In what is undoubtedly the tie of the weekend in the Welsh Premier League, second-placed Bala Town return to action with another potential season-defining fixture against high-flying Llandudno (Friday, 7.45).
Bala’s top-of-the-table showdown with TNS was rained off last week – that’s since been rescheduled for Tuesday 15th March – but they face an equally as important task at Maesdu Park.
Llandudno’s incredible debut season in the WPL currently sees them occupying third spot, three points off Bala and having quickly assured themselves of their top-six spot earlier in the season, Alan Morgan’s men now have designs on an automatic European spot. And without wishing to sound too much like Roberto Martinez, that really would be phenomenal.
If Llandudno were to qualify for an automatic European place it would rank amongst the great success stories in the history of the WPL – and there is little evidence to suggest that they can’t compete in Phase 2.
The work-rate and character instilled into this team by Alan Morgan has been superb and they also possess the quality to match. Mike and Mark Williams, Jamie Reed and Danny Hughes – who, by the way, is one of the most unsung heros in the league – make them a threat against any team in the league as they’ve already proven.
And that brings us on to Bala Town, who are perhaps on course for an historic season themselves.
Bala have lost just three times this season and it’s of credit to TNS that the Lakesiders are still six-points off the league leaders.
This season Bala appear to have developed a real resilience and have been consistently churning out the points as they hang on to TNS’s coattails.
Two weeks ago, Bala stunned Airbus into a 3-0 defeat and with forwards Lee Hunt and Ian Sheridan possibly set to return on Friday night (they do miss suspended Rob Pearson however) they will fancy their chances of taking the three points off Llandudno for a second time this season, having beaten them comprehensively at home in their final fixture of Phase 1.
Bala are increasingly beginning to show the hallmarks of a title winning side and with seven games remaining for both the top-two sides after this weekend, Bala will send out another warning to Craig Harrison’s TNS should they win again on Friday night.