. 

The winners of both the JD Welsh Cup and the play-offs will also qualify for Europe, but if the winners of the JD Welsh Cup were to have already secured their place by finishing in the top two places in the league, then the 3rd placed team will reach Europe, as has happened in the last nine seasons. 

The club that finishes highest in the Bottom Six (7th place) will be allowed to compete with the remaining Top Six clubs in the end of season play-offs for the final ticket to Europe, while the bottom two teams will be relegated into the second tier. 




Caernarfon Town (6th) v The New Saints (1st) | Friday – 19:45 

On Friday night The New Saints will go in search of their 30th consecutive victory in all competitions to take a step closer to securing the championship. 

The New Saints won 5-1 in Briton Ferry Llansawel last weekend to claim their place in the semi-finals of the JD Welsh Cup, and Craig Harrison’s side have already lifted the Nathaniel MG Cup in January and have reached the final of the Scottish Challenge Cup for the first time in their history. 

Craig Harrison led The New Saints to two consecutive trebles between 2014-16 (JD Cymru Premier, JD Welsh Cup, Nathaniel MG Cup), but winning the quadruple for the first time is the goal this year. 

The Saints have secured their place in Europe this year, while Caernarfon Town hope to qualify for the first time in their history. 

Since losing 2-1 against The New Saints on Boxing Day, Caernarfon Town have gone on a run of four games without defeat, which includes three consecutive draws. 

But the Canaries have not won any of their last 13 meetings with the Oswestry outfit, with TNS triumphant in the previous nine games between the teams. 


League form:  

Caernarfon Town: ➖➖➖✅❌ 

The New Saints: ✅✅✅✅✅ 


Newtown (5th) v Bala Town (3rd) | Saturday – 14:30 

Scott Ruscoe hasn’t had the best start to his tenure as Newtown’s new manager losing 3-0 against The New Saints before a 3-2 home defeat to Connah’s Quay. 

The Robins have lost six league games on the bounce for the first time since 2011, and Ruscoe will be desperate to end the disappointing drought. 

Bala Town were celebrating last Saturday after beating Flint Mountain in the quarter-finals of the JD Cymru Cup to reach the semi-finals for the third successive season. 

Finding the net has been the main challenge for the Lakesiders this year as only Pontypridd United (17) and Aberystwyth Town (19) have scored fewer goals than Bala Town (26) in 24 league games. 

In the two league meetings between the clubs in the first phase of the season, the home side were victorious on both occasions with Newtown winning 1-0 at Latham Park in September before Bala got their revenge at Maes Tegid in December (Bala 2-1 New). 


League form:  

Newtown: ❌❌❌❌❌ 

Bala Town: ❌➖✅✅✅ 


Connah’s Quay (2nd) v Cardiff Met (4th) | Saturday – 17:15 

Connah’s Quay and Cardiff Met have progressed to the semi-finals of the JD Welsh Cup following wins against Buckley and Colwyn Bay last weekend. 

The Nomads are in a strong position to clinch a ticket to Europe as they are 13 points clear of Bala Town in second place and are in the final four of the cup. 

With only one loss in their last 10 games (vs TNS), Neil Gibson will be hoping that Connah’s Quay can finish the season strong in order to fly into the European fixtures full of confidence. 

Cardiff Met are eyeing a place in Europe for the first time since 2019, but after failing to win any of their last six league games the Archers will need better performances if they are to succeed. 

Cardiff Met were victorious in the last meeting between the two teams, beating Connah’s Quay 3-1 at Cyncoed Campus, but since their promotion in 2016 the students have not won a league game away from home against the Nomads. 


League form:  

Connah’s Quay: ✅➖✅❌✅ 

Cardiff Met: ͏➖➖➖❌➖ 




Pen-y-bont (8th) v Aberystwyth Town (10th) | Friday – 19:45 

After appealing against their three-point penalty, things have gone from bad to worse for Pen-y-bont who have now been deducted a total of six points for fielding ineligible players. 

Jack Sharp, the head of the domestic leagues, said that the FAW wants to work closely with the clubs to ensure that errors like this do not disrupt the league in the future. 

The latest penalty has seen Pen-y-bont lose their place at the top of the Bottom Six and now Rhys Griffiths’ side sit three points behind Haverfordwest County in the race to reach the play-offs. 

Aberystwyth Town begin the weekend one point above the bottom two, and with those two clubs Pontypridd United and Colwyn Bay going head-to-head on Saturday afternoon, a loss for Aber on Friday would see them drop into the relegation zone before the weekend is up. 

Pen-y-bont had won five consecutive games against Aberystwyth Town before the Black & Greens won 2-0 away at the SDM Glass Stadium in the last meeting between the two teams in October. 


League form:  

Pen-y-bont: ➖✅❌✅✅ 

Aberystwyth Town: ͏❌✅❌✅➖ 


Barry Town United (9th) v Haverfordwest County (7th) | Friday – 19:45 

Barry Town United will be determined to close the five-point gap between themselves and Haverfordwest County in the race for 7th place. 

With only one win in their last six league games at Jenner Park (4-0 vs Newtown), Barry Town United have not been consistent enough this year, but staying up will be the priority for Jonathan Jones and his squad. 

Haverfordwest County are leading the race to reach the play-offs, but Tony Pennock’s team are without a win in four games with their last three points coming on Boxing Day at home against Barry Town United (Hav 2-0 Barr). 

Haverfordwest County finished 7th last season before going on to win the play-offs and beating Shkendija in Europe. 

Haverfordwest County are unbeaten in their last six games against Barry Town United (won four, drawn two), but on the other hand, the Bluebirds have only won once in six games at Jenner Park (drawn one, lost four). 


League form:  

Barry Town United: ➖❌✅✅➖ 

Haverfordwest County: ͏➖❌❌➖✅ 


Pontypridd United (11th) v Colwyn Bay (12th) | Saturday – 12:15 (Live online) 

In the biggest game of the weekend Pontypridd United will welcome Colwyn Bay, the two teams who are equal on points at the bottom of the table. 

Pontypridd United received a six-point penalty earlier in the season for fielding ineligible players, but now only one point separates the Dragons from the safety of 10th place. 

Gavin Allen has impressed since joining the club as manager, winning 3-0 away at Barry Town United in his first game before picking up a point at Haverfordwest County despite his side playing most of the match with a man down following Luke Cummings’ early red card. 

Colwyn Bay have been a positive addition to the league following their promotion over the summer, with the biggest crowd of the season of 1,411 watching their opening fixture against Caernarfon Town. 

But things haven’t gone to plan on the pitch with Steve Evans’ side at the bottom of the heap after losing 71% of their league games and conceding more goals than any other club. 

Colwyn Bay won comfortably on their last visit to Pontypridd in November, but it was Ponty who celebrated in January after Ethan Vaughan’s late goal clinched the three points at Llanelian Road (CB 2-3 Pont). 


League form:  

Pontypridd United: ➖✅✅❌✅ 

Colwyn Bay: ✅❌❌❌❌ 

The highlights of the games will be available on Sgorio’s social websites, and the best of the weekend’s action can be seen on S4C on Monday evening.

Rhys Llwyd

Author Rhys Llwyd

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