The New Saints aiming to double up
The New Saints will be looking to sign off in style by getting their hands back on the Welsh Cup in tomorrow’s final with old adversaries Connah’s Quay Nomads at Cefn Druids (2.45).
Despite their dominance of the Welsh Premier in the last decade, the Saints have failed to lift the Welsh Cup since 2016, reaching the quarter-finals last season where they lost 2-1 to this weekend’s rivals.
So, on the back of a storming 21-match unbeaten run, they will want to make the most of tomorrow’s opportunity to reclaim the trophy for a seventh time in the club’s history.
TNS have already defeated the Nomads three times this term to give themselves the psychological edge, including their 1-0 home success just last week, and will be looking to courtesy of a penalty from Golden Boot winner Greg Draper. Both camps may not be reading too much into that result, but the momentum is certainly with TNS as they look to round off another triumphant campaign by complete a league and cup double.
“The Welsh Cup is a fantastic trophy, and one we want to win again,” said Saints boss Scott Ruscoe. “It was important to win last week as it means we finished 12 points above them in the league, and shows there is a gap between us and the sides below. “But just because we have beaten Connah’s Quay a few times this season, we won’t be thinking it’s going to be an easy game. They are the holders and won’t want us to get our hands on the trophy.”
“It’s a one off game and anything can happen, but we want to finish on a high, and the Welsh Cup would be the icing on the cake.”
The Nomads know they will need to dig deep if they are to keep a grip of the trophy they lifted for the first time last term.
Boss Andy Morrison conceded that playing the final on a 3G surface will give the league champions an advantage.
“No team has beaten TNS more on grass than Andy Morrison teams, but I
have never beaten TNS on 3G in all my time in the league, so we are going to face a massive task,” he said.
The Nomads did lift the trophy on a similar surface a year ago when defeating Aberystwyth Town 4-1 at Newtown where they also won 3-0 in this year’s semi-final with Cardiff Met. TNS themselves were 2-0 winners against Barry Town United in their last four clash at the same venue.
The Saints are close to full strength, while Nomads’ seasoned striker Michael Wilde is pressing for a start against his old club.
It’s also a big day for Cefn Druids who will be staging the Welsh Cup final for the first time in the club’s history
Meanwhile, Ryan Brobbel landed a double after taking the TNS players’ player and supporters’ player honours this term. Fellow midfielder Tom Holland was voted the young player of the season.