Belfast Telegraph

Make or break double header for Dunbarton

By David Mason

Dunbarton face a nerve-tingling 24 hours that will make or break their season!

The Gilford boys today face Old Bleach at Jordanstown in the final of the IBA Senior Cup.

They will then line out against the same opponents tomorrow in what is now a crucial penultimate game in the race for the Private Greens League Division One title.

Just to add a little spice to the ingredients, Old Bleach poked a spanner into Dunbarton's title ambitions by claiming an impressive 85-69 victory at Randalstown on Thursday – the first of a triple-header between the clubs.

With two games remaining, only two points separate Dunbarton and Belmont at the top, so the race is set to go to the wire.

"It's not ideal for the clubs to meet three times in four days with so much at stake, but due to the postponement of previous league matches and other factors, that's the way it worked out. It's ironic that we both got through to the cup final," said Dunbarton's Myles Greenfield.

"Old Bleach drew first blood, but we can't let that affect us on Saturday."

The Randalstown club were without Commonwealth Games silver medallist Neil Booth and fellow international James Talbot.

"I'm sure there will be changes to both teams for the final," said Old Bleach's Michael Nutt. "The league win will have no bearing on the final, make no mistake about that.

"Not many people will give us a chance, but at the end of the day, it's a one-off cup final.

"It's been a long time since our last appearance in the final . . . back in 1993. We lost by five shots to Carrick. It would be nice to finish the job this time."

Meanwhile, after Bangor lifted the NIBA Division One title last weekend, he spotlight switches to the other end of the table for today's final series of league matches.

Donaghadee have already been relegated, but Castle and Divis will battle to survive the drop.

The County Down boys entertain Whitehead, while Divis travel to Donaghadee.

IBA Senior Cup final: Dunbarton v Old Bleach.

NIBA Division One: Portadown v Balmoral, Castle v Whitehead, Lisnagarvey v Banbridge, Dundonald v Bangor, Donaghadee v Divis.

NI Private Greens League Senior Division One: Larne v Ballymena, Falls v Willowfield, Belmont v Forth River.

NI Provincial Senior League: Kilrea v Ballycastle, Letterkenny v Dunluce, Cookstown v Portglenone, Ballymoney v Portrush, Coleraine v City of Derry.

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