BALA Town were defeated in what was a dress rehearsal for this season's Welsh Cup final.

The Lakesiders were beaten 2-0 at home by champions The New Saints, with the two sides facing each other at Bangor in the showpiece cup final on April 30.

It was Bala who made the better start and inside the opening two minutes, Saints' keeper Connor Roberts had to be alert to deny George Newell from inside the area.

The Saints began to pose a threat as the half developed, with Ryan Brobbel firing well over the top and Declan McManus had a free header in the box, but this went just wide of Harri Lloyd's goal.

Craig Harrison's visitors were on top and Lloyd was forced into a save to deny Jon Routledge.

Josh Daniels fired over the bar after half-an-hour with the next opportunity and Lloyd safely gathered a header from Dan Williams.

Brobbel was aiming to open the scoring late in the half, only to see his shot go off target and the final chance prior to the interval went the way of Bala, with Newell off target.

Turning to the second half and a spot of promising play from the Saints saw Williams and Daniels combine on the right, but Leo Smith's eventual effort turned out to be off target.

Bala looked to claim the lead and Saints' keeper Roberts was forced into a save at the other end.

There was finally a goal 11 minutes into the second half and it was the Saints who were celebrating.

Declan McManus steered the ball beyond Lloyd from inside the penalty area.

Things went from bad to worse for Colin Caton's hosts within two minutes.

There was another close range effort from the visitors and this time it was Brobbel who knocked the ball into the back of the net.

Both sides have one more league game left to play this season.

On Saturday, Bala make the long trek south to take on Cardiff Met, while The New Saints play host to Connah's Quay Nomads in a big battle of the top-two.

After this, all eyes turn to Bangor's Nantporth Stadium for the Welsh Cup final between Bala and the Saints at the end of the month.