BARRY Town United's JD Welsh Cup dreams have been crushed at the semi-final stage, but the Jenner Park outfit could still seal a remarkable return to European football, should results play out in their favour this Saturday.

A point for Barry at Bala would be enough for the visitors to secure a top three finish in the JD Welsh Premier League and guarantee a spot in the UEFA Europa League qualifying rounds, should fourth-placed Newtown lose at home to champions and leaders The New Saints.

A repeat of Barry's October victory at Maes Tegid would also carry Barry over the line, if Newtown are unable to beat a TNS team now gunning for the double.

Favourites TNS lived up to their billing in last weekend's JD Welsh Cup semi-final, knocking off an industrious Barry side with a professional performance at Latham Park and earning their opportunity at a seventh all-time Welsh Cup win.

The Saints, who currently head the JD Welsh Premier League by a single point, will now face second-placed Connah's Quay Nomads in the final on Sunday 5th May.

Nevertheless, Scott Ruscoe's side were made to work for their final berth, with Barry striving hard for a shot at glory, until a killer blow in the 91st minute.

In the first-half at Newtown, it was underdogs Barry, playing only their second JD Welsh Cup semi-final in 15 years, who came closest to breaking the deadlock.

Riding a wave of good form, it was striker Kayne McLaggon, Barry's hat-trick hero of the quarter-finals, who ruffled feathers, clipping the TNS crossbar.

Saints though would manage to find another gear early in the second-half and, after some dazzling footwork from Ryan Brobbel turned Paul Morgan inside-out, the former Middlesbrough magician squared to New Zealand international Greg Draper, who drilled a low effort into the Barry net with 56 minutes played.

Goalkeeper Mike Lewis would protest vociferously, after it appeared that a third TNS player may have touched the ball in a off-side position on its path to goal.

However, referee Bryn Markham-Jones was apparently unconvinced and Barry found themselves having to chase the match, against a Saints side now in full flow.

Switching up his on-field options in pursuit of an equaliser, Barry boss Gavin Chesterfield would bring on the attack-minded Louis Gerrard and Drew Fahiya.

It was the latter who came closest to restoring parity, hitting the post in the midst of a handful of Town half-chances, yet the Saints would hold their ground.

Then, after Fahiya and McLaggon combined in the TNS area to threaten again on 90 minutes, the professionals embarked on a counter attack, with Brobbel surging onto a defence-splitting pass and fending off two retreating players, before firing a ball low across goal for Jamie Mullan to tap in at the back post.

Heartbreak then for Barry in Newtown, as their quest for a first Welsh Cup final since 2003 came to an end, yet the carrot of a place in Europe remains very real; and what a feat that would be, given all the club has been through.

Barry's first-ever European adventure was secured 25 years ago this spring. A quarter of a century on, can Town stamp their passports again this Saturday?

Kick-off at Maes Tegid (LL23 7UY) between Bala and Barry on Saturday 6th April is at 2.30pm, with admission payable at the turnstiles.