News Cymraeg
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While Connah’s Quay Nomads are aiming for a third successive Nathaniel MG Cup final triumph, Bala Town are looking to lift the trophy for the very first time. 

The Lakesiders reached the final of the competition in 2014 and 2015, losing out to Carmarthen Town and then The New Saints, but now they are back in the showpiece fixture for the first time in eight years. 

For Colin Caton, winning at The Rock would be the perfect way to celebrate 20 years since he was first appointed as Bala manager. 

“It would be good to win the competition for the first time and I certainly believe that we can,” Caton says. “We have been focused on the league but we want to pick up some silverware too and we will be going full strength to try to win it.

“It is important that we give a good account of ourselves and if we do that then we will have a good chance.”

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Caton believes that reaching the final has been a happy consequence of Bala’s struggles with injuries this season, as they have been unable to rest key players in the competition. 

“We haven’t necessarily prioritised the competition in the last few seasons, but because we have such a small squad it means we have played a strong team in all of the games this year,” Caton explains. 

“It is great that we have got to the final and it is a reward for the committee and everyone involved in the club who put in such hard work.”

Bala are the top scorers in this year’s competition after winning 6-1 against Chirk AAA, 4-1 against Caernarfon Town and 4-0 against Gresford Athletic to reach the last four. 

Pitted against last year’s runners-up Cardiff Met at Maes Tegid, the Lakesiders earned a 2-0 victory thanks to goals from Chris Venables and Dave Edwards. 

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“Every game throughout the competition has been difficult,” Caton says. “We have come through a couple of good tests and to score a lot of goals has been really pleasing. 

“Caernarfon is a difficult place to go at any time, but we did really well there. Cardiff Met have a good record of getting to finals in this competition, so we knew it was going to be a tough game in the semi-final. To compete against them and ultimately win was great.”

Their final challenge is to beat the team who have knocked them out of the competition in the last two editions. Bala and the Nomads have faced off plenty of times in recent seasons, including earlier this month when they played out a 0-0 draw in the JD Cymru Premier. 

“The game is going to be really tough, just as it was in the league fixture a couple of weeks ago,” Caton says. “They have got one of the biggest squads in the league and we have one of the smallest. 

“They will ask questions of us in the air, they are a big and strong team. We perhaps aren’t as physical but we caused them problems in the goalless draw with the way we tried to play through them and create chances. It will be a good game and I am really looking forward to it.”

The 2022/23 Nathaniel MG Cup final takes place between Bala Town and Connah's Quay Nomads at The Rock on Saturday 28 January at 12:45pm. Find ticket information here

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