Belfast Telegraph

Kane aiming to make up for final dismay by reaching showpiece

By David Mason

Ballymena United's Tony Kane admits he would relish the chance of playing in another Irish Cup final.

The free-scoring defender - he has already hit the net 14 times this season - is still haunted by the Sky Blues' defeat by Glenavon in the 2014 final.

To make matters worse, Kane was dismissed in the final seconds following a late challenge on Glenavon player/boss Gary Hamilton.

But if he wants to put the record straight and have the chance of another appearance in the showcase final, United must send Cliftonville spinning through the exit door at the Warden Street Showgrounds.

"I still have bad memories from the final," said Kane.

"I think all the build-up to the match and all the razzmatazz that comes with it, really overshadowed the game itself.

"We didn't turn up until late in the second half, but by that time it was too late. So I would love the chance of playing in the final ... I think we would do things differently."

Kane, however, stresses this cup showdown could have massive consequences for both teams.

"To be honest, I don't think Ballymena or Cliftonville will win the league title, so this is a massive match for both sides," added Kane.

"Yes, we have the League Cup final to look forward to next month. That game against Carrick Rangers will look after itself. It's great to be in that final, but the Irish Cup is the trophy that every club wants.

"It's the big one. What a season it would be if we could manage to reach two finals. That's a long way off. We'll simply focus on the Cliftonville match.

"We've faced the Reds twice this season ... we've won one and they've won one, so this has the makings of another tight match.

"But with home advantage and the incentive of being in the draw for the next round hopefully it will be enough to take us through."

Belfast Telegraph


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