A SENSATIONAL late strike denied Bala Town all three points at the home of champions Connah's Quay on the opening weekend of the 2020/21 JD Cymru Premier season.

Sameron Dool's long-range effort in the 94th minute saw both sides share the spoils in a game in which Bala will feel they should have won.

Colin Caton's side were on top for much of the encounter at the home of the current champions, the Deeside Stadium on Saturday evening.

League debutante Raul Correia was showing his strength deep in the Nomads half, drawing the fouls well from defenders. And, perhaps he should have even had a penalty early on when he was seemingly fouled in the Connah's Quay box, but the referee waved play on.

Bala's defining moment of the match came just 23 minutes in to it.

A free kick taken by Jonny Spittle inside Bala's own half was launched forward well towards a crowd of players.

And it was Nathan Peate (below in white), a defender who arrived from Cefn Druids recently, who rose highest on his debut to head the ball with the back of his head and loop the ball over Nomads keeper Lewis Brass.

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PICTURE: Nik Mesney/NCM Media.

But it wasn't just Peate's aerial abilities on the attack that stood out in this encounter. Defensively, he and centre back partner Spittle were superb throughout and kept the likes of Jamie Insall and veteran forward Michael Wilde quiet.

In the second half, good chances fell to both sides.

Bala's Will Evans, who read the run of Chris Venables, set a lovely backheel pass into the path of the captain, but his shot was saved well by Brass.

Another great chance then fell to the skipper, who was the JD Cymru Premier top scorer in 2019/20, but his powerful header went over the bar.

Chances were few and far between for the Nomads - but just as in previous years, they battled to the very end and the final few minutes proved vital for Andy Morrison's side.

In added time, a thumping header from Wilde somehow stayed out as it hit Bala keeper Alex Ramsay in the face, resulting in him needing treatment.

This extra bit of added time (there were initially only supposed to be three minutes, but it went on for six in the end), proved to be costly for the Lakesiders, who were clinging on for a vital three points to start their season in style.

But that wasn't to be in the end as Connah's Quay midfielder Sameron Dool (below) struck a sensational effort into the top corner of the net in the 94th minute, giving Ramsay no chance and making sure the points were shared.

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PICTURE: Nik Mesney/NCM Media

It was a sickener for Bala, who will no doubt feel they deserved to win this one. Colin Caton's side now face a trip to Belgium to face Standard Liege in the UEFA Europa League Second Qualifying Round on Thursday, before playing Cefn Druids at home on September 20.

Despite the result, Bala can take pride from their performance against the reigning champions. Could it be a sign of things to come from the Lakesiders this season as they look to challenge at the very top?