An intriguing contest awaits us.

For all the talk of favourites versus underdogs, Division One versus Division Two, and seven time winners versus first time finalists - Saturday’s Senior Cup final may be far closer than people envisage.

Make no mistake, The Wizards will be odds on to win, and rightly so.
Nathan Thomas has recruited well this season, and The Bridge have been revitalised by adding quality to considerable experience.

Their semi final demolition of Hakin United was vastly impressive, if only for the manner in which they finished.

Yes, Hakin were down to 10 men for much of the contest, but when The Vikings levelled at 2-2 with 20 minutes to go, Bridge could easily have panicked.

Instead, they showed levels of fitness, maturity and composure that has perhaps lacked in recent seasons, and hit straight back with a third goal before adding three more in the closing stages.

And it was a night that a potential star emerged, with Will Haworth superb as he exploited the spaces of the Meadow with his movement and dribbling.

Both he and striker Joe Leahy have brought an extra dimension to The Wizards, and unlike Hakin that night, Clarbie will have to stop that pair linking, with the latter’s hold up play the perfect foil for Haworth’s energy.

Elsewhere, Bridge have big game experience in abundance, as many have rightly alluded to.

But ironically, experience of recent Senior Cup finals, is something they will be desperate to banish on Saturday.

Hanging over The Wizards is the fact that they have lost their last three finals - a 4-3 thriller against Hakin in 2009, before defeats of 3-1 and 2-0 to Goodwick United (2010) and Tenby (2014) respectively.

In the latter two, their performance was below par, and immediately after their semi final win, Thomas was adamant he didn’t intend to be involved in losing one again.

It is a factor that I believe could work in Bridge’s favour, asdespite the added pressure, it should wash away any potential complacency.

Although nor should there be any to start with - and anyone writing off Clarbie should look no further than their 2-1 semi final win over holders Goodwick United.

And forget the notion they are a Division Two side, they have already won that league this season with two games to spare.

Matthew Ellis will be aware of the need on Saturday to nullify Bridge going forward, and if Clarbie can do that, they have more and enough to threaten in attack.

Those who watched their final four display against Goodwick will know the margin of victory should have been greater, and the movement of strikers Jason Griffiths and Richard Bevan will severely test The Bridge defence.

But Clarbie too have quality and experience throughout their side, and the fact they won their respective league title without the race going down to the wire will help.

By Saturday, Ellis and his side would have had nine days since winning their division to refocus, and I don’t expect mental or physical fatigue to be a factor.

If Bridge are at their best, then it is natural to tip them to claim the trophy for the eighth time.

But if they are only slightly below par, especially defensively, then a dangerous afternoon awaits them.

Bridge to win, but not without a Clarbie fight - I’ll say 3-2 to The Wizards.