Ballyclare ready to face Dundela in Cup clash

Ballyclare boss, Eddie Hill.
Ballyclare boss, Eddie Hill.

Dundela are back in town this weekend, so fans of Ballyclare Comrades are hoping for a repeat of the rip-roaring clash of three weeks go.

That one between these two traditional rivals produced an eight-goal thriller, with plenty of drama encapsulated in seven minutes of injury-time that included a red card, a penalty, and two late home strikes that sealed the 5-3 win.

The defeat toppled Mark Snodden’s lads off the Championship 1 summit. Since then Eddie Hill has signed four new players and watched his side whitewash Kilmore in the Irish Cup, so Comrades will be approaching this Intermediate Cup tie with confidence.

Dundela and Ballyclare have each won this coveted trophy several times, so this third-round clash promises to be another blockbuster.

Unfortunately recent acquisitions, George Young and Ryan Dunlop, are both cup-tied, while the arrival of Liam Prigent from Immaculata has been postponed until next season, but Denver Gage is eligible to play.

On the plus side Gerard McAlea, Andy Simms and Adam McCart are all raring to go after being out for several weeks, so Hill will have plenty to choose from, including several promising players from the Reserves who have been training with the seniors from time to time.

“We are looking forward to locking horns again with old rivals, Dundela,” said Hill. “Playing teams of their calibre lets us see where we really are in our team building process, but it would be a feather in our cap if we could complete a league and cup double against them.

“We have had a good run in the Steel, Irish and Intermediate cups, and the players and fans enjoy this but at the end of the day my priority is picking up points in Championship 1,” he cautioned.

Intermediate Cup R4

Saturday, January 25 (1:30 pm)

Lurgan Celtic v Coagh Utd

Ballyclare Comrades v Dundela

Oxford United Stars v Ardglass

HW Welders v Larne

Knockbreda v Loughgall

Institute v Crumlin Star

Ballywalter Rec v Bangor

Tobermore United v Roe Rovers

N’buildings Utd v Coleraine Res

Limavady United v Moyola Park

Immaculata v Wakehurst

Dollingstown v Newtowne

Armagh City v Comber Rec

Glentoran II v Queen’s

N’castle v Bryansburn Rangers

B’money United v Newington YC