Caernarfon Town 3 (Max Cleworth 11 & 45 +2, Sion Bradley 54)
Bala Town 0
JD Cymru Premier League – May 4, 2021
An end-of-season upsurge in form could yet secure Caernarfon fifth place in the final JD Cymru Premier standings.
The Canaries are just three points behind current occupiers of fifth spot Barry Town United – and they visit Jenner Park on the final weekend of the campaign.
Depending on results in between, Caernarfon could still grab fifth and land a home tie in the play-offs for Europe.
On Tuesday, Huw Griffiths’ side produced their best performance of the season as they overpowered a Bala outfit already assured of third and participation in the new Europa League Conference..
The Cofis had initially found the second phase of the season tough, but successive draws at TNS and at home to Penybont have obviously generated an extra spring in their steps – and in this latest outing they stepped up another level against the Lakesiders.
Manager Griffiths was again without a number of his first team squad due to injuries and suspensions, but he has shown in recent weeks he knows how to get the best out of his players and he got it spot on again as his charges proved worthy winners.
The Canaries were sharper to the ball and stronger in the tackle right from the off and went ahead in the 11th minute when Max Cleworth headed in a Sion Bradley corner from six yards.
Bradley later created an excellent opportunity for Paulo Mendes, but he side-footed wide from 10 yards.
Chris Venables and Will Evans had half chances to get Bala back on level terms before the break but it was Caernarfon who had the final say of the half when Cleworth netted again from short range after the visitors failed to pick him up for a corner.
Half-time: Caernarfon Town 2 Bala Town 0
The Cofis continued to dominate after the restart and when Michael Hayes was fouled by Anthony Stephens just outside the Bala area, Sion Bradley took full advantage as he struck his free-kick beyond Alex Ramsay and into the keeper’s bottom right hand corner.
Bala kept plugging away but to no real effect and, apart from a Venables header that was cleared off the line by Ryan Williams, they got no joy out of Caernarfon’s solid defence.
Caernarfon: Lewis Brass, Joe Williams, Ryan Williams, Gareth Edwards, Louis Kondjo (Gruffydd John 66), Noah Edwards, Paulo Mendes, Max Cleworth, Sion Bradley (Cai Jones 79), Mike Hayes (Jack Kenny 79), Jake Bickerstaff. Subs not used: Tyler French, Daniel Jones, Sion Sullivan.
Bala: Alex Ramsay, Andrew Burns, Sean Smith, Anthony Stephens, Jonathan Spittle, Will Evans (Liam Davies 82), Henry Jones (Daniel Gosset 66), Kieran Smith, Antony Kay, Jack Mackreth (Steven Leslie 46), Chris Venables. Subs not used: Nathan Peate, Shaun Kelly.
Rest of the Cymru Premier…..
Connah’s Quay Nomads retained their two-point lead at the summit with two rounds of matches left after coming from behind to win 2-1 at Barry.
Theo Wharton edged the hosts ahead in the 67th minute, but Callum Morris levelled from the penalty spot and Craig Curran nabbed the winner on 78.
The New Saints stayed in the title hunt with a fine 3-0 success at Penybont.
Ben Clark, Ryan Brobbel and Leo Smith notched the second-half goals for the visitors.
STATE OF THE TITLE RACE
Connah’s Quay: Played 30 Points 73 (GD +44)
The New Saints: Played 30 Points 71 (GD +62)
Saturday, May 8 – Caernarfon Town (h)
May 15 – Penybont (a)
Saturday, May 8: Barry Town United (h)
May 15 – Bala Town (h)
Also on Tuesday, Flint Town United dished out a 6-0 thrashing at a sorry Cefn Druids in the Play-Off Conference.
Josh Amis bagged a hat-trick with goals on 8, 52 and 67 minutes, Ben Maher netted after 57, Jacob Wise put through his own goal on 73 and Sam Hart rounded off the rout on 90.
Newtown are still favourites for seventh and a play-off berth despite losing 3-2 at home to Cardiff Met.
Aberystwyth Town and Haverfordwest County played out a 2-2 draw.