By Gareth James
The New Saints manager Craig Harrison watched his team win the JD Welsh Cup Final with a 6-0 thrashing of Bala Town but insisted it was not a performance that impressed him.
Declan McManus notched his 32nd goal in as many matches this season to launch an emphatic victory – the biggest win in the Welsh Cup final since Wrexham blasted seven goals past Shrewsbury Town at The Racecourse in 1931 in their 7-0 victory.
But a combination of “sloppiness” and the playing surface at Bangor, meant Harrison’s celebratory champagne was only half full.
“To be honest, I don’t think we played very well,” said the Saints boss.
“That’s the worst we’ve been for 10 or 12 games.
“I don’t think we played well at all. Obviously, we scored three goals near the end, but the first 20 minutes we started well and then became sloppy.
“But I’m a perfectionist. I would have liked us to play better but I think the pitch surface played a huge part. I thought it was terrible.
“But we got there in the end.”
Harrison said his Saints players – Cymru Premier champions again this season – would now enjoy a four-week break before starting preparations for their Champions League campaign.
Scottish sharp-shooter McManus struck first after only 19 minutes to set his side on the road to an eighth league and cup double having clinched the JD Cymru Premier league title with five games left to play.
The cup final against Bala was a re-match of the 2017 final at the same Bangor venue. Bala came out on top against the odds on that occasion, but they weren’t able to hold onto their rivals as they fell for a fifth time against them this season.
They had lost all four previous league meetings, conceding 12 goals and only managing one in return, and they were well beaten in the end.
Danny Redmond added a second six minutes into the second half and then Ryan Brobbel added the third in the 56th minute to make it four wins in a row for Harrison’s men in the oldest cup tournament in Welsh football.
TNS turned on the style in the second half and romped to a massive win thanks to three goals in the space of four minutes at the death from Jordan Williams, Adrian Cieslewicz and Brobbel.