TNS can clinch title this weekend as Saints receive double-boost; Port Talbot turn to Harvey as relegation scrap looms; Bangor look to press on

The title race is already all but over but TNS can officially wrap up league championship at Park Hall on Saturday in front of the live TV cameras.

TNS will officially clinch a record eighth-Welsh Premier League title this weekend should they avoid defeat against runners-up Airbus in Saturday afternoon’s televised fixture.

The league championship is already all but over given the Saints’ superior goal difference and game in hand over Airbus and tomorrow’s encounter could see TNS cross the finish line as Welsh Premier League champions for a third-season in a row.

Despite Airbus’ valiant challenge, the Saints’ grip on the Welsh Premier League trophy was never truly loosened with the squad proving to be as strong as ever. Under the astute pairing of director of football Craig Harrison and head coach Carl Darlington, TNS have kept their trademark clinical style firmly intact and this year has seen the likes of Kai Edwards and Jamie Mullan successfully assume growing roles within the side when injuries and suspensions have taken their toll.

And the feel–good factor emanating from Park Hall continues as the Saints close in on their first piece of silverware of a season which could yet see them claim the league and cup double.

Last week, Carl Darlington collected the league’s manager of the month award for March and the champions-elect received further good news this week as veteran Steve Evans made his long-awaited return to training this morning, following a 14-month injury layoff. Who would rule the burly centre-half out of making a return to WPL action before the season is up?

Jarred Harvey will take charge of first-team affairs at Port Talbot this weekend with the Steelmen nervously looking over their shoulder following a drab 0-0 derby draw with Afan Lido midweek.

It is believed that Port Talbot and Harvey will then open talks early next week as the GenQuip Stadium club look to appoint a long-term successor to recently departed Scott Young.

Harvey’s immediate thoughts however will be on this Saturday’s visit to a revitalised Connah’s Quay side, where a defeat would leave them on level points with the Nomads.

The reality is Port Talbot’s unexpected draw on Monday night brought with it an unexpected shortfall of points and leaves the club uncomfortably close to the drop zone.

Prestatyn, tipped by many to now finish in the bottom two, could go within just two points of the Steelmen should they record a much-needed home win over already-relegated Afan Lido. The fate of whoever finishes in the second relegation spot though will be decided on whether Haverfordwest are able to secure a top-two finish in Welsh League.

County’s promotion hopes are finely balanced indeed with the Pembrokeshire side’s long-awaited return to the Welsh Premier League looking far from certain. Haverfordwest are currently third in the notoriously unpredictable Division One table at present, two points off second-place with five games remaining, having already successfully been granted a domestic licence to compete in the top-flight next season.

The recent announcement from the FAW confirming the successful domestic license applicants confirmed the return of Cymru Alliance champions Cefn Druids to the Welsh Premier League.

The Druids stormed to the Huws Gray Alliance league title this season and will have to look new further than fellow-North Walians Rhyl, who’ve enjoyed a tremendous first season back in the WPL, for inspiration ahead of next season. Congratulations to all at Cefn Druids on achieving promotion.

Bangor City could secure third-place in the table in their final away game of the season this weekend should they beat Newtown and Rhyl lose at Carmarthen Town.

A victory for Nev Powell’s side over Newtown would be the third win on the bounce for Bangor, who will close their Championship Conference commitments with a home double against The New Saints and Rhyl.

City will surely head into the play-offs as favourites to claim the league’s remaining European spot – it is hard to see any of possible play-off entrants causing the Citizens much of a stir. Les Davies really appears to finding his stride of late, in perfect timing for ‘the business end’ of the season, whilst midfielder Damian Allen is also back in contention having missed the last month through injury. A return to continental football will be most welcomed by both the club’s directors and supporters.

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