THE tables are turned as Nicky Ward aims to inflict title heartache on his former Bangor City team mates in Saturday’s Welsh Premier title decider at Park Hall (3.30pm).
Almost 12 months ago, the versatile midfielder helped Bangor snatch the championship with a dramatic 1-0 win over The New Saints on a tense last day on the North Wales coast.
Having since switched to the Saints for a second spell this term, Ward now targets another Welsh Premier crown – his sixth in all – but this time at the expense of his old club.
Remarkably, the scenario is the same as last season with TNS again going into the last day two points clear of Bangor and needing just a draw against their title adversaries to lift the trophy. The only difference is the venue, with the Oswestry men having home advantage.
Ward – who has scored four goals this term - believes the clash of the league’s top two in front of the live TV cameras is a “fitting finish” to the season.
However, this time the former Shrewsbury Town youngster backs the high-flying Saints to taste title glory on home surrounds in what promises to be another dramatic day.“Saturday’s a massive game and the lads here want to rectify what happened last season,” he said.
“TNS are a lot stronger this season, and can go into the game in confident mood after a great run since Christmas.
“There is pressure on us as the leaders, but there will also be a little more pressure on Bangor this season as they are defending champions. However, I think they will look forward to coming here, the artificial pitch at Park Hall doesn’t hold the same fears for clubs as it used to.
“They are a good side, have players who will run through brick walls, but we have a lot of belief this season after the run of results we’ve had.
“As soon as the fixtures came out, everyone felt it would come down to this game. It’s fitting as were are the two best teams in the league, but I feel this time I feel
TNS can do it. These are the games you really look forward to.”
Saints Director of Football Craig Harrison added: “Saturday’s a great game to look forward to, we will prepare no differently than we have done for the last four or five weeks.
“We need a point, while they have got to come here and win, but we won’t be sitting back, we want to win the game.”
There will be a free Arriva bus from Oswestry to The Venue for Saturday’s game.