Belfast Telegraph

Sky Blues confident that Cup decision will go in their favour

Ballymena United 1-1 Dungannon Swifts

By Billy Weir

Glenn Ferguson remains confident that Ballymena United will line up against Linfield in the semi-final of the JJB Sports Irish Cup later this month.

Newry City’s appeal against the IFA decision to back the Sky Blues over Alan Davidson’s eligibility for the sides’ quarter-final meeting was heard by an independent panel on Monday night.

“We’ve tried not to focus on it but obviously it has been at the back of everyone’s head wanting to know the outcome once and for all,” admitted Ferguson.

“We’re pretty confident that it will go in our favour. We’ve put our point across, the IFA has agreed with us and their legal team has agreed with us and so there’s no reason to say that someone else will go against us.

“Three sets of people have entered their rules and regulations and come up with the same final product so I don’t see how an independent committee of three people from outside a football club can come up with anything different.

“If they do, we’ll be very, very disappointed and I’m sure it won’t be the end of it.”

If they do get to face the Blues on March 31 it is likely to herald the end of Tony Kane’s season, if selected. The former Blackburn Rovers man is set to serve a six-match ban after picking up a red card for a nonsensical headbutt on JP Gallagher in Saturday’s draw with Dungannon Swifts at the Showgrounds.

Both sides were less than enamoured with visiting Welsh official Richard Harrington’s handling of the game; United complaining that Dwayne Nelson was impeded by Marc Brolly for Michael Funston’s 33rd minute opener.

The home side levelled two minutes into first-half injury-time when Gary McCutcheon was given all the time in the world to score his 31st goal of the season at the second time of asking when his header came back off the woodwork.

It was still a valuable point for the Swifts, especially given how the weekend’s other basement results panned out and hands them a timely boost in their bid to beat the drop.

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