CHRIS Venables was the star man as Bala Town eased into the last-eight of the Welsh Cup.

Venables bagged a second half hat-trick as Colin Caton’s Lakesiders saw off hosts Haverfordwest County 3-1.

All of his goals came within a scintillating six-minute spell as Bala secured their second win this season over Haverfordwest.

Following a first-half lacking in memorable moments, the game sprung into action quickly after the break thanks to the brilliance of Venables.

Having put six past the Bluebirds in the league meeting at Maes Tegid last month, it was clear that the Lakesiders were confident of breaking down the hosts’ defence once more as Bala came out the blocks craving an early lead.

Venables’ early effort forced County keeper Wojciech Gajda into a diving save, while Paul Rutherford almost provided the opener when his cross went agonisingly over a couple of Bala heads and out for a corner.

From a resulting corner, Bala had a shot cleared off the line by Kurtis Rees.

The half fizzled out with both teams failing to produce an opener and Bala came out for the second period in determined fashion.

Nathan Peate’s header came back off the woodwork twice, but Venables soon broke the deadlock with a header from Steven Leslie’s free kick.

It took only two more minutes for Venables to grab his brace.

Leslie attempted an effort on goal, which was saved, and Venables was at the back post to make it 2-0.

The Bala skipper was not done just yet and incredibly he completed his hat-trick from yet another Leslie free-kick, as the captain was found free in the box to head home.

Mason Jones-Thomas unleashed a thunderous strike that went into the net off the crossbar, but Bala kept their noses in front to reach the next round.