Sports

Can Thistle halt Homers’ bid for seventh win in a row?

Thursday, 22 December 2016

ON BOXING Day (26th December) the final of the newly branded Zala Sports Cup, formerly the O'Kane Cup, takes place at Broughshane!
And what a final there is in store as it pits the Saturday Morning League champions, Harryville Homers , with runners-up, Ahoghill Thistle.
Homers are bidding to make it SEVEN successive wins in a row in this Cup competition!
The final kicks off at 10.30am.
Thistle have been in sensational form all season winning the Top Four against Homers earlier in the season and also mounting a serious challenge in both Junior Shield and Cup and remaining unbeaten in the league.
Their run to the final began in Round 2 with a comfortable 4-1 victory over village rivals Rovers.
Another derby awaited them in Round 3 as they faced the much improved Galgorm Blues, but they were swept aside 2-0.
Another lower league side were defeated in the Quarter Final as Thistle overcome the youthful Carniny Amateur & Youth to set up a semi final with Clough Rangers. Clough proved no match for Thistle on the day as they eased into the final with a 6-2 win.
Manager Stewart McDonald has set the ambitions high for the season for his Thistle side and with these ambitions he has assembled a squad with great ability.
Sean Ward on his day is one of the best keepers in the league and he will have to be at his best to keep Homers out.
The Thistle back four is full of higher league experience with Chris Getty and David Calderwood a formidable centre half pairing.
Full back David Drummond is a major scoring threat and he will be hoping to get another cup final goal after his winner in the first final of the season.
There is no let up in quality in the middle of the park with it being anchored by Captain David Campbell, and he is ably assisted by Randal Reid, Matt Boyd or Daniel Brown who all can prove match winners on their day.
Ryan Sands returned from a spell at Wakehurst in early September and he has kicked on from last season making one of the wide berths his own and the goals have come once again as he leads the way for Thistle in front of goal.
On the other side Paul Aiken provides Thistle with a bit of trickery and he will have the Homers defence on high alert.
Like all over the pitch there is no shortage of quality in the striking department with the experienced David Tennant fighting it out with Paul McIntyre, Connor Gregg and Jamie Willighan for the central striking spot and they all know where the net is with them all finding the net on a regular basis.
*Read the full story in this week's Ballymena Guardian.

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