As we look forward to Saturday’s Nathaniel MG Cup final, in this piece we want to highlight the journey to date. Entering the competition at round two, the current holders drew Flint Town United from the second tier (north) of Welsh football.
On the road, at Cae-y-Castell, The New Saints of Oswestry Town recorded a comfortable 5-1 victory. With five changes from the previous Saturday’s JD Welsh Premier League (JD WPL) victory at Carmarthen Town, manager Scott Ruscoe made five changes.
Both on loan players at the time – Ryan Leak and Callum Roberts – started, as Ben Clark also made the eleven. The second half saw youngsters Harry Bower, Callum Jones and Lewis Kaye all make their senior debuts for The New Saints.
The TNS goals were scored by Ryan Brobbel (61), Alex Darlington (25, 34) and Greg Draper (32, 76).
Round three saw the holders again paired with Huws Gray Cymru Alliance opposition. This time it was a home tie and Caernarfon Town were the visitors to Park Hall.
With four changes from the previous game – a JD WPL win at Aberystwyth Town – Ben Clark, Alex Darlington, Chris Marriott and Callum Roberts all found their way into the starting eleven.
One of them – Darlington – wrapped up the victory with an 84th minute winner, following Chris Seargeant’s penalty in the opening exchanges.
The semi-final, a month on from the two opening rounds that were played in October, saw the current top two in the JD WPL go head to head. A midweek trip to the Deeside Stadium ended with a first-half Ryan Brobbel wonder-strike all that separated the sides at the final whistle, as TNS edged Connah’s Quay Nomads by the slenderest of margins.
Our opponents on Saturday, Cardiff Metropolitan University FC, entered the competition in the first round. A 2-1 victory at Goytre FC was followed by the same scoreline, this time at Cyncoed as they beat Pontypridd Town.
As with TNS, they didn’t face fellow JD WPL opposition until round three. An away trip down the road at Jenner Park saw them register a 2-0 win against Barry Town United.
It was back to narrow margins again though in the semi-final, as they saw off a Newtown AFC challenge in the capital, courtesy of a 1-0 scoreline.
The Nathaniel MG Cup final is this Saturday (January 20 2018) with a 5.15 p.m. kick-off. You can pay on the gate, with admission prices set at £7 for adults and £3 for children, concessions and students.
The game is live on S4C and TNS Radio, with the link for the latter here on the home page of our website.
The New Saints of Oswestry Town are the current holders of the trophy and will be looking to make it four on the bounce.
Lead photograph: Round three action from Park Hall as The New Saints hosted Caernarfon Town. Courtesy of Brian Jones.