Last weekend, The New Saints secured their place in the JD Welsh Cup for the fourth consecutive time, and their victory has also meant that Connah’s Quay have officially guaranteed the second ticket to Europe this season. 

Connah’s Quay will face The New Saints in the Welsh Cup final on Sunday, 28 April at Rodney Parade, Newport. 

If the Nomads were to win the cup, then they would qualify for Europe, but if TNS were to lift the trophy, then the third placed team would automatically qualify, as the Saints have already clinched their place. 

Connah’s Quay have already secured their place in the top three which means that the Nomads are guaranteed a European spot either way. 

Bala Town can claim the third European spot over the weekend as they only need two more points to confirm their place in the top three. 

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




Bala Town (3rd) v Newtown (6th) | Friday – 19:45 

Bala Town are only one win away from claiming their place in Europe for the ninth time since 2013. 

There were major changes to the squad at Maes Tegid over the summer after Bala Town failed to reach Europe last season, with influential players such as Chris Venables, David Edwards, Alex Ramsay, Anthony Kay and Lassana Mendes all leaving the club. 

However, Colin Caton is in a promising position to lead his team to Europe once again this year after losing just one of their last nine league matches (vs TNS). 

Newtown are out of the race for the top three after losing nine of their last 11 fixtures (won one, drawn one), and the attention of Scott Ruscoe and his squad will now turn towards the end of season play-offs. 

The Robins will compete in the play-offs for the eighth time in their history and hope to become the first team to win the play-offs three times. 

Newtown lost in the final of the play-offs last year (on penalties vs Haverfordwest County), after beating Bala Town in the semi-final. 

Along with Newtown, Bala Town are the only other team to reach the play-off final on three occasions, and Bangor City are the only other club to win the play-off twice. 

The Lakesiders have won their last two games against Newtown, including a comfortable 5-1 win at Latham Park in February where George Newell netted a hat trick for the Meirionnydd men. 


League form:  

Bala Town: ✅➖✅✅❌ 

Newtown: ➖❌✅❌❌ 

The New Saints (1st) v Caernarfon Town (4th) | Friday – 19:45 

The New Saints are closing in on the domestic treble for the third time in their history and for the first time since 2015/16. 

With only four league games left to play the Oswestry outfit will aim to become the first team to go the whole season without losing a league game since Barry Town United in 1997/98. 

Barry Town United and Bala Town are the only clubs to trip up the Saints in the league this season with draws in August and September, but since then Craig Harrison’s side have won 22 successive league games, lifted the Nathaniel MG Cup and reached the final of the JD Welsh Cup. 

Caernarfon Town are in a solid position ahead of the play-offs, and the Cofis will be determined to hold on to fourth place to guarantee home games in both the semi-final and final. 

But the Canaries have not won any of their last 14 matches against the Saints with TNS winning the previous 10 meetings between the teams. 

And it was a difficult night for Caernarfon Town in the latest encounter between the clubs with the Cofis suffering their heaviest ever defeat ever in the JD Cymru Premier as the Saints won 8-1 at the Oval which included a Brad Young hat-trick. 

Brad Young is the league’s top scorer this year with 22 goals, and the Saints’ next goal will be a significant one as the club have tallied 99 league goals to date and hope to reach the 100 for the third time since the creation of the 12-team format in 2010/11. 

Caernarfon Town have managed to score in their last three games against the champions, including an incredible goal from Sion Bradley in February, but Saints goalkeeper Connor Roberts will be desperate to keep his 16th clean sheet this season to secure the Golden Glove for the second consecutive year. 


League form:  

The New Saints: ✅✅✅✅✅ 

Caernarfon Town: ❌✅➖✅❌ 


Cardiff Met (5th) v Connah’s Quay (2nd) | Saturday – 14:30 

Connah’s Quay have certainly not been at their best recently picking up just one point from their last four league games, but the Nomads have nevertheless confirmed their place in Europe for the eighth time since 2016. 

Since playing in Europe for the first time in the summer of 2016 and beating Norway’s Stabaek, Connah’s Quay have claimed a place in Europe in every season since, except for 2021/22 when the Nomads received an 18-point penalty from the league for an administrative error. 

Neil Gibson will be hoping to improve on Connah’s Quay’s disappointing European record this year as the club have won just two of their 11 rounds in Europe to date (vs Stabaek in 2016 and Kilmarnock in 2019). 

But before that, Gibson will aim to win the JD Welsh Cup and lift one of Wales’ main cups for the first time since 2013 when he won that same cup as player-manager of Prestatyn Town. 

There will be no cup for the Cardiff Met crew this year after they lost 6-2 in the semi-final of the Welsh Cup against TNS last weekend, and that after losing in the semi-final of the Nathaniel MG Cup against a young Swansea side earlier in the season. 

But the European dream is still alive for the students with Cardiff Met eyeing a place in Europe for the first time since 2019. 

Cardiff Met managed to win the play-offs in 2019 and that will be the target once again this year for Ryan Jenkins’ team, although the standard will have to be raised quickly after losing five of their last six fixtures. 

Connah’s Quay have won five of their previous six meetings with Cardiff Met, but their record is not as good in the capital with the Nomads winning just one out of five at Cyncoed Campus (two draws, two defeats). 


League form:  

Cardiff Met: ͏✅❌❌❌❌ 

Connah’s Quay: ➖❌❌❌✅ 



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

Haverfordwest County have gone three points clear in the race for 7th place after winning two games in a row for the first time since November. 

Haverfordwest County finished 7th last season before going on to win the play-offs and beating Shkendija in Europe, and the Bluebirds are desperate for another chance to compete on the continent. 

Barry Town United are on a remarkable run of six consecutive draws, but those results have been enough to keep the Dragons eight points clear of the relegation zone. 

Haverfordwest County have not lost any of their last seven games against Barry Town United (four wins, three draws), and the Linnets have not won away at Bridge Meadow in over 12 years. 


League form:  

Haverfordwest County: ͏✅✅❌➖➖ 

Barry Town United: ➖➖➖➖➖ 


Colwyn Bay (12th) v Pontypridd United (11th) | Saturday – 14:30 

The black clouds are closing in over Llanelian Road, and a loss against Pontypridd United this Saturday could seal Colwyn Bay’s fate in the bottom two and send them down to the second tier after just one season in the top-flight. 

Nobody has lost more, won less, or conceded more goals than Colwyn Bay this season, and if the Seagulls lose and Aberystwyth Town win this weekend then Steve Evans’ team will drop back into the JD Cymru North. 

Colwyn Bay won back-to-back games against Pontypridd United and Pen-y-bont in November, but since then the Seagulls have only won one in 13 league outings and slipped to the bottom of the table. 

Aberystwyth Town (2), Pen-y-bont (2) and Pontypridd United (1) are the only clubs to lose league games against Colwyn Bay this season and Steve Evans will be desperate to beat Ponty for a second time and climb above them on Saturday afternoon. 

Despite the nine-point penalty Pontypridd United are determined to avoid the drop this year, but two points separate them and Aberystwyth Town in the safety of 10th place. 

Pontypridd United suffered their first defeat since the appointment of Gavin Allen last weekend (Pont 0-1 Hav), and their first loss of 2014 after a run of six games unbeaten. 

Pontypridd United have beaten Colwyn Bay twice since the start of the year, including an emphatic 4-0 win in February. 


League form:  

Colwyn Bay: ❌❌➖➖❌ 

Pontypridd United: ❌➖✅✅➖ 


Aberystwyth Town (10th) v Pen-y-bont (8th) | Saturday – 17:15 (Live online) 

There was great sigh of relief to be heard from Aberystwyth Town this week when the league statement was published stating that the club will not lose points after traveling to Pontypridd without a qualified physiotherapist for their scheduled game in March. 

And therefore, depending on the outcome of the battle between Colwyn Bay and Pontypridd United this weekend, Aberystwyth Town could send Colwyn Bay into the second tier with a win against Pen-y-bont on Saturday night. 

Aberystwyth Town have finished in 10th place on four occasions since the league changed to the 12-team format in 2010, coming close to relegation several times, and the Ceredigion crew are 10th again this year with four games left to play. 

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 Seasiders are playing with fire yet again this year. 

Pen-y-bont will be frustrated to have had to share the points in a goalless game against Barry Town United last weekend, especially as their opponents finished the match with only nine men on the field. 

Rhys Griffiths’ team therefore desperately need three points to stay tight on the heels of Haverfordwest County in the race to reach the play-offs. 

Aber have not lost in their last two games against Pen-y-bont (won one, drawn one), but Pen-y-bont have not lost a league game at Park Avenue for four years. 


League form:  

Aberystwyth Town: ͏✅❌➖➖❌ 

Pen-y-bont: ͏➖✅✅❌➖ 


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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