Belfast Telegraph

Arthurs is on a mission to break Cliftonville's hearts

By Graham Luney

Ross Arthurs has already been the scourge of Cliftonville in a Cup final and he's hoping lightning strikes twice in tomorrow evening's JBE League Cup decider at Solitude.

The former Seaview starlet made a substitute appearance in the 2009 Irish Cup decider as Crusaders stunned the Reds 1-0.

Arthurs came on for matchwinner Mark Dickson in the 71st minute as Stephen Baxter's men went on to lift the trophy for the first time since 1968.

Ryan Catney is the only man in the Cliftonville ranks who can recall that heartbreaking day but Arthurs' recollection is very different.

The midfielder is proud of his winners' medal from 2009 and he wants another one after clashing with Cliftonville in the League Cup final tomorrow.

"I played in the Irish Cup final for Crusaders when we beat Cliftonville so that might be a good omen," said Arthurs, who joined Ards in 2011.

"I also played in a County Antrim Shield final and won it. The last one, a Steel and Sons Cup decider, we lost but you love playing in front of the big crowds and the Irish Cup final was amazing with the Crues and Reds bringing out a big support.

"The atmosphere was brilliant and it will be the same on Saturday.

"Hopefully we will do things right. We'll need to work hard and limit our mistakes."

Ards skipper James Cully admitted he was disappointed that the final is being staged at Cliftonville's home venue rather than at Windsor Park.

"With me personally being a big Northern Ireland fan, it would have been brilliant to play at Windsor Park, especially in a Cup final," said Cully.

"Whenever we found out it was going to be at Solitude we were disappointed and wanted to know why.

"The decision has been made but we are familiar with the 3G pitch. It is on their home pitch so that gives them a slight advantage but we will concentrate on ourselves."

Belfast Telegraph


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