FOOTBALL: Burns fears Ballynure will be rusty against Brantwood

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The Burns brothers, Gary and Ronnie, were left without a match at the weekend when their teams fell foul of the freezing weather, writes George Brown.

Ballynure OB were scheduled to play Magherafelt Sky Blues in a Ballymena Intermediate Division fixture, but an early morning inspection ruled out the possibility of play.

“When I saw the black ice on the road near my home I had grave doubts about our pitch being playable, so I decided to have a look myself,” said Gary. “Parts of the playing surface were frozen, so I immediately contacted Magherafelt to inform the match was off.

“This postponement means we have not kicked a ball since November and I fear we might be a little rusty going in to Saturday’s league clash at Brantwood. They are always hard to beat especially on their own patch. We will travel without goalkeeper Paul Hughes who has signed for the Comrades, but Ryan Stewart has served us well in the past when he stood in for Paul (Hughes), so we have every confidence that he will do well in goal.”

Over at Dixon Park, younger brother Ronnie also had a free afternoon when Comrades Reserves clash with Cookstown RBL was postponed because of frost.

“After beating champions Antrim Rovers last week we were keen to keep our noses in front of Newington at the top of the table, so we were all very disappointed and I won’t know who we play next weekend until after Monday night’s league meeting,” he said.

This weekend Rathcoole - who lost 4-0 at home to Newtowne in Saturday’s Crawford Cup semi-final - prepare to welcome Dunloy to The Diamond for McReynolds Cup second-round tie.

Weekend results

Ballymena and Provincial League results (Jan 16)

Junior Division 1: Sport & Leisure II 1 - 3 Antrim Rovers

Junior Division 3: Antrim Rovers Swifts 3-3 Carrick Thistle

Crawford Cup semi-final: Newtowne 4-0 Rathcoole