JD Welsh Cup Semi-Finals take centre stage
17 March 2022

JD Welsh Cup Semi-Finals take centre stage

The magic of the JD Welsh Cup returns this weekend as Penybont take on Bala Town at Park Avenue, Aberystwyth on Friday, 18 March (7.45pm) before newly-crowned JD Cymru Premier champions The New Saints meet Colwyn Bay at Belle Vue, Rhyl on Sunday, 20 March (2.15pm).

Watch Live

JD Welsh Cup Semi-Finals live on Sgorio:

Friday - Penybont v Bala Town - 7:45pm (Online)

Sunday - Colwyn Bay v TNS - 2.15pm (S4C)

The New Saints were the last winners of the JD Welsh Cup back in 2019 before the competition was curtailed for two seasons due to Covid-19. Anthony Limbrick's side claimed a 14th league title last Saturday with a 3-3 draw against Penybont and Park Hall, but they will not take anything for granted JD Cymru North outfit Colwyn Bay. Managed by former Saints defender and coach Steve Evans, the Bay eliminated Connah's Quay Nomads at the quarter-final stage with an impressive 2-0 victory on Deeside through goals from Ryan Edwards and James Kirby. 

“I'm ecstatic,” said Evans to Sgorio following the win. “I'm pleased for the players, the fans and the club. The players have been first class since I've come in and the hard work showed there. We're in the hat. We stuck to our game plan and we did our homework and we never really looked in trouble. They put a lot of balls in our box but we were in the right positions to deal with everything. I thought we were pretty comfortable, they had a lot of the ball but they didn't really cause us that many problems.” 

The JD Welsh Cup draw has continued to be kind to The New Saints in that they are yet to meet another club from the JD Cymru Premier, but Limbrick's side have not had everything their own way in order to reach the last four. Penalties were required to see off the challenge of JD Cymru South side Carmarthen Town after a 0-0 draw at Richmond Park, but goals from Jon Routledge and Ben Clark were enough to ease the side past Guilsfield in the last round. The match on Sunday will be shown live on Sgorio, and Limbrick will be targeting a domestic double with the league title already back at Park Hall.  

“To get into the semi-finals of the cup is really, really important,” said the manager to the official club website following the draw. “At the end of the day we got the result and got through. I thought we should have won by more than the two goal scoreline, however, I have to give credit to Guilsfield as I thought they were fantastic. But to get through is the most important thing, and all in all we're happy. Steve Evans has done really well since he's gone in at Colwyn Bay and they had a fantastic result against Connah's Quay. We're looking forward to the challenge and the opportunity to get to the final.”

The action begins on Friday night as Penybont face Championship Conference rivals Bala Town having narrowly escaped a shock result against Taffs Well of the JD Cymru South in the last round. Goals from Sam Snaith and Daniel Jefferies in the final moments of the match meant that Rhys Griffiths's side would edge a 3-2 victory, much to the relief of the manager. “Ultimately I don't suppose it matters how we get there, but the main thing is that we get there,” he explained to the club's social media channels. “They made it very difficult for us and I thought they were outstanding. They can feel very hard done by. In the end our fitness and a little bit of quality when it mattered meant that we got the goals.”

Griffiths is no stranger to success in the competition after winning the JD Welsh Cup with Llanelli back in 2010/11, while Bala Town manager Colin Caton guided his team to glory in 2016/17 when they defeated The New Saints in the final. Chris Venables, who was part of the same Llanelli team as Griffiths more than a decade ago continues to perform at this level, and scored a hat-trick for Bala Town in their 3-1 win over Haverfordwest County to book their place in the quarter-finals. Former Cymru international Dave Edwards has proved to be a key addition to the Lakesiders this season, but it was two goals from Dean Ebbe then saw off the challenge of Aberystwyth Town with a 2-1 victory in the last round, and Caton was keen to praise the contribution of their loanee from The New Saints.

“I thought we were very good in the first half and I thought we managed the game really well,” he explained to Sgorio after the match. “I thought we bossed the game until the last 10 minutes when it went a bit hectic, but we should go and kill it by three or four goals then. If you don't take your chances then it always difficult when they get one to get back in it. Dean Ebbe's done really well for us, I've always rated him as a player and thought he was a stand-out player at The New Saints, but for whatever reason he wasn't playing. He's doing a great job for us and he's fitted in really well.”