ONE of the JD Welsh Premier League’s greatest rivalries resumes on Saturday, as Barry Town United travel to defending champions The New Saints in a 2.30pm kick-off at Park Hall.

The two most successful clubs in Welsh Premier history, with a haul of 18 titles between them, times have changed since Barry and TNS fought for championships and Welsh Cups around the turn of the 21st century.

However, this Saturday’s encounter is poised to be as compelling as ever, as a Town side with nothing to lose battle to improve upon their 1-0 defeat to the Saints at Jenner Park in August.

Saturday’s fixture sees Barry’s first visit to the modern Park Hall since TNS upped sticks and moved there around a decade ago, though the Town were visitors in its previous guise as the home of Oswestry Town.

The final Oswestry/Barry match at the venue was on April 19, 2003, as the visitors (with a young Adebayo Akinfenwa in tow) ran out 4-0 victors, en route to securing a seventh Welsh Premier title.

Eclipsing Barry’s haul in 2014, TNS are now eleven-time winners of the national top flight, having lifted the trophy in each of the past six seasons.

Claiming four Welsh Cups and three League Cups along the way, the Saints’ current era represents the greatest period of success in their history.

However, the loss of coach Craig Harrison in the summer ensured that this season will be somewhat different for TNS; dramatically reaffirmed by a 5-2 hammering at Bangor City on the opening night.

To their credit, the full-time professionals have recovered, winning eight and drawing two of their following ten JD Welsh Premier League fixtures.

Along the way, Scott Ruscoe’s Saints have recorded heavy victories against Cefn Druids, Bala Town, Carmarthen Town and Prestatyn Town to reclaim their regular position on top of the league table.

Nevertheless, Barry have had a handful of recent opportunities to test their successors of sorts, with manager Gavin Chesterfield drawing solace from each of their three encounters under his guidance.

In early 2016, the Town recovered from a first-minute setback to lead then-holders TNS, 2-1 in the Welsh Cup at Jenner Park.

A flurry of goals would prove Barry's undoing that evening, but lessons learned in the 5-2 defeat helped the Town contain TNS for 77 minutes of January’s Nathaniel MG Cup Final in Cyncoed.

Finally, August’s meeting at Jenner Park in the Welsh Premier saw battling Barry shrug off a first-half opener to contend for much of the contest; ultimately disappointed to not secure a late point.

While Barry will travel to the Oswestry border this Saturday as rank outsiders, their form against the Saints offers hope, with a decent number of supporters expected to make the trip from South Wales.

Historically, the club’s record against TNS stands strong and those making the journey will be hopeful their team can be a thorn in the side of the champions, as the JD Welsh Premier League enters its twelfth of 22 matchdays before the January split.

Admission at Park Hall in Whittington on Saturday (SY11 4AS) is £8 (adults), £4 (over 65s) and £1 (under 16s), payable at the gate.