Ballyclare Rugby Club’s First XV coach Bob Young expects a tough test as his side prepare to do battle with Coleraine in the semi-final of the Junior Cup this weekend.
Having claimed the scalp of Qualifying 1 high-flyers Clogher Valley in the last eight, the White Hare lads are now just one match away from their second trip to Ravenhill in 2013, after they shared the Towns’ Cup with City of Derry II in April.
Despite his side blazing a trail at the top of Qualifying 2, Young says he is taking nothing for granted against the Bannsiders who have home advantage for what promises to be a mouthwatering encounter.
“Coleraine have come on strongly since the start of the season, and especially up at their place, it will be a difficult task,” Young said.
“I would say they will probably start as favourites being the home team and the Qualifying 1 team. But we will be confident we will go up there and get a win.”
Ballyclare is a team bang on form right now and even when the well-oiled machine isn’t functioning as it should, the squad is still grinding out wins. Young puts their recent success down to a palpable sense of togetherness in the group.
“This is the second or third season we have had a lot of the same faces in the squad. They have developed well and gelled well,” he said.
“We have been under pressure a few times in a lot of games and we have came out on the right side of them. There’s an ability to win close games when we’ve been under pressure [and] when things haven’t quite went for us. Also there’s strength in depth now that we have a bit more of a player base which we have had to call on this season already. In previous years we probably wouldn’t have had that.”