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Jeffrey relishes first Ballymena v Carrick cup final in 33 years

By Billy Weir

David Jeffrey reached his first final as Ballymena United manager and immediately nipped celebrations in the bud.

The Sky Blues booked a League Cup final clash with Carrick Rangers in February after a 3-0 extra-time win over fierce rivals Coleraine as Jeffrey's Braid revolution carries on. It will be the first final meeting between the sides since the 1984 Irish Cup final which United won 4-1, after Carrick's shock 1-0 win at Glenavon.

Currently riding high in fourth spot in the Danske Bank Premiership, United grabbed the upper hand in their derby clash with a controversial Tony Kane penalty at Warden Street last night.

Goals followed from Cathair Friel and Darren Henderson and while Jeffrey savoured the win, his thoughts immediately turned to this Saturday's return to his old stomping ground at Windsor Park and a clash with Linfield.

"In terms of taking United to a final I'm very pleased," he said. "I keep talking about baby steps and incremental steps and no one is getting carried away, but we are probably further down the pathway than we thought.

"I'm delighted for the supporters, the board and my staff and players who have worked tremendously hard.

"We've allowed the boys to enjoy the moment and the occasion but it means absolutely nothing if we don't perform in the final. The final is two months away, we have to go and think about going to Windsor Park on Saturday."

As for Coleraine boss Oran Kearney, defeat was hard to take, his protests over Evan Boyce's awarding of the Kane penalty ending with the referee sending him off.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph