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Confident duo poised for Border Cup classic showdown

By Martin Mawhinney

It is difficult to guarantee anything in sport, but it is fair to assume that tomorrow's Border Cup final between Downpatrick and Ards Rangers (Seaview, 2.30pm) could be something of a classic.

Here we have two teams enjoying a fantastic run of form, with Rangers leading the way in the Premier Division without a single league defeat and Downpatrick at the head of affairs in Division 1A having suffered only one loss.

So often on such occasions, it is common for the boss of the so-called underdog to take a degree of refuge in the tag, but Downpatrick's joint manager Joe McMahon has no intention of doing so.

McMahon said: "It is going to take a good team to beat us, I know we will be a tough nut to crack.

"The reason Ards Rangers are favourites is because of the run they have been on. For all the years I have watched the Amateur League, I can't remember a team starting the Premier Division with a run of nine straight wins.

"But no team is bombproof, especially not in a cup final - there are so many things that can affect it. Our players are prepared for all eventualities."

It doesn't appear that there is much danger of McMahon's opposite number Lee Forsythe taking his final opponents lightly.

The Rangers boss said: "Downpatrick really are a good side - I am not fooled by their 1A status, especially when they have the experience of players like Peter Telford and Marky Holland in there.

"We are the two in-form teams of the Amateur League at the minute and if both teams turn up on the day, it's going to be a great cup final."

If the clubs manage to win their respective divisions, it will be a season to remember for both, but make no mistake about it, a league and Border Cup double for either would really go down in history.

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