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Ballymena's Jim Baker aims to turn heat up on Dunbarton in Irish Bowl's Senior Cup

By David Mason

Published 21/08/2015

Top team: Jim Baker has total respect for Dunbarton
Top team: Jim Baker has total respect for Dunbarton

Jim Baker believes revenge will not be an issue when his Ballymena team face Dunbarton in the Irish Bowling Association's Senior Cup final at Old Bleach tomorrow (2pm).

The sides last met in the showcase final back in 2002, with the Gilford boys cracking open the bubbly after a 19 shots victory.

Baker insists that memory is well and truly erased from the memory.

"You can't dwell on the past," he said. "We've since won the cup on two occasions and we now have the chance of taking it a step further.

"It will be a tough game. Dunbarton are the form team. They have recently moved to the top of the PGL table and now look like retaining their title.

"Our league form just hasn't been as consistent. But this is a one-off cup final - anything can happen on the day.

"It depends on whatever team wants it most. We go into the game with a full strength panel, so we are in with every chance."

Dunbarton, looking for their seventh Irish Cup win, will also have a full squad on show.

Former international Myles Greenfield said: "It should be a cracking contest between two top PGL clubs.

"We can't afford to let nerves play a part. The last time we met Ballymena in the final, we let them establish a 20 shots lead around 12 or 13 ends before we got to grips with the game. We simply can't let that happen again."

Meanwhile, Cookstown will attempt to lift the IBA Junior Cup for only the second time when they face Whitehead in the final at Larne.

The Provincial boys, who toasted success back in 2007 with victory over fancied Downpatrick, will have only three changes to that side, with Damien Grimes, Glenn Booth and Andrew Ferguson primed to appear in their first final.

President Chris McKnight insists the Tyrone boys have the hunger to repeat.

"The team has got a winning mentality," he said. "It's been a great season so far.

"Whitehead are a top team, so we need to be at our best. But I'm extremely proud of the team. We'll be giving it our best shot."

Irish Bowling Association Senior Cup final: Ballymena v Dunbarton.

Irish Bowling Association Junior Cup final: Cookstown v Whitehead.

NI Private Greens League Division One: Old Bleach v Larne, Ulster Transport v Pickie, Ards v Willowfield.

Northern Ireland Bowling Association Division One: Lisnagarvey v Bangor, Carrick v Divis, Portadown v Lurgan, Banbridge v Balmoral, Whitehead v Dundonald.

NI Provincial Bowling Association Senior League: Limavady v Cookstown, Letterkenny v Ballycastle, Dunluce v Portglenone, Ballymoney v Coleraine.

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