The New Saints in seventh heaven
Ryan Brobbel bagged a hat-trick as The New Saints breezed past Cefn Druids 7-0 at Park Hall to turn up the heat in the JD Welsh Premier title chase.
When the sides met last term, the Saints sealed a 12th league crown with a 5-1 romp – and the defending champions produced another dominant showing against their shellshocked visitors.
Despite the emphatic win, the Saints remain third in the table, four points off the pace, but showed they mean business with a clinical display.
They never looked back after taking the lead on 10 minutes as Brobbel weaved his way inside the box before beating keeper Michael Jones with a deflected effort.
After Brobbel put another shot narrowly wide, the Saints doubled their advantage on 18 minutes as Simon Spender played in Kurtis Byrne who coolly slotted past Jones. Druids almost pulled one back when forcing Danny Redmond to clear off the line, but the Saints again threatened as Jones denied Byrne.
And they tightened their grip four minutes before half-time as winger Jamie Mullan sprung the offside trap to add a third.
Any hope of a Druids fightback faded seven minutes into the second period as the hosts broke upfield, and a fine pass from Tom Holland picked out Byrne who finished with aplomb.
Saints made it five with eight minutes left as Brobbel fired low into the net.
The midfielder completed his hat-trick in injury time when heading in a cross from Redmond before substitute Greg Draper completed the rout from Spender’s pass.