WELSH PREMIER FOOTBALL

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LATE goals from Jordan Evans and Kieran Smith earned Bala Town a historic first-ever Welsh Cup win and denied The New Saints a treble-treble.

Bala had failed to beat TNS in 29 previous meetings and the champions looked on-course to maintain their three-year monopoly of domestic silverware after Greg Draper had put them ahead in the 56th-minute. Draper's shot from outside the box was parried by keeper Ashley Morris, but Steve Saunders was able to send the ball back across goal for the striker to steer into an empty net.

The Lakesiders had held their own in the first half and TNS were fortunate not to concede a penalty when Saunders brought down Chris Venables just inside the box. But it was keeper Morris who kept the champions at bay with a string of fine saves, notably from a first-half Draper header.

Chris Marriott hit the bar with a free-kick moments before Draper's goal but, despite TNS domination, Bala were back in the game on 77 minutes when sub Evans sent a 20-yard shot into the far corner, minutes after coming off the bench.

And, following a free-kick five minutes from time, Venables floated a cross towards goal for Smith to head home the winner.

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23 August 2017

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