It’s Welsh Cup weekend as the 12 WPL teams join the 20 lower league sides who have made it into this year’s third round.
Aberystwyth v Bala Town | Saturday – 14:30
This will be the only fixtures between two of the WPL teams as the cup holders, Bala Town start their efforts to retain the trophy.
Bala had to knock out Caldicot, Penybont, Guilsfield and Caernarfon to reach the 2016/17 final, before they beat the the odds to win 2-1 against The New Saints to get their hands on the Welsh Cup trophy for the first time in their history.
Aberystwyth have also won the cup on one occasion, but it was 117 years in 1990 when they beat Cefn Druids 3-0 in the final.
Only two weeks has passed since the clubs last met at Park Avenue in the WPL with Mike Hayes grabbing the headlines on the day as he secured the win for Bala with a brace (1-2).
Airbus UK v Goytre | Saturday – 14:30
Airbus UK reached the final in 2016 for the first time in their history, but lost out to TNS in the final (2-0).
Goytre were suspended from the competition last season after fielding an ineligible player in their win against Llandudno in the third round.
Airbus have knocked out Bow Street and Saltney so far, while Goytre have seen off Briton Ferry Llansawel and Caldicot.
Bangor City v Cwmamman Utd | Saturday – 14:30
Bangor City have won the cup on an impressive eight occasions, and have appeared in 18 finals – a record only bettered by Wrexham (45) and Cardiff City (32).
But it’s been a long eight years since the Citizens last had their hands on the cup (beat Port Talbot 3-2 in the 2009/10 final).
Cwmamman are one league below Bangor in Welsh League Division One, and have already beaten Rhayader and Bridgend Street in the cup this season.
Buckley v Flint Town Utd | Saturday – 14:30
Only eight miles separate these two sides in the Flintshire derby.
Ex-Rhyl gaffer, Niall McGuinness has only been at the helm at Flint for two weeks and will be keen to get a win over their rivals who play one league lower than his new side.
Buckley have knocked out Rhydymwyn, Llanidloes and Llandudno Albion to reach round 3, while Flint Town Utd have seen off Llanfair Utd and Llay Welfare.
Caernarfon v Barry Town | Sunday – 14:45 (S4C)
The Canaries welcome Barry Town to the Oval live on Sgorio this Sunday with coverage starting at 14:30.
The Cofis are currently top of the Huws Gray Alliance and are eyeing a return to the top flight after a 10 year absence.
Caernarfon have never reached the Welsh Cup final but have had impressive runs in the competition in recent years, knocking out two WPL opponents last season (Carmarthen, Rhyl).
Barry have won the Welsh Cup on six occasions – winning it three times in row between 2001-2003.
Caernarfon have already beaten Lex Glyndŵr and Berriew in the cup this season.
Connah’s Quay v Cwmbrân Celtic | Saturday – 14:30
Connah’s Quay Nomads will be one of the favourites to challenge for the cup this season, despite having only reached the final once, back in 1998 when they lost to Bangor City.
Cwmbrân Celtic reached the quarter final in 2016, eventually losing out to Port Talbot – their best run in the competition to date.
The Welsh League Division One side have had to see off Caerau Ely and Llanelli to reach the third round this season.
Llandudno Junction v Penydarren BGC | Saturday – 13:30
Penydarren are the lowest ranked club still in the competition as they play their football in the 5th tier while Llandudno Junction currently sit bottom of the Huws Gray Alliance (2nd tier) without a league win this season.
Despite a poor league form, Junction have knocked out Gaerwen and Denbigh in the cup, while Penydarren have played four games in the competition, beating Penrhiwceibr Rangers, Brecon Corries, Cardiff Corinthians and STM Sports to reach this stage.
Llandudno v Gresford | Saturday – 14:30
Since forming the club in 1988 Llandudno have never progressed further than the fourth round in the Welsh Cup.
Gresford of the Huws Gray Alliance have beaten Carno and Conwy to come this far in the competition this season.
Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant v Cefn Druids | Saturday – 14:30
Only 20 miles separate these clubs, and it will be a good challenge for Huw Griffiths’ side against one of the Spar Mid Wales title contenders.
Cefn Druids have lifted the Welsh Cup on eight occasions, and played in the first ever final in 1878 (lost 1-0 vs Wrexham).
Llanrhaeadr have already knocked out Kerry, Queens Park and Caersws to reach round 3.
Penybont v Cardiff Met | Saturday – 14:30
Penybont reached round 4 last season, knocking out Barry Town and Airbus UK before losing in extra time to eventual cup winners, Bala Town.
Cardiff Met have never progressed further than the quarter final in the Welsh Cup.
The students have already booked a place in the League Cup final this season, and will be keen to get a good run in the Welsh Cup as well.
Penybont have knocked out Undy Athletic and Monmouth this season.
Pontypridd v Haverfordwest | Saturday – 13:30
Haverfordwest are one of the front runners in Welsh League Division One, but they face a tough test against Pontypridd who are pushing for promotion in Welsh League Division Two.
The Bluebirds have beaten Croesyceiliog and Aberbargoed Buds to reach round 3, while Pontypridd have secured wins against Penrhiwfer, Cambrian & Clydach a Pencoed Athletic.
Porthmadog v Panteg | Saturday – 14:30
Port will be firm favourites for this one as they welcome Panteg from the 4th tier to the Traeth.
Porthmadog have knocked out Penyffordd and Penley to reach the third round, scoring an impressive 13 goals without conceding once.
Panteg joined the competition in the first qualifying round, and have claimed victories over Newport city, Llwydcoed, Abergavenny and Ton Pentre to book a place in round three.
Prestatyn v Ruthin | Saturday – 14:30
Prestatyn lifted the Welsh Cup in 2013, beating Bangor City in the final at the Racecourse – their only appearance in the final to date.
Ruthin from the Huws Gray Alliance have knocked out Meliden and Brickfield Rangers to reach round three.
Ammanford v Carmarthen | Saturday – 13:30
Carmarthen lifted the cup back in 2007 when they beat Afan Lido in the final, their only cup success.
The Old Gold are seriously struggling in the WPL this season and are in real danger of dropping out of the top tier.
Ammanford from Welsh League Division Two beat Merthyr Saints comfortably in the second qualifying round, but have needed penalties in the last two rounds to knock out both Aberdare and Llantwit Major.
Newtown v Guilsfield | Saturday – 14:30
There should be a good crowd at Latham Park on Saturday as only 17 miles separate these two clubs in mid-Wales.
Newtown have lifted the cup twice, but it’s old history by now (1879 and 1895).
The Robins reached the final in 2014/15 but lost 2-0 to The New Saints.
Guilsfield got to the quarter final last season, taking a WPL scalp in the shape of Cardiff Met on their way.
The Guils have beaten Mold Alexandra and Holywell to get to this stage of the competition.
The New Saints v Penrhyncoch | Friday – 19:45
TNS will be favourites for the cup, having won it on six occasions, but they were beaten in last year’s final by Bala Town (2-1).
Before that loss in April, the Saints had won 19 consecutive Welsh Cup matches – since the 2013 semi final vs Bangor City.
Penrhyncoch of the Huws Gray Alliance have knocked out Garden Village and Caerphilly Athletic, but there’s no doubt that this will be their toughest challenge yet.
Highlights of six Welsh Cup fixtures will be on Sgorio this Monday at 5:35 on S4C.