Disappointed TNS manager Anthony Limbrick paid tribute to the "professionalism" of his players - after watching his side narrowly miss out on a 14th JD Cymru Premier title.

The New Saints were 2-0 winners over Bala Town at Park Hall in a tense season finale, but it was not enough as league leaders Connah's Quay defeated Penybont to finish two points clear at the top to retain the league title.

Former Woking boss Limbrick said his players were "hurting" after missing out on the title - but vowed to come back stronger next season.

"It hurts, there's no doubt about that," he said.

"You know when you come to a club like this you need to win titles and you need to win leagues and we'll be right back at it, we'll have a small break after the offseason, back on it next season ready to win that league back.

"That'll be our challenge and our goal, and our target will be to try and do that.

"We're disappointed, there's no doubt about that however I can only commend the players on how they went about their work today."

A lively affair between the league's second and third placed clubs saw Ben Clark give the hosts a 10th minute lead, before a second half strike from Adrian Cieslewicz wrapped up all three points for TNS. Saints also had to contend with the controversial sending-off of defender Ryan Harrington after just 16 minutes, following a foul on Bala midfielder Kieran Smith.

"We had a dubious sending off early in the game and for them to go on, keep a clean sheet and score two goals and that second half was everything we asked of them," he added.

"Since we had that 0-0 draw against Connah's Quay, when we knew it was out of our hands, the players have been utter professionals, they've worked hard and got the results we wanted.

"We've won 3-0, 3-0 and 2-0, we couldn't have done much more than that.

"We slipped up in a couple of games, but we couldn't have done much more today, the performance was very good."