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Ballymena are seeking revenge for cup defeat

By Ronnie Ingram

Published 26/12/2015

Ballymena Head Coach Andy Graham
Ballymena Head Coach Andy Graham

Ballymena are determined to gain revenge for last season's narrow Kyle Cup defeat by Dungannon but, unlike their opponents, they resume their AIL campaign next Saturday so some players will be rested for the game at Stevenson Park.

"Some of our team have participated in every game since August and we also have a number of injuries to be taken into consideration," said Ballymena coach Andy Graham.

"Matty Rea broke a leg in the Cup final against Ballynahinch and Matt Harkness will be out until the end of the year. Nevertheless we will have Ken Bailie at scrum-half to be partnered by the experienced Rory Drysdale, Paddy James in the centre and Andrew Ferguson.

"Unfortunately Conor Smyth and our captain Willie McKay are not available but with nine AIL fixtures to fulfil it gives the younger ones an opportunity to show their skills. It all comes down to using our squad efficiently."

The Eaton Park team are fortunate to have strength in depth and this will be needed going into the second half of the season.

"At the moment we are second in the table, just behind St Mary's, so it is essential we have most of our team fit to defeat Old Wesley next Saturday," said Graham.

"I know they were deeply disappointed when we came away with the points three weeks ago so they will be out for revenge at Eaton Park."

Dungannon will also be weakened but at least their first AIL game is a fortnight away at home to Bective.

They have had a disappointing couple of weeks when, after losing to Sunday's Well 9-6 in unplayable conditions they were thrashed 50 points to five by Banbridge on Saturday.

They will also be rotating their squad but on current form Ballymena must start favourites.

Belfast Telegraph

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