On Saturday, March 31 2018, as we say farewell to a very good month for The New Saints, the newly-crowned champions of Wales travel to the north coast to take on Bangor City in the JD Welsh Premier League (JD WPL).
The Citizens, incidentally, were the last team to win the JD WPL before the current seven seasons of TNS dominance. That was back in 2010 / 2011, when The New Saints finished runners-up. In fact, from 2001 / 2002, when Total Network Solutions came second to Barry Town, we have never finished outside the top three with the third spot filled just the once.
Although this season’s JD WPL has been signed, sealed and delivered, so there’s nothing to play for on that front, nevertheless the race for second-place is very much alive and kicking. One of three teams in with a shout – along with Bala Town and Connah’s Quay Nomads – Bangor will be looking to take something from the game.
As well as an automatic Europa Cup place, there is also the second available spot in the Irn-Bru Cup for whoever finishes runners-up in the league. There is still plenty to play for before the JD WPL season draws to a conclusion.
The last time the two sides met was in February of this year, as the second phase of the league gathered momentum. No goals at the break, but within 18 minutes of the second period The New Saints had created a comfortable cushion, courtesy of a well-executed brace from Aeron Edwards.
A brilliant goal from Ryan Brobbel in the third minute of added time saw Scott Ruscoe take a massive stride towards lifting his first league title as a manager. That, of course, is how it all ended up, as The New Saints go into Saturday’s match with a sixteen point lead at the top with just four games to go – including the Bangor City tie.
The match is being televised on S4C’s Sgorio and you can watch that live, with a kick-off time of 5.15 p.m. In addition, as always, TNS Radio will be bringing you commentary from the VSM Stadium. The link is here on the home page of our website.
Lead photograph: Jamie Mullan in action during the recent 3-0 victory at Park Hall.