Date: Thu 30 Mar 2017

Swansea sit on WPWL title brink

A victory away to Rhyl on Sunday could be enough to confirm Swansea City as the new Orchard Welsh Premier Women's League champions, but only if current champions Cardiff Met also fail to beat local rivals Cyncoed.

Ian Owen's Swansea City side have impressed throughout the campaign and have won deserved plaudits from their opponents throughout the season. Last weekend, the side extended their lead at the top of the table with a 4-0 win against Rhyl at Llandarcy, and will be confident of emulating their success when they travel to Belle Vue on Sunday afternoon. “It always feels good to get on the score sheet to help the team get the win,” explained Stacey John, who took her tally in all competitions this season to 20 goals with a brace in the victory. “The atmosphere amongst us all at the minute is great, really positive. As a team we know what we have to do and, of course, winning the league has been our main goal all season. But every week we all know our main focus is to come away with all three points from each game.”

Ironically, if Swansea City can claim the title on Sunday, then they will face Cardiff Met the following week in the final of the FAW Women's Cup at Penybont, looking to complete a domestic double over the team that have lifted the league title for the last three seasons. “Swansea City are the best side we have come against this season, both in terms of their individual players and as a collective team,” explained Rhyl manager Tom Jamieson before last weeks match. “Ian Owen has done a terrific job, and these are the sort of teams we want to test ourselves against, as they are at the level where we want to be.”

Swansea City last lifted the league title in 2010/2011 with a 3-1 play-off final victory over Caernarfon Town, but this would be their first title since it became a truly national league in 2012/2013. Swansea City have been runners-up to Cardiff Met in each of the last two seasons, and taking the title off their main rivals and reigning champions will be an added incentive for the side. In addition, lifting the league title would ensure qualification for the UEFA Women's Champions League next season, but midfielder Emma Beynon has already enjoyed a taste of continental football recently with her performances for Swansea City earning her a place in the Wales Women's senior squad for the Cyprus Cup tournament.

But while Swansea City will be desperate to come away from Rhyl with maximum points, the same applies to the hosts, but for very different reasons. With Port Talbot Town without a game this weekend, Rhyl would move above them on goal difference and out of the relegation places with what would be an unlikely victory. However, Tom Jamieson's side have improved in recent weeks, and will look avenge last weeks defeat with home advantage. Meanwhile, Aberystwyth Town take on Cardiff City, and bottom club Briton Ferry Llansawel host Abergavenny at Old Road still looking for their first win of the season.

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