There are seven 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 there’s a chance that the Oswestry outfit could seal the championship this weekend and lift the trophy for the third consecutive season.

Connah’s Quay will be keen to prevent that from happening by winning their game against Bala Town in the race for second place, and the second ticket to 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 Newtown (5th) | Friday – 19:45

The third-place spot was the realistic target for these two teams following the league split, but after a disappointing start to the second phase of the season it looks like both

Caernarfon Town and Newtown will have to depend on the play-offs to get into Europe.

Caernarfon Town and Newtown are level on points, eight points behind Bala Town (3rd) and therefore an automatic position in Europe is quickly slipping from the grasps of the Canaries and the Robins.

Caernarfon Town suffered their heaviest ever defeat in the league last Friday (Cfon 1-8 TNS), whilst Newtown have lost seven successive league games for the first time since 2011, which means that confidence has been crushed in both squads.

Caernarfon Town are aiming to reach Europe for the first time in their history, while Newtown are keen to return to the continent after losing in the play-off final last season, and that after qualifying in the previous two seasons.

In the two league meetings between the clubs in the first phase of the season, the home side were victorious with Caernarfon Town winning 2-1 at the Oval in August before Newtown hit back in style at Latham Park in October (New 4-0 Cfon) with Aaron Williams hitting a hat-trick for the Robins.

Aaron Williams clearly enjoys facing the Cofis as he has scored in each of the last four matches between the two teams (six goals in four games).

League form:

Caernarfon Town: ❌➖➖➖✅

Newtown: ❌❌❌❌❌

Bala Town (3rd) v Connah’s Quay (2nd) | Friday – 19:45

Bala Town and Connah’s Quay are European veterans, and with both teams sitting in the top three, and having reached the last four of the Welsh Cup, the European dream is within reach once again this year.

With 13 points separating the clubs and only seven games left to play, a win for Connah’s Quay this Friday would be a major step for the Nomads towards securing their place in Europe.

And with just one defeat in their last 11 matches (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.

Since reaching Europe for the first time in 2013, Bala Town have managed to qualify on eight occasions, but after missing the boat last year, Colin Caton will be keen to clinch one of the four European spots this season.

Bala Town have had the best of things in the recent meetings between these clubs, losing only one of the seven previous contests (won three, drawn three).

And if Connah’s Quay were to drop points on Friday, then a win for the Saints on Saturday would be enough to secure the championship.

League form:

Bala Town: ✅❌➖✅✅

Connah’s Quay: ✅✅➖✅❌

The New Saints (1st) v Cardiff Met (4th) | Saturday – 12:45 (Live online)

The New Saints will be keeping a close eye on the match between Bala Town and Connah’s Quay on Friday, as a stumble for the Nomads would mean that the Saints could seal the championship on Saturday.

The Saints ran riot at Caernarfon last weekend (Cfon 1-8 TNS), and Craig Harrison’s side have already lifted the Nathaniel MG Cup in January, got to the semi-finals of the Welsh Cup and reached the final of the Scottish Challenge Cup for the first time ever.

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 already secured their place in Europe for the 25th consecutive season, while Cardiff Met are eyeing the target for the first time since 2019.

But after failing to win any of their last seven league games the Archers will need better performances if they want to compete for a place in Europe.

The Saints have been scoring mercilessly against Cardiff Met recently, netting 33 goals in the last six games against the students (5.5 goals per game), including an 8-0 win at Park Hall in January, which was Cardiff Met’s heaviest ever defeat ever in the top-flight.

TNS top scorer Brad Young has already scored five goals against Cardiff Met in two games this season and will be hoping to add to his tally on Saturday.

But surprisingly Cardiff Met are the last team to beat the Oswestry outfit in the league, winning 3-2 at Cyncoed Campus in February 2023, which is the Saints’ only defeat in their last 63 league matches.

The clubs will meet again before the end of the month in the semi-finals of the JD Welsh Cup, before facing each other once more two weeks later in another league fixture.

League form:

The New Saints: ✅✅✅✅✅

Cardiff Met: ͏❌➖➖➖❌


Colwyn Bay (12th) v Haverfordwest County (7th) | Saturday – 12:30

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’ team at the bottom of the heap after losing 72% of their league games and conceding more goals than any other club.

The situation is starting to look bleak for the Seagulls who are three points below the safety of 10th position after losing eight of their last nine league games.

Haverfordwest County are leading the race to reach the play-offs, but Tony Pennock’s boys are without a win in five games with their last three points coming on Boxing Day at home against Barry Town United.

But the Bluebirds won both their matches against Colwyn Bay during the first phase of the season, including a 5-0 win at Bridge Meadow in November, which was their biggest win in the league since April 2022 (Cefn Druids 1-6 Haverfordwest County).

Haverfordwest County forward Martell Taylor-Crossdale will be licking his lips before Saturday as he has already scored four goals against Colwyn Bay this season, including his first ever JD Cymru Premier hat-trick.

League form:

Colwyn Bay: ❌✅❌❌❌

Haverfordwest County: ͏➖➖❌❌➖

Aberystwyth Town (10th) v Barry Town United (9th) | Saturday – 14:30

Aberystwyth Town are one of the two clubs that have been ever-present in the Welsh Premier League since its formation in 1992 (along with Newtown), and after narrowly avoiding relegation on the final weekend of last season, the Black & Greens are playing with fire yet again this year.

This will be Aberystwyth Town’s sixth home game in seven league matches, and Anthony Williams’ side go into the weekend just two points above the relegation zone.

Barry Town United have not won a game since the split, but the Dragons will be aware of the importance of this match, as three points would lift them nine points above Aberystwyth Town.

Barry Town United won 4-2 on their last visit to Park Avenue on the last weekend before the league split, but before that Aberystwyth Town had gone on a six-game unbeaten run against the Dragons.

League form:

Aberystwyth Town: ͏➖❌✅❌✅

Barry Town United: ➖➖❌✅✅

Pen-y-bont (8th) v Pontypridd United (11th) | Saturday – 14:30

Despite receiving point deductions for breaching league rules, Pen-y-bont and Pontypridd United have had a promising start to the second phase of the season and have not lost any of their three games since the split.

Pontypridd United received an additional three-point deduction this week to bring their penalty total to nine points as the Dragons drop back down into the relegation zone.

While the deduction saga continues off the pitch, Gavin Allen will certainly be happy with his team’s results since he took charge with Ponty winning two and drawing one, scoring eight goals and conceding just once in three matches.

Pen-y-bont have not lost either, but Rhys Griffiths will be disappointed to have had to share the points following home draws against Barry Town United and Aberystwyth Town.

Pontypridd United are enjoying their best spell in the league this season and have lost just one of their last six games, and that was away from home in Pen-y-bont on New Year’s Eve (Pen 1-0 Pont).

Pontypridd United have failed to score in their last three meetings with Pen-y-bont, and Rhys Griffiths’ side have not lost any of their four league games against Pontypridd United since the club ascended to the top tier in 2022.

League form:

Pen-y-bont: ➖➖✅❌✅

Pontypridd United: ✅➖✅✅❌

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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