THE points were shared in the ‘Gwynedd Derby’ as Caernarfon Town held Bala Town to a 1-1 draw at The Oval.

A penalty conversion from captain Chris Venables had levelled the scoreline for the Lakesiders right before half time, but they couldn’t find a second half winner to turn the game, played on Tuesday December 1, around.

Bala manager Colin Caton made no changes to the side that beat Newtown 2-0 just four days earlier as they went into the match with an eight game unbeaten run intact, having not lost since the shock 2-1 defeat to promoted side Haverfordwest County in early October.

And it did bode well for Bala in this one - the previous meeting between the Gwynedd Rivals had seen the Lakesiders snatch a late goal through Venables once more to bring all three points back to Maes Tegid 10 months ago.

With goalkeeper Josh Tibbetts suspended after Saturday’s red card, Tyler French was given his first start for Caernarfon and, in a match where the opposing stopper was former Cofis number one, Alex Ramsay, the youngster excelled on his debut.

The signs of a good encounter were there from the start, as both sides looked sharp and up for the challenge and there was very nearly an early goal for Caernarfon when French launched a free kick into the visitors’ penalty area and Sion Bradley’s goalbound effort was deflected out for a corner.

Bala could have been ahead when Will Evans’ fine delivery into the box saw Venables’ header cleared away by the Caernarfon defence.

The deadlock was broken on 20mins, when Noah Edwards got on the end of a Mike Hayes cut back from the by line, stepped into a more central position twelve yards out and powerfully struck the ball into the bottom right hand corner of Ramsay’s net. to put the home side ahead.

Caernarfon have doubled their lead two minutes later but a Hayes effort hit the upright, before two further efforts, the latter by Bradley, were cleared off the line by the desperate Bala backline.

Having stopped the action at regular intervals throughout the first period, referee Alex Livesey was obliged to play injury time and, with two minutes of it already played, the official deemed French to have taken down Evans in the box and Venables equalised from the spot with confidence for Bala, as he so often does.

In the second half, Evans had a promising effort blocked early on by Town’s Mike Parker, whilst a Venables header was saved smartly by French.

There was nothing to choose between the sides but certainly it was Caernarfon who looked the more dangerous outfit in the latter stages, as the likes of former Bala attacker Hayes had unsuccessful efforts. With the match entering injury time, Bradley forced a stunning save from Ramsay which earned Bala a point.