Welsh Cup Final: Bala Town v The New Saints

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Rhys Llwyd

Rhys Llwyd

Wednesday, 26 Apr 2017, 09:42

Bala Town have reached the Welsh Cup final for the first time in their history, but they face a tough challenge in the final against a strong TNS side who are looking to lift the trophy for the fourth consecutive year.

Sunday, 30 April at 13:30 – LIVE ON S4C

Bala Town v The New Saints | Sunday – 14:00 (LIVE ON S4C)
(Bangor University Stadium)

It’s been another successful season for Bala Town who have qualified for Europe for the fourth time in their history, and have managed to reach the Welsh Cup final for the first time ever.

The New Saints have been crowned the WPL champions for the sixth consecutive year, and for the 11th time in their history, also breaking the record for the biggest margin between 1st and 2nd in the WPL (27 pts).

TNS broke the world record for most consecutive wins between August-February (31 games), and won the League Cup for the third year on the bounce during that run.

The Oswestry outfit have won the Welsh Cup on six occasions, including a hat-trick in the last three seasons.

After winning the WPL title and the League Cup earlier this year, The New Saints are now only one win away from securing the domestic treble for the third year running – the ‘treble-treble’!

Craig Harrison’s side are on a run of 19 consecutive wins in the Welsh Cup, and haven’t lost in the competition since the 2013 semi final vs Bangor through a late Chris Jones strike (1-0).

Bala Town reached the semi final in 2013/14 but were beaten 2-1 by TNS who went on to lift the cup after coming from behind twice to beat Aberystwyth 3-2 at the Racecourse.

The Lakesiders have never beaten TNS in any competition, but they were on the right track to do so last weekend.

The two teams went head-to-head on the final weekend of the WPL season and Bala took the lead twice (1-0, 3-2), but eventually lost 4-6 in a thrilling encounter at Maes Tegid.

These two clubs have already met five times this season and TNS have won all five games, scoring an average of 3.6 goals a game against Bala in 2016/17.

Their six goals on the final weekend of the league season helped TNS to reach triple figures with 101 goals in the WPL.

It was the first time a WPL club reached the 100 milestone since Barry Town (134) and Newtown (101) in 1997/98.

TNS have had a tougher route to the final than Bala as Colin Caton’s side have avoided WPL opponents in their four Welsh Cup fixtures so far.

But you can only beat who’s in front of you, and from the 217 clubs that entered the competition this season, only two remain, and this could be the perfect stage for Bala to bring an unwanted record to an end and beat The New Saints for the first time ever.

Road to the final:
Bala Town:
R3 – Bala Town 6-1 Caldicot
R4 – Bala Town 4-1 Pen-y-bont (a.e.t)
QF – Guilsfield 0-3 Bala Town
SF – Caernarfon 1-3 Bala Town

The New Saints:
R3 – Newtown 0-3 The New Saints
R4 – The New Saints 7-0 Llanelli
QF – The New Saints 2-1 Bangor City (a.e.t)
SF – gap Connah’s Quay 0-3 The New Saints

Latest meetings:
Bala Town 4-6 The New Saints (22/04/17)
The New Saints 3-2 Bala Town (12/03/17)
The New Saints 2-1 Bala Town – Nathaniel MG Cup (04/10/16)
Bala Town 0-2 The New Saints (20/09/16)
The New Saints 5-1 Bala Town (17/09/16)