Bodedern Athletic’s clash with Bangor 1876 on the final day of the season could end up a league title decider.
The dynamic duo have turned the battle for the Tier 4 North Wales Coast West League Premier Division championship into a two-horse race between a pair of thoroughbreds.
This is Frankel versus Sea Bird without a shadow of a doubt.
With five games apiece remaining, Bodedern lead the way with 67 points from 23 fixtures, while 1876 are on 62 from 23.
Athletic’s goal difference is +92, with Bangor’s an even better +99.
The fierce rivals have four league matches each to play before meeting one another in the season’s curtain-closer on May 7.
The question is, will the title fight be over by then, or will everything depend on what happens at Treborth?
If 1876 are to require a win on the last day to finish up champions, they will be anxious to keep ahead of Boded on goal difference to maximise their hopes.
Here is the title run-in (fixtures subject to change)
Played 23 Won 22 Drawn 1 Lost 0 Goals For 106 Goals Against 14 Points 67 G-D +92
Apr 16: Llanrug United (away)
Apr 20: Gaerwen (away)
Apr 23: Penrhyndeudraeth (away)
Apr 30: Gwalchmai (home)
May 7: Bangor 1876 (away)
Played 23 Won 20 Drawn 2 Lost 1 Goals For 112 Goals Against 13 Points 62 G-D +99
Apr 19: CPD Mynydd Llandegai (h)
Apr 23: Nefyn United (h)
Apr 30: Glantraeth (a)
May 2: Pentraeth (a)
May 7: Bodedern Athletic (h)
The two main protagonists have lost just one league game between them all season.
That was last November, when Bodedern fought back from 2-1 down to beat 1876 3-2 at Cae Ty Cristion.
Athletic have won every one of their 23 games except for a 1-1 draw at Mynydd Llandegai on March 19.
After winning their opening 18 matches, the Anglesey club were the No 1 non-league form side in the UK, topping the Global League Stats table compiled by the Non-League Matters website.
Fan-owned 1876, set to complete their first full season as a club, have won 20 out of 23, losing just to Boded and being held to draws at Penrhyndeudraeth and Nefyn.
Both title challengers have netted more than 100 goals – 1876 on 112 and Bodedern 106 – and they boast the meanest defences imaginable, Bangor conceding just 13 times and Athletic 14.
They are two dream teams unfortunate to cross swords in the same season.
Either one without the other would surely be nailed-on champions by now.
So what might the scenario be on May 7?
Obviously, with a five-point lead, Ricky Williams’ Bodedern are in the driving seat. Four wins from their last five games will guarantee them the title.
However, four of their last five league matches are away from home, while 1876 have three games left at Treborth and two on their travels.
All manner of twists and turns may occur, but a reasonably-minded follower might expect Boded to take 10 points from the next 12, with a draw at Penrhyndeudraeth possible, while 1876 have a big chance of four victories in a row to scoop a maximum 12 points.
If that did happen, we would be left with a last-day situation of Bodedern on 77 points and 1876 with 74.
This is where goal difference could become the all-important factor. If Bangor stay in front of the islanders, a win for Michael Johnston’s men over Athletic at Treborth would land them the title on GD.
Of course, this is all assuming our fictitious forecast of Boded taking 10 points from the next 12 and 1876 bag 12 out of 12 comes true.
Anything is far from a certainty and the best chapter in this thrilling tale could be the final one.
Before all that, Bodedern Athletic and Bangor 1876 both deserve a huge round of applause for giving us such a thrilling campaign.
It is just what we needed to rekindle our football appetites after two years of Covid misery.