Cymru Premier: Owain Tudur Jones and Malcolm Allen's mid-season review

Connah's Quay Nomads v The New Saints
Cymru Premier leaders New Saints host second placed Connah's Quay Nomads on Saturday

The Cymru Premier reaches the halfway point this Saturday with the final round of first phase games.

Champions New Saints are top of the table, but Scott Ruscoe's side only have a one-point advantage over Connah's Quay in second spot.

The two clubs have secured their place in the top six for the second half of the season along with Barry Town, Bala Town and Caernarfon Town.

The sixth and final spot will be determined on Saturday with either Newtown, Cardiff Met or Cefn Druids securing a top-six berth.

It's tight at the bottom of the table with Airbus UK and Carmarthen Town the current bottom two and newcomers Penybont hoping to survive.

Former Wales internationals Owain Tudur Jones and Malcolm Allen, who host the Welsh language Y Coridor Ansicrwydd podcast on BBC Sounds, look ahead to the second phase.

Race for the title

Owain Tudur Jones: "New Saints are firm favourites. They've been there, done it, got the T-shirt.

"People are very dismissive of Connah's Quay, which is understandable in terms of their way of playing, which is judged more than anybody.

"They've been in a similar position before and just couldn't quite stay with New Saints when they got to the crunch end of the season.

"Connah's Quay have a way of making sure that they get the results they need, maybe not by the prettiest fashion, but they're in the fight with New Saints.

"I think it's going to come down to who gets the better of who in the stand alone games between the two."

Malcolm Allen: "Connah's Quay will be up there competing but New Saints cannot afford to lose another game.

"They have never won a Championship losing five games in a season and they've lost four already. It will be a lot closer than anybody thinks this season.

"But I feel Bala can win the league if their forward line can stay clear of injuries and suspensions, because those three can score goals against anyone."

Race for the final top six spot

Owain Tudur Jones: "It all falls on Newtown but there are two sides to the coin. Cardiff Met proved last season that you can finish in the bottom six, play the weaker teams towards the end of the season and build a bit of confidence and get the route into Europe that way.

"But certainly the three would prefer to finish in that top six so that you are playing a higher level of competition week I, week out and you're ready for those play-offs.

"Newtown are firm favourites and I would be hugely surprised if it was anyone other than them securing a place in the top six."

Malcolm Allen: "It's going to be really exciting. Newtown are in sixth place and three points clear. There's not a lot in it with the goal difference.

"Newtown are in the driving seat after results went their way last weekend."

Battle to survive

Owain Tudur Jones: "It's really tight at the bottom of the table and the three teams down there - Airbus UK, Carmarthen Town and Penybont - are really battling to stay up.

"But it's good to see that there's not much of a gap and no team is cut adrift. As sad as it is for the clubs involved, we'd rather see a handful of teams involved rather than one or two who are cut from the rest.

"It promises to be exciting in all aspects of the league going into the final chunk of the season."

Malcolm Allen: "Airbus are the worst team I've seen this season and it will be who goes down with them.

"Penybont, under Rhys Griffiths, are playing some great football and they got their rewards last weekend with a win at Cefn Druids and I think they could just about stay up.

"Carmarthen have been in the top-flight since the 1996-97 season and I've got a horrible feeling this year that they may fall away with Airbus.

"The second half of the season is going to be exciting, so put your seatbelts on."

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