COLERAINE and Ballinamallard United both eye Cup glory as The Showgrounds hosts the North-West Senior Cup final this evening (KO 8pm)…
North-West Senior Cup Final
The Bannsiders suffered penalty kick heartache last weekend as they were eliminated by Cliftonville in the Irish Cup. Oran Kearney’s men led 2-1 with a matter of minutes to go but a late equaliser sent the tie into extra-time and then penalties, where ultimately, the hosts ran out winners. The Stripes are set to give more minutes to members of the club’s under 20 squad this evening, with the fixture also clearing a return for the suspended Jamie Glackin. Coleraine have beaten Institute and Moyola Park so far in the competition.
Ballinamallard United are currently 7th in the Lough41 Championship standings and drew 1-1 at home to Warrenpoint Town last weekend. The Mallards have plenty of Irish League experience in their ranks as the likes of Mark Stafford, Richard Clarke and Shane McGinty are amongst the ranks. Harry McConkey’s men beat Trojans (7-0) and Strabane Athletic (6-0) en route to the final and this will be their second successive final after losing to Dergview last year.
The two clubs haven’t met competitively since the 2017/18 season where the Bannsiders won all three games in the Danske Bank Premiership.
The first was a 2-1 win at The Showgrounds as an own goal and a strike from Joe McCready sealed a 2-1 win before Coleraine ran out 2-0 victors at Ferney Park in December 2017 as Brad Lyons and Ian Parkhill got on the scoresheet. The final clash was in February 2018 as Coleraine won a thriller 5-2 as Josh Carson, Darren McCauley, Eoin Bradley (2) and Aaron Burns all scored.
“We will see where we are at in terms of first-team players being available,” Kearney said.
“If we feel that players need minutes then we will pop them in.
“However, for that competition, the big carrot is for the U20’s as they get to play senior football and against the big teams.
“They are there on merit as they won the quarter and semi-final and deserve a crack at the final.”
The match referee will be Gareth Stewart.
The assistant referees are Gary Ewing and Richard Hegarty.
Shane McGonigle has been selected as the fourth official.
Fans are advised that entry is a cash gate only – £8 adults and £5 concessions.
Both sets of supporters are kindly asked to read the following matchday arrangements HERE.
If you are not feeling yourself this evening and you have symptoms which you feel are similar to COVID-19, please stay away from the stadium and think of others.
As ever, those unable to watch the fixture can follow the latest developments via the club’s official Twitter account (@ColeraineFC).