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Ryan Burgess is out to fire Bangor to Linden Cup glory

By Graham Hamilton

Published 30/12/2015

Crest of a wave: James Trimble has high hopes for Seasiders
Crest of a wave: James Trimble has high hopes for Seasiders

If Campbellians want to win the Linden Cup for the first time, they're going to have to stop the Senior League's most prolific marksman - Bangor's Ryan Burgess - in the New Year's Day final at Deramore (2pm).

Burgess has been scoring goals for fun for the Seasiders as they not only booked their place in the Linden decider but also maintained their unbeaten run by chalking up nine wins from nine in the Senior League and got through to the last four in the Irish Hockey Trophy.

Skipper James Trimble is delighted with the way his team has been performing, and accepts that hitman Burgess has played a major part in their success so far this season.

The striker is already well over 30 goals - including four hat-tricks - and has scored a few against Campbellians in the three games they have met in this season.

Bangor have won all of those encounters - 3-1 and 5-2 in the league and 4-2 in the Irish Hockey Trophy - and are favourites to land the Linden Cup to pay up for their defeat to Raphoe in the 2013 decider at the same venue.

Bangor, of course, are by no means a one-man team. Rhys Cunningham, Dave Edwards and Noah McKeown are among others who have been chipping in regularly with goals and coach Scott Parker knows he has an experienced keeper in Andy Seay.

So where does that leave Campbellians? Well, skipper Joel Easlea may be the first to admit his team are going in as underdogs, but he knows anything can happen in a final.

Easlea is a potential match winner himself and Stephen McMillen, Craig Mack, James Hall and Conor Bannister are others whose goals have kept their side in the hunt for Senior League honours.

If they can stop Burgess scoring, there's a chance of an upset. But they'll have to improve on earlier clashes with the Seasiders to make that happen.

CAMPBELLIANS: Darren Rodgers, Aaron Saunders, Stewart Kirk, Robbie Sholdis, Ashley Brown, Joel Easlea, Andrew Burnside, James Clark, Stephen McMillen, Craig Mack, Conor Bannister, James Hall, Simon Moore, Peter Rolston, Michael Johnston, Michael Chisholm

BANGOR: Andy Seay, Pete Snodden, Simon Scales, Ryan Tate, Phil Templeton, Harry Dow, James Trimble, Michael McComb, Dave McClune, James Mottashaw, Rhys Cunningham, Ryan Burgess, Noah McKeown, Dave Edwards, Bryan Hamilton, Matthew Riordan, Sam Moore

Umpires: Kieran McGoldrick, Ian Strange

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