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Richard Kee's crowning glory within sight

By Ian Callender

Published 31/07/2015

New era: Richard Kee will step down as Donemana captain
New era: Richard Kee will step down as Donemana captain

Richard Kee has confirmed that this will be his fifth and final season as captain of Donemana and although the Premiership title is still within touching distance, leading the team to a fourth successive Danske Bank Senior Cup success would be a crowning glory.

Only one team has lifted the trophy, first contested back in 1888, four years in a row - Clooney won every final from 1906-1911 - and Donemana start hot favourites to continue their incredible sequence against Eglinton today (noon).

The underdogs may be the hosts but as Eglinton captain Christopher Pierce is quick to point out, their ground has been a second home for Donemana with the vast majority of their finals having taken place there, so it will be up to his players to perform over the two days if they are to keep the cup in Eglinton for the first time since 2006.

Pierce has only two players with cup final experience in his side, Richard Wylie and Jonathan Gardiner - Craig Averill would have been a third but he is best man at his brother Mark's wedding. The rest are in their early 20s, including professional Oraine Williams and Ireland international Stuart Thompson.

The majority of the Donemana side are also in the same age group but the big difference is that many are now cup final veterans. Twins Gary and William McClintock are in their fourth two-day showpiece at the age of 18, even one more than international Andy McBrine who plays his first game since Donemana's semi-final win four weeks ago.

This is the sixth Senior Cup final between the teams, but the first since 1981 with Donemana looking to level it up at three wins each and put Kee in the record books.

Meanwhile, the NCU have ruled that if today's Ulster Bank Challenge Cup final at Comber between CIYMS and Instonians is not completed (20 overs must be bowled in the second innings before DLS can decide), a new match will start tomorrow at the same venue at 11am.

The O'Neill's Ulster Shield final is already a victim of the weather. Fox Lodge and Woodvale have agreed to postpone the game, still at Carrickfergus, until August 9.

Fixtures: Today Ulster Bank Challenge Cup final (11.00): CIYMS v Instonians (Comber). Danske Bank Senior Cup final (12.00): Donemana v Eglinton (Eglinton).

Tomorrow: Ulster Bank Premier League: Carrickfergus v Civil Service North, Lisburn v Ballymena, Waringstown v Instonians. Sunday: North Down v Civil Service North.

Section One: Bangor v Academy, Cliftonville v Templepatrick, Derriaghy v Lurgan, Donacloney v Woodvale, Muckamore v Downpatrick. Sunday: Derriaghy v Muckamore, Templepatrick v Downpatrick.

Section Two: Drumaness v BISC, Dundrum v Cregagh, Larne v Victoria, Laurelvale v Armagh, Saintfield v Holywood. Sunday: Armagh v BISC, Cregagh v Saintfield (noon T20), Larne v Holywood (noon, T20).

Section Three: Donaghadee v Millpark, Dunmurry v Dungannon, Monaghan v Ards, Newforge v Cooke Collegians. Sunday: (10.45) Inter-provincial Cup: Leinster Lightning v Northern Knights (Merrion).

Belfast Telegraph

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