JUNIOR CUP FINAL: Big support expected to back Cloughan boys

Rugby update
Rugby update

With the Towns’ Cup already in the trophy cabinet at The Cloughan, Ballyclare officials are hoping the Junior Cup will be sitting alongside it this week, writes George Brown.

En route to the final the White Hare men have accounted for Coleraine and Clogher Valley and Cooke - all from Qualifying League Section 1 - but they will still be underdogs when they clash with Ballynahinch II on Tuesday evening.

This second visit to Ravenhill to contest a major final in the same calendar year is a club record that few other clubs could emulate.

Over the past three seasons coach Bob Young has assembled a strong squad, but on each occasion he has been pipped at the post for promotion.

He has strengthened the squad this season, so that he now has a strong bench and is able to cope much better with injuries. Currently Ballyclare are six points clear at the top with seven straight wins, they are approaching the final with caution.

The team has been exceptionally well supported this season, particularly in the cup campaign, with the pre-match refreshment sessions attracting large numbers to enjoy the fayre provided by the ladies’ committee, so there should be a mass exodus from the town to the Ulster Branch headquarters on Tuesday.

Although Ballyclare have won this trophy twice since their formation in 1949, they have been more successful in the Towns’ Cup, having won it five times, including three wins in the glory days of the ‘70s and ‘80s.

The team is likely to be selected from: A Wardrop, JJ Baird, P Morrow, N Loughlin, J Reid, J Greer, G Clotworthy, N Lawther, C Morrow, D Lawther, A Wylie, A Boyd, R Boyd (Capt.), G McKinstry, J McKinstry, G Weatherup, W Logan, C Coburn, M Finlay, M Rainey, M Kirk, M Dailly.

Look out for more Junior Cup build-up at www.newtownabbeytimes.co.uk tomorrow