Flint Mountain aiming to continue fairytale JD Welsh Cup run by reaching semi-finals

Flint Mountain will bid to continue their fairytale JD Welsh Cup run this weekend as they take on Bala Town in the quarter-finals.

The Lock Stock Ardal North West club, who are the lowest-ranked side left, are enjoying their best run in the competition.

Aden Shannon’s side reached the last four of the Lock Stock Ardal North League Cup earlier this month and will have the opportunity to do the same in the JD Welsh Cup in front of the Sgorio cameras on Saturday.

Veteran Mike Hayes has brought top-flight experience to Flint Mountain this season and Shannon’s side currently sit in sixth place in the Lock Stock Ardal North West.

The side eliminated Holywell Town of the JD Cymru North earlier in the competition, and it was a fitting passing of the baton as it was 10-years ago that Holywell Town became the first Tier 3 team in the history of the competition to reach the semi-finals. The achievements of John Haseldine’s team made headlines across the country, and will act as inspiration as they look to repeat that feat a decade on. 

But Holywell are not the only club to defy the natural order in the JD Welsh Cup since the turn of the century. Colwyn Bay, Bridgend Town, Newport YMCA and Maesteg Park have all reached the semi-finals while playing below the top-flight, while Ton Pentre made it to the last four in consecutive seasons in 2001/02 and 2002/03.

Afan Lido in 2006/07 and Cefn Druids in 2011/12 even went one step further and defied the odds to make it through to the final in their respectively memorable campaigns, but neither club were able to lift the trophy.

The JD Cymru South pacesetters will take on the runaway JD Cymru Premier leaders this weekend as Briton Ferry Llansawel host The New Saints, who lifted the JD Welsh Cup for the ninth time – and third in a row – last season.

Briton Ferry have an impressive home record this season under Andy Dyer but will have to pull of a big upset to reach the semi-finals against the Saints, who are in search of an astonishing 22nd straight victory in all competitions.

Craig Harrison’s side have already lifted one piece of silverware this term after securing the Nathaniel MG Cup, while they also have a SPFL Trust Trophy final against Airdrieonians to look forward to in March.

Buckley Town will be aiming to pull of an upset of their own on Saturday as they welcome 2018 JD Welsh Cup winners Connah’s Quay Nomads.

Cup competitions may have provided a welcome distraction for Buckley before the turn of the year, with the Bucks enduring a difficult season in the JD Cymru North.

But a run of three wins from their last four league games has given cause for optimism and pushed the Bucks further away from relegation danger.

The team from the JD Cymru North have been drawn away in every round of the competition so far this season but have reached the last eight with victories over Bow Street, Llanuwchllyn and Porthmadog.

Their opponents, who are the joint-highest goalscorers in the JD Welsh Cup this term, are clear favourites to claim the runners-up position in the JD Cymru Premier this season and manager Neil Gibson knows what it takes to lift the trophy having won the domestic showpiece with Prestatyn Town in 2013.

The only all-JD Cymru Premier tie in this weekend’s quarter-finals comes at Cyncoed Campus as Cardiff Met host Colwyn Bay.

The focus for the Seagulls will be to avoid the drop from the top flight this season, which they took a step towards achieving with an important 1-0 win over Aberystwyth Town last time out. But the JD Welsh Cup provides an opportunity for Steve Evans’ side to get their hands on more silverware after lifting the JD Cymru North title last term.

Their route to this stage of the competition has thrown up difficult ties with Evans’ side having to overcome JD Cymru Premier opposition twice, with a penalty shoot-out victory over Newtown and a 2-0 win over Barry Town United seeing them reach the quarter-finals.

Met will have the chance to reach the last four of a cup competition for the second time this season after their Nathaniel MG Cup semi-final defeat against Swansea City on penalties in January.

The draw for the semi-finals will be broadcast on RedWall+ at 8pm on Wednesday 21 February.

JD Welsh Cup quarter-finals
Briton Ferry Llansawel v The New Saints (16.02.24 – 7:30pm)
Bala Town v Flint Mountain (17.02.24 – 12:45pm)
Buckley Town v Connah’s Quay Nomads (17.02.24 – 2pm)
Cardiff Met v Colwyn Bay (17.02.24 – 2pm)

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