The scenes in last summer’s JD Welsh Cup Final were euphoric for fans of Bala Town, with the Lakesiders coming from behind to secure victory over The New Saints and stop the then-holders from securing an incredible domestic treble-treble.
Live JD Welsh Cup
CAERNARFON TOWN v BARRY TOWN UNITED
- JD Welsh Cup Round 3
- Sunday, 3 December 2017
- Kick off: 2:30pm
- Live coverage: Sgorio on S4C
- Welsh & English Commentary Available
- Click here for all matches
Responding to the set-back of going behind at the hands of Saints’ Greg Draper, Jordan Evans and Kieran Smith scored two late goals to secure Colin Caton’s side an historic victory and, ahead of beginning their defence of the JD Welsh Cup this weekend at Park Avenue against Aberystwyth, Evans spoke to FAW.Cymru about representing Bala in the competition.
“Last year’s final was probably one of my best days as a footballer, if not the best. It was a very special achievement for me and a massive, massive, moment for everyone involved,” Evans said, “particularly knowing the story of the journey the club has been on over the last 15 years or so, coming through the leagues. In recent years we’ve become a real force in the JD Welsh Premier League – which isn’t something I think anybody could have envisaged back when this journey started.
“This is a club that is now expected to win, and that pressure is good. In last year’s final we were obviously underdogs, but at no point did anybody within our squad feel like we weren’t going to win the game. They did get the first goal, but the way we fought back, it was a fantastic feeling and to play those last five minutes or so knowing, or feeling like, we’d done the job, it was the best feeling in the world to win that trophy for the first time in the club’s history.”
Some of the defining scenes of last year’s JD Welsh Cup competition will surely include the moments where Town’s fans, volunteers and committee went wild in the stands as the Lakesiders continued their charge to the final, before eventually winning the competition in dramatic fashion, and Evans elaborated on how much more special it made winning the competition.
Winning the Cup is such a massive achievement that it didn’t sink in for a while, I’m not sure if it has yet.
“It meant so much to everyone. When we won the trophy, we were all ecstatic as players and a coaching staff, but to see people like Nigel Aykroyd, Ruth Crump, everyone who is at the backbone of this club, filled with such emotion, was special to see.
“The JD Welsh Cup is the pinnacle of Welsh football, so to win that for not only the club but the community of Bala as well, it was just fantastic: there’s not many better feelings in football than to win a trophy of that magnitude for such an incredible club and community.”
With the League now back in full flow and the Lakesiders having embarked on an impressive run of form to vault up the table recently, you could understand if those at Bala Town hadn’t had an opportunity to digest last season’s achievements yet, and certainly the thought of going into the competition as holders is something Evans admits he hasn’t considered too much in the build-up to Saturday’s game against Aberystwyth.
“It is a strange feeling really, because winning the Cup is such a massive achievement that it didn’t sink in for a while – I’m not sure if it has yet, for me to be honest – but I think that’ll be put into context on Saturday.
“I’ve not really thought about it, nobody has discussed it or anything like that, but we know when we go to Aberystwyth this weekend they’re going to want to beat us more than ever because of our status as current holders of the trophy, but we know if we go there and play our game then there aren’t many teams who will beat us. We’ll be giving everything we can because we don’t want to let this trophy go!”
Bala’s defence of the JD Welsh Cup begins away at Aberystwyth Town on Saturday, kick-off 2.30pm. The draw for Round 4 will be made on Monday evening, live on S4C’s Heno.
WATCH: FAWTV previews JD Welsh Cup Round 3 with Ammanford and Cwmamman United.