Following TNS’ 4-0 drubbing of Bangor City last weekend, the race for the Welsh title is officially well and truly over as the Saints now sit 20 points clear of second placed Bala Town as they claim their sixth successive title.
Now attention must be turned to the opposite end of the table.
After the “split” (where the league splits into top six and bottom six teams who then play each other twice), Newtown, Llandudno, Cefn Druids, Aberystwyth, Rhyl and Airbus are currently fighting out to avoid relegation.
Last night’s fixtures concerning the teams above ended like this:
Aberystwyth Town 0-4 Newtown AFC
Airbus Broughton UK 0-0 Cefn Druids
Llandudno Town 1-1 Rhyl FC
With just four or five (depending on which teams) of the season remaining, it’s beginning to get very interesting at the bottom of the table.
Newtown’s drubbing of Aberystwyth has given them a great chance of securing their Welsh Prem status, but in contrast drags Aber right into the thick of the relegation battle. A Jason Oswell hat-trick and a solo strike from Nick Rushton condemned Aber to a heavy home defeat and will damage their goal difference significantly.
Airbus are all but relegated after their 0-0 draw at home to Cefn Druids. They are still 9 points adrift of 11th placed Rhyl with just 17 points.
A last minute equaliser from Rhyl defender Stefan Halewood cancelled out Llandudno star Marc Williams’ opener and denied the home side all three points, in a game that they totally looked like winning.
With Airbus seemingly already doomed to go down, it will be up to the other five clubs to scrap it out in order to try and avoid being the other club that will join them in the Cymru Alliance league next season.
The current points tally looks like this:
Rhyl – 26 points (27 played)
Aberystwyth – 27 points (27 played)
Cefn Druids – 28 points (27 played)
Newtown – 34 points (27 played)
Llandudno – 32 points (27 played)
Llandudno are in pole position at the moment, but with just a mere six points separating the five teams, it could all change in the blink of an eye.
My predictions of the final fixtures to see who will go down (here goes nothing):
17th – Cefn Druids 1 vs 2 Rhyl
18th – Airbus 0 vs 1 Aberystwyth
19th – Newtown 3 vs 2 Llandudno
25th – Aberystwyth 2 vs 2 Cefn Druids
25th – Llandudno 3 vs 1 Airbus
26th – Rhyl 1 vs 1 Newtown
8th – Llandudno 2 vs 1 Aberystwyth
8th – Newtown 3 vs 0 Cefn Druids
8th – Rhyl 3 vs 0 Airbus
14th – Aberystwyth 2 vs 2 Rhyl
14th – Airbus 1 vs 4 Newtown
14th – Cefn Druids 1 vs 2 Llandudno
22nd – Cefn Druids 2 vs 2 Airbus
22nd – Newtown 2 vs 0 Aberystwyth
22nd – Rhyl 2 vs 1 Llandudno
Which would mean that the final table looks like this:
7. Newtown – 47 points
8. Llandudno – 41 points
9. Rhyl – 37 points
10. Aberystwyth – 32 points
11. Cefn Druids – 30 points (R)
12. Airbus – 17 points (R)
Will I be right come the end of the season?
Time will tell, but I believe that both Newtown and Llandudno have far too much strength in numbers to be relegated. Rhyl have the capability to surprise a few teams too so I can’t see them going down personally.
Aberystwyth have been very poor, but their experience will pay off in the end in my opinion and I believe that it is highly likely to be “Wales’ oldest club” Cefn Druids who slip down to the second division alongside abysmal Airbus.