Even after a weekend where the giant-killing exploits of Llangefni Town claimed the Welsh Cup headlines, few can deny that one fourth round fixture will grab the most attention.
Monday night’s draw for the last sixteen paired Bangor City with old foes Caernarfon Town – the first time the Gwynedd rivals have met at first team level since a League Cup clash in September 2015.
The Canaries, then of the Huws Gray Alliance, edged out a 1-0 win on that occasion – in front of a thousand-strong crowd at Nantporth.
But fast forward to now – and Caernarfon find themselves back in the Welsh Premier while City struggle to get out of the second tier. The FAW’s decision to refuse Bangor a domestic licence has ultimately denied either side the chance of further clashes.
That said, both teams cruised through the third round of the Cup with relative ease. Bangor, now facing a second North West derby on the trot, were dominant over ten-man Holyhead Hotspur – Alex Darlington and Robbie Parry in their 4-1 victory over the Harbourmen on Friday night.
And Cai Jones scored a brace of his own for Caernarfon Town in a 3-0 win at Prestatyn – with Noah Edwards scoring against his former club.
For all the glamour that a Bangor-Caernarfon derby brings, both sides will have to concentrate first on a busy festive season in the league. Despite their decidedly mixed form in the top flight, Caernarfon are still within reach of a top six finish before the WPL splits into two next month.
Bangor have been long left in the shadow of runaway HGA leaders Airbus, but they have lost just once in their last six league outings – with new manager Gary Taylor Fletcher preparing to make his mark and the prospect of new owners taking charge soon.
Back on Anglesey, Llangefni already have a second top-flight scalp in their sights.
Llandudno – bottom of the WPL – are next to travel to Cae Bob Parry in the fourth round, having survived a scare against Briton Ferry Llansawel on Saturday.
Few could have expected Cefni’s 1-0 triumph over another struggling Welsh Premier club, Llanelli – as heard live on MônFM Sport. Alan Mark Owen beat a goalmouth scramble to steer home from a corner for what turned out to be the winner in front of a 300-strong crowd.
Ironically, as the cup drama played out, Cefni were toppled as Welsh Alliance leaders by Bodedern Athletic, following their 3-2 win over Nantlle Vale.
But with only goal difference separating the top two, Chris Roberts’ men can return to top spot with a win or a draw over Mynydd Llandegai on Wednesday night.
Town have also been boosted further by the return of Harry Galeotti, after spending the first half of this season with Holyhead Hotspur.
Bala Town are yet to confirm their spot in the fourth round, after Saturday night’s televised clash at Flint Town United was cut short following two floodlight failures. The Lakesiders were already a goal up within 60 seconds of kick off.
The two sides will meet again at Cae-y-Castell tonight – with the winners visiting Welsh League outfit Haverfordwest County.
JD Welsh Cup fourth round draw
Bangor City v Caernarfon Town
Haverfordwest County v Flint Town United or Bala Town
Llangefni Town v Llandudno
Ties to be played on Friday 25th and Saturday 26th January 2019
In other news, the draws have been made for the third round and the quarter finals of this season’s NWCFA Junior Cup.
Third round draw – Saturday 16th February 2019
Nefyn United (cup holders) v Llanfairfechan Town
Llansannan v Abergele
Llandudno Athletic v Bryngwran Bulls
Holyhead Hotspur Reserves v Bro Cernyw
Menai Bridge Tigers v Llanelwy Athletic
Bro Goronwy or St Asaph City Reserves v Rhuddlan Town
Henllan v Talysarn Celts
Y Glannau v Arriva Bangor
Quarter final draw – Saturday 9th March 2019
Llandudno Athletic or Bryngwran Bulls v Y Glannau or Arriva Bangor
Holyhead Hotspur Reserves or Bro Cernyw v Bro Goronwy / St Asaph City Reserves / Rhuddlan Town
Henllan or Talysarn Celts v Nefyn United or Llanfairfechan Town
Menai Bridge Tigers / Llanelwy Athletic v Llansannan or Abergele