We’re down to the last eight in the JD Welsh Cup, and over the weekend five of the JD Cymru Premier clubs will compete for a place in the semi-finals along with one club each from the Cymru North JD, Cymru South JD and the Ardal North-West.

Friday, 16 February

Briton Ferry Llansawel (T2) v The New Saints (T1) | Friday – 19:45

4th Round: BF Llansawel 1-0 Llanelli, Carmarthen Town 0-3 The New Saints
3rd Round: Airbus UK 1-2 BF Llansawel, The New Saints 7-0 Trethomas Bluebirds
2nd Round: Aberfan 0-3 BF Llansawel, Ruthin Town 0-5 The New Saints

The weekend kicks off with an exciting match between the two teams at the top of the JD Cymru South and the JD Cymru Premier.

Briton Ferry Llansawel sit at the top of the JD Cymru South and aim to ascend to the top-flight for the first time since the club was formed in 2009.

Last year, Briton Ferry Llansawel managed to reach the quarter-finals for the first time in their history before losing out to Bala Town, and Andy Dyer’s side will be keen to go a step further this year.

But it would be the biggest shock of the season if Briton Ferry Llansawel were to cause an upset as The New Saints have won their last 28 games and are targeting their first ever ‘quadruple’.

Since their last defeat against Swift Hesperange on August 1st, The New Saints have gone on a 36-game unbeaten run in all competitions and are 17 points clear of Connah’s Quay at the top of the JD Cymru Premier.

As well as securing their place in the quarter-finals of the JD Welsh Cup, the Saints have already lifted the Nathaniel MG Cup in January and reached the final of the Scottish Challenge Cup for the first time in their history.

The New Saints won the domestic treble twice on the bounce between 2014-16 under the guidance of Craig Harrison, but winning their first quadruple is the goal this year.

Since losing against Connah’s Quay in the quarter-finals of the 2017/18 Welsh Cup, The New Saints have won 23 consecutive games in the competition and lifted the cup three times in a row.

Last season, TNS won 6-0 in the Welsh Cup final against Bala Town, which was the biggest win in a final since 1931.

That was the 9th time the Oswestry outfit had their name on the cup, and now only Wrexham (23), Cardiff City (22) and Swansea City (10) have a better record in the competition.

This will be the first ever match between the two clubs and The New Saints are firm favourites to reach the semi-finals without having to face anyone from the JD Cymru Premier.

Saturday, 17 February

Bala Town (T1) v Flint Mountain (T3) | Saturday – 12:45 (S4C)

4th Round: Caerau Ely 1-4 Bala Town, Flint Mountain 2-1 South Gower
3rd Round: Aberystwyth Town 0-1 Bala Town, Flint Mountain 2-1 Canton
2nd Round: Bala Town 3-0 Llandudno, Flint Mountain 3-1 Holywell Town
1st Round: NFA 0-3 Flint Mountain
2nd Qualifying Round: Flint Mountain 9-0 Kinmel Bay

Flint Mountain are the lowest ranked team left in the competition and the only club from the third tier to reach the quarter-finals this year.

Flint Mountain are 6th in the Ardal North West League, but if Aden Shannon’s team were to win their five games in hand, then they would climb above the front runners, CPD Rhyl 1879.

Several experienced players have recently made the move to Flint Mountain, and former top-flight stars, Rob Hughes (4), Aaron Simpson (2) and Mike Hayes (2) have already scored eight goals between them in the Welsh Cup this season.

Mike Hayes is Flint Mountain’s top scorer this season with 18 goals in all competitions, and the 36-year-old forward will be desperate to put in a strong display against his former club where he scored 40 league goals over a period of seven years.

Bala Town were the winners of the 2017 JD Welsh Cup, beating The New Saints in the final in Nantporth, and they were aiming to repeat history last season, but lost heavily against the Saints (6-0) in what was the biggest defeat in a final since 1931.

Bala Town have managed to reach the quarter-finals for the eighth time in 12 years and the Lakesiders will be hoping to reach the final for the second successive season to try and make amends for last year’s final.

This will be Flint Mountain’s sixth game in the competition this season, and the club has beaten teams from the fourth, third and second tiers to reach the last eight where they will be facing their toughest task yet against a first-tier team.

Buckley Town (T2) v Connah’s Quay (T1) | Saturday – 14:00

4th Round: Porthmadog 0-2 Buckley Town, Flint Town United 0-3 Connah’s Quay
3rd Round: Llanuwchllyn 1-2 Buckley Town, Connah’s Quay 8-0 Prestatyn Town
2nd Round: Bow Street 2-3 Buckley Town, Connah’s Quay 4-1 Caernarfon Town

Buckley Town have reached the quarter-finals of the JD Welsh Cup for the first time in their history after winning three rounds away from home against Bow Street, Llanuwchllyn and Porthmadog.

This will therefore be their first home game in the competition, but due to problems with the pitch at their usual home ‘The Globe’, the club have been forced to play their home games at Deeside Stadium since December, which is the former home of Connah’s Quay.

But on Saturday afternoon Buckley will return to the Globe for the first time this year to welcome Connah’s Quay from the JD Cymru Premier.

Connah’s Quay have not had to travel far in this year’s competition, beating Caernarfon Town and Prestatyn Town at home, before facing their fellow tenants, Flint Town United at Cae-y-Castell in the last round, ahead of their next venture, 10 minutes down the road to Buckley.

Buckley Town have been struggling in the JD Cymru North this season, but three wins from their last four games have lifted them out of the relegation zone.

Connah’s Quay will be confident of claiming a place in Europe as they are 13 points clear in second place in the JD Cymru Premier and having lost just one of their last nine games (vs TNS) Neil Gibson and his group are eager to finish the season strong.

Connah’s Quay won the cup in 2018 after beating Aberystwyth 4-1 at Latham Park under the management of Andy Morrison, but they stumbled in the semi-finals last season, losing 3-2 against Bala Town.

These clubs have not met since February 2016 when Connah’s Quay won 4-1 at Deeside Stadium in the fourth round of the cup with Callum Morris netting twice for the Nomads on the night.

Cardiff Met (T1) v Colwyn Bay (T1) | Saturday – 14:00

4th Round: Haverfordwest County 1-1(p) Cardiff Met, Colwyn Bay 2-0 Barry Town United
3rd Round: Cardiff Met 2-1 Mold Alexandra, Newtown 1-1(p) Colwyn Bay
2nd Round: Cardiff Met 4-0 Cwmbrân, Colwyn Bay 6-2 Llanrwst United

In the only match between two JD Cymru Premier clubs, Cardiff Met who are 4th in the table will welcome the club at the bottom of the league, Colwyn Bay.

Cardiff Met and Colwyn Bay have both managed to reach the semi-finals in recent years, but this year both clubs will be hoping to reach the final for the first time in their history.

Cardiff Met reached the semi-finals twice in a row in 2019 and 2020, but since the formation of the current club in 2000, the Archers have never reached the final.

Colwyn Bay reached the semi-finals of the JD Welsh Cup in 2021/22 before losing 1-0 against The New Saints, but the Seagulls have also never reached the final.

Despite their positive position in the league Cardiff Met have not been on a good run lately having not won a game since December, losing three and drawing four since then.

Colwyn Bay had lost seven league games in a row before their crucial 1-0 away win at Aberystwyth Town last weekend.

Despite their disappointing position in the Bottom Six, the Seagulls have defeated two of the top tier clubs to get to this stage of the competition (Newtown and Barry Town United), and Steve Evans will be determined to make it a hatrick on Saturday to keep the European dream alive.

Colwyn Bay were victorious in the last cup clash between the teams, defeating the Archers 1-0 at Llanelian Road in the fourth round in October 2021.

But since then, the clubs have met twice in the league with Cardiff Met winning 1-0 at Cyncoed Campus in August, before a 2-2 draw at Colwyn Bay in September.

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

Rhys Llwyd

Author Rhys Llwyd

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