JD Welsh Cup | Semi-final preview

The JD Welsh Cup semi-finals get under way this weekend as Connah’s Quay Nomads and Bala Town meet at the OPS Wind Arena in Llandudno on Saturday (KO 17:15). 

Both sides have lifted the trophy on one previous occasion each, but only one will make this year’s final at Rodney Parade on Sunday 28 April. 

It is a repeat of last season’s semi-final when Harry Franklin struck inside the first minute to open the scoring for the Nomads, but Chris Venables struck an 86th-minute winner to earn a 3-2 victory for Bala. The Lakesiders went on to be beaten by The New Saints in the final. 

This season, the Nomads have defeated Caernarfon Town, Prestatyn Town, Flint Town United and Buckley Town on their way to the final, with forward Jordan Davies currently leading the highest scoring player left in the competition with seven goals. 

Neil Gibson’s side sit second in the JD Cymru Premier table but come into this tie in struggling form, having lost their last three league matches – including against Bala three weeks ago. 

George Newell scored the winning goal from the penalty spot that night and he will be the one to watch on Saturday. The Lakesiders frontman has nine goals in his last seven games, including a brace in Bala’s quarter-final win over third tier side Flint Mountain. 

Colin Caton’s men have also beaten Llandudno, Aberystwyth Town and Caerau Ely on their way to this stage, while they are in impressive form with just one defeat in their eight games in all competitions since the turn of the year. 

Bala are unbeaten in three meetings against the Nomads this season, with a pair of 1-0 victories and a 1-1 draw. 

The second semi-final takes place between Cardiff Met and The New Saints on Saturday 30 March at Latham Park (KO 17:15). 

The tie was moved from this weekend as TNS play in the SPFL Trust Trophy final against Airdrieonians on Sunday. 

Craig Harrison’s side have already lifted the JD Cymru Premier and Nathaniel MG Cup this season, so their quest for an unprecedented quadruple is firmly in their hands. 

TNS have won the JD Welsh Cup in each of the last three seasons it has been played, with their last defeat in this competition coming against Connah’s Quay Nomads in the quarter-finals in 2018. 

This season they have got the better of Ruthin Town, Trethomas Bluebirds, Carmarthen Town and Briton Ferry Llansawel but are yet to come up against top-flight opposition. 

This is only the second time in Cardiff Met’s history that they have reached the JD Welsh Cup semi-finals and they will be well aware of the challenge that awaits them at Latham Park. 

In the three league meetings between the two sides this season, TNS have won 5-1, 8-0 and 4-0 with prolific forward Brad Young scoring two hat-tricks and a brace in those games. 

Met are winless in their last 10 matches in the JD Cymru Premier, leaving them sixth in the table. Their only victory in any competition in 2024 was their JD Welsh Cup quarter-final win against Colwyn Bay. 

Ryan Jenkins’ side have also beaten Cwmbran Town, Mold Alexandra and Haverfordwest County to reach the semi-finals. 

Both semi-finals have been selected for live broadcast by S4C and will be available to watch on Sgorio’s online platforms and your smart TV.  

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