Connah’s Quay Nomads are 90 minutes away from becoming the first non-Scottish side to win the Irn-Bru Scottish Challenge Cup, standing in their way are Scottish Championship side Ross County.
Connah's Quay v Ross County
IRN-BRU CUP FINAL
- Saturday, 23 March 2019
- Caledonian Stadium, Inverness
- Kick-off: 4.30pm
- Coverage: Live on BBC Alba, BT Sport and S4C
Last season's JD Welsh Cup winners, Connah's Quay are firing on all fronts as they search for their first piece of silverware of the season.
Opponents Ross County are in search of their third triumph in the competition, having won it nine years ago against Queen of the South.
County who had only been playing in the Scottish Premier League last season will make the short 12-mile trip to the Caledonian Stadium, Inverness.
How do Welsh clubs qualify for the competition?
Due to a change in the format of the Irn-Bru Scottish Challenge Cup, in 2016, clubs from outside of Scotland were able to enter the competition.
It first began when two teams from Northern Ireland Wales joined, as well as the U20 sides of Scottish Premier League teams.
In 2017/2018, two Irish teams were introduced. This campaign, two English National League sides were able to enter the competition, making for eight non-Scottish teams.
Welsh clubs qualify for the competition by finishing in the top two of the JD Welsh Premier League.
However, rule changes for next season will see the winners of the Nathaniel MG Cup replace the JD Welsh Premier League runners-up as the second entry.
This means that a non-top flight side could represent Wales in the Irn-Bru Cup next season.
How have JD Welsh Premier League teams fared in the Irn-Bru Cup?
- Bala Town made their one and only appearance in a 4-2 defeat to Alloa Athletic in 2016.
- Connah’s Quay have entered the competition twice, firstly being knocked out by Dumbarton in Round Two, before reaching the Final this season.
- The New Saints reached the semi-finals in 2017, losing to St Mirren. A year later they lost at the same stage to Dumbarton.
- The Welsh Premier League boasts the best record in the Scottish Challenge Cup, having had three semi-final appearances in the competition.
The route to the final
- 08/09 - Falkirk 0-1 Connah’s Quay Nomads
- 13/10 - Connah’s Quay Nomads 2-0 Coleraine
- 16/11 - Queens Park 1-2 Connah’s Quay Nomads
- 16/02 - Connah’s Quay Nomads 1-1 (5-4 p) Edinburgh City
- The Nomads opponents Ross County have former Cardiff City and Scotland midfielder Don Cowie in their ranks, highlighting the enormity of the task that Andy Morrison’s men have in front of them.
- Manager Andy Morrison was born in Inverness, which is the same City in which the final is being played at.
- Connah's Quay midfielder Adam Barton has already played against Ross County this season, having played for parent club Dundee United.