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Ardal League South East Preview

If you’re a player or fan of Risca United, then you’re probably wondering what that ringing sound is.

Well, it’s either the alarm bells declaring that your place at the top of the Ardal League South East is under threat, or else it’s the pounding of footsteps.

Abertillery Bluebirds are on your shoulder, their breath is hot on your collar, and this weekend they could get far too close for comfort.

This is how it stands in a league table shaping up for the most dramatic of finishes.

Risca are top with 62 points from their completed season of 30 matches.

In second are Undy Athletic, who have also finished their campaign and are three points adrift of Risca.

But in third, are the Bluebirds of Blaenau Gwent – the Abertillery boys – who are four points behind Risca but have two matches still to play.

If Abertillery win both their remaining matches – away at ninth-place Chepstow on Saturday and then away at Treowen Stars on Tuesday – then they will pinch the title.

It will be the greatest theft since Elon Musk tried to introduce a fee for that little blue tick next to your Twitter handle.

If Abertillery win one game and draw the other, then they will finish level on points with the leaders and it would go down to goal difference.

Risca would be huge favourites to cling on in those circumstances, though, as the Bluebirds would need a massive 10-goal winning margin in the one fixture in order to pip Risca.

So, realistically, Abertillery need to win both games in order to become champions and earn themselves a Championship crown.

Four points, though, would be enough for Bluebirds manager Ben Murphy and his team to guarantee themselves a place in the play-offs and a crack at promotion to JD Cymru South.

But wait! That’s not all! It gets better!

Also still in the hunt for the play-offs are the other Bluebirds, Trethomas Bluebirds. They are on 52 points with three matches still to play – away to seventh-place Treowen, at home to Chepstow and finally, a trip to Blaenavon Blues.

If they win all three they will finish up just a point behind Risca, so they can’t win the title but they can make the play-offs.

Unlike Abertillery, though, TreThomas – who won the FAW Trophy by beating Denbigh Town last month – have not obtained a Tier Two licence and would need to win an appeal to the FAW to gain promotion.

Confused? Don’t worry.

Just enjoy the immediate drama of two sets of Bluebirds who need to win – or draw – on Saturday – Abertillery at Chepstow and Trethomas at Treowen.

Neither will go into their frantic dash for points in their best form of the season.

Abertillery beat Ebbw Vale 2-1 in their last game, but lost 3-0 to Brynmawr United in the Bob Annett Cup the week before.

Trethomas have shared goalless draws in their two most recent matches, at home to Ebbw Vale and away at Risca.

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