TNS 1 Caernarfon 3
CAERNARFON proved party poopers as The New Saints were forced to delay their title celebrations after being shocked at sun-drenched Treflan.
Victory would have seen the defending champions lift the crown for a third straight season, but they failed to deliver in a jaded display.
The Saints had conceded just 13 league goals all season, but could have no complaints after seeing their 18-match unbeaten run ended.
Manager Ken McKenna was disappointed, adding the Cofis fully merited their three points.
"They looked fresher than us, had more desire and caught us by surprise," he said. "We had a good defensive record, so it was disappointing that we gifted them three goals."
Caernarfon manager Steve O’Shaughnessy, meanwhile, hailed his troops following a committed display.
"The cameras were there to see TNS win the league, and no-one expected us to win, so it was nice to go there and prove a point," he said. "The lads worked their socks off, were well organised and took their chances when they came along."
Caernarfon made the perfect start when defender James Glendenning netted a 20-yard free kick on 11 minutes after Michael Jackson was penalised for handball.
And two goals from Paul Addo early in the second half extended the margin after keeper Ged Doherty was found wanting on both occasions.
First, the TNS skipper was caught out of his box by Addo in the 48th minute and moments later he failed to deal with John Leah’s back header, which allowed Addo to lift the ball over the stranded keeper before tucking into an empty goal.
The Saints battled to retrieve the game, the hard-working Carl Lamb twice seeing headers hit the woodwork, the striker having another effort ruled out while sub Greg Stones also rattled the upright.
John Rowley missed a chance to make it four for the visitors, before Lamb finally grabbed a last-minute consolation from close range.
Despite the defeat, the title is still well within TNS’s grasp with Ken McKenna’s side requiring just two points from their last three outings to make sure.