The Welsh Premier League’s top-two sides meet tonight in the evening’s only rearranged fixture (7.45) and an away win would all but cement TNS as champions for a fifth successive season.
Bala have plenty to play for however and a win for for the hosts would not only boost their hopes of guaranteeing European football once again, but could also see the Maes Tegid outfit re-open the title race, with five further games of the season remaining.
Last Saturday’s 3-1 win over Connah’s Quay results pushed Bala three points ahead of their nearest side Llandundo. Dudno, challenging strongly for that automatic European spot in second-place, fell 2-0 to TNS.
Victory for Bala would simultaneously see them strengthen their grip on second place in the table and cut TNS’s lead to six points. With Bala still scheduled to visit TNS in the last-but-third game of the season and with five remaining games apiece for the top-two sides, the possibility of Bala staging a last ditch attempt to wrestle the WPL title away from TNS cannot be completely ruled out.
Any such challenge from the Lakesiders would be welcomed but TNS’s dominance cannot be ignored and a win here for the visitors would effectively wrap up the title race.
The Saints can forge a nine-point lead over Bala Town should they win tonight and based on recent form it’s hard to see them dropping points here.
After an uncharacteristic dip in form earlier in the season, TNS are now back to their best coming off three-straight wins. The Saints’ full-time status will ensure they are better equipped to play midweek and preparation has always been one of the club’s strengths.
True, they have a significant advantage in fitness and time spent on the training ground compared to the rest of the league but the reason why TNS are successful is because they do what they have to do, and they do it well. The points and trophies don’t just appear next to the club’s name at the start of the season.
I certainly expect them to have a tough test against Bala tonight but I have little doubt that they will be returning home with three points and the league title sewn up.