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Carey has Malone on right track to Cup glory

Malone and Queen’s go head to head in tonight’s First Trust Senior Cup final at Ravenhill (7.30).

While Queen’s are the most successful club in Senior Cup history — 21 times winners — the most recent of those triumphs was back in 1981, the last time they appeared in a final.

And while the Gibson Park men’s record of Senior Cup final appearances has been more impressive than that of their opponents in the 29 years which have elapsed since Queen’s last reached Ravenhill, that is offset by their failure rate on the big stage.

For while Malone reached six Senior Cup final appearances in the 1990s, five of those Ravenhill visits ended in defeat, the exception being 1992.

This is coach Jarleth Carey’s first season in charge, so to have taken Malone to the final is quite a feat.

After a first round bye Queen’s — an AIB League Division Three club, remember — beat Division Two Belfast Harlequins in the quarter-final and and AIB League 1B Dungannon in the penultimate round.

Having earned promotion to next term’s AIL Division Two by winning this season’s third tier as well as reaching next week’s Division Three play-off, Queen’s are chasing a notable hat-trick.

Second Division Malone’s Senior Cup victims have been Division Three pair Rainey Old Boys and Instonians whom they beat in the quarter and semi-finals respectively.

Tickets for tonight’s match — £8 for adults, £3 per child — are available at the gate.

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