Round 3 is always a special occasion in the football calendar, and this year will be no different! We take a look at where the JDWPL sides will be playing this weekend.
Cup holders Bala Town would have been hoping for a bit of an easier start to their title defence, either at home or against lower league opposition: instead they face a tricky looking trip to Aberystwyth Town. Aber have played in two finals in recent seasons, but haven’t won the cup since 1900. The sides met two weeks ago in the league, Bala winning 2-1. Both team had contrasting fortunes last weekend though: Aber 3-0 winners at home to Newtown, while Bala lost 5-0 away to Bangor.
Six of the JDWPL sides have home ties against lower league opposition to look forward to.
The New Saints welcome Penrhyncoch to Park Hall on Friday evening. Saints are still chasing what would be an unprecedented quadruple this season, and start this one as favourites. For the Roosters, this is their third away game of this season’s competition, having beaten Garden Village and Caerphilly Athletic in the previous rounds.
Connah’s Quay host Cwmbran Celtic. Semi-finalists in the previous two seasons, Nomads will be looking to go one better this time out, but must start with a tricky tie against a Celtic side who knocked out Llanelli Town in the Second Round. Bangor also face Welsh League Division 1 opposition in the form of Cwmamman United. Kevin Nicholson’s side are on a great run, winning four from four in November to move up to third in the league, and will fancy their chances against Cwmamman
Llandudno host Huws Gray side Gresford Athletic. Gresford have only lost 1 game in 12 in all competitions, which came against new Llandudno boss Iwan Williams’ old side Caernarfon in Williams’ last league game in charge of the Canaries. In an all-Denbighshire clash, Prestatyn Town host Ruthin Town. The 2013 winners reached the quarter-finals last season, and will be looking to have another good run this season.
Another derby clash sees Newtown host Guilsfield. Quarter-finalists last season, and currently sitting fourth in the Huws Gray Alliance, Guilsfield will prove a tough test for Chris Hughes’ side, who like many in the JDWPL had a mixed November. The Robins did reach the semi-final of the Nathaniel MG Cup though this season, and beat Guilsfield in that same competition the last time the sides met back in October 2016.
The remaining four JDWPL sides will all travel to lower league opposition.
Barry Town United travel north to Caernarfon Town in the live game (S4C, Sunday, 2.45pm ko). A mixed November for the Dragons saw two wins and two defeats, and they face a tough test away at the Huws Gray leaders, under the management of Sean Eardley after Iwan Williams’ move to Llandudno. JDWPL high-fliers Cardiff Met also face a tough test away at Penybont. The hosts are having another good season in Welsh League D1 under former WPL stalwart Rhys Griffiths, and will be looking forward to the challenge of facing Christian Edwards’ side.
Out west, Carmarthen Town face Ammanford in a derby clash. The Old Gold are in danger of being cut adrift in the league, and must surely see the cup as a chance to inject some positivity into their campaign. Ammanford meanwhile are relishing the prospect of hosting their local rivals, and potentially causing an upset. Finally, Cefn Druids make a short trip into Powys to face Llanrhaeadr Ym Mochnant. The Spar Mid Wales League side have won through three rounds to get this far, and have already beaten higher-tier opposition in the form of Queens Park and Caersws. Druids though are having a great season, and will prove a tough test for the Powys outfit.
There are of course five ties not featuring JDWPL sides on the weekend. Lowest ranked side Penydarren BGC make the long trip north to play Llandudno Junction. There may be three tiers between the two (Junction in the Huws Gray, Penydarren in the South Wales Alliance League Premier) but their seasons couldn't be more different. Junction are bottom of the Huws Gray, while Penydarren have won every game they've played in all competitions so far this season.
Elsewhere Panteg will be looking to pull off another upset when they travel to Porthmadog, having beaten Ton Pentre in the previous round, while fellow Gwent side Goytre also travel north to play Airbus UK Broughton. Buckley face Flint Town in a local derby, and finally Pontypridd play host to Haverfordwest.
Full fixtures and kick-off times can be found on the FAW website. The draw for Round 4 will be made on Monday evening on S4C's Heno