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Star boys are ready to shine in Cup quest

By David Kelly

Belfast Star are ready to enjoy a landmark moment today when their under-20 side bid for the National Cup in Tallaght, according to coach Adrian Fulton.

Former Ireland and Star captain Fulton was a member of the side that won the under-18 trophy over 20 years ago and then followed that up with Superleague title glory, but the under-20 crown has always eluded the Belfast men.

Three successive semi-final defeats have been the most recent history leading up to today's showdown with Moycullen in the National Basketball Arena, but Fulton is confident that the trophy will finally come north.

Moycullen will be on something of a revenge mission though as two years ago they were denied National under-18 success by Star and the sides face up to each other with a large proportion of the personnel remaining from that exciting encounter.

Fulton said: "This is a great chance for the lads to make a bit of club history and they have worked very hard to get here.

"It's a repeat of the under-18 final and I will say what I said then - Moycullen are the second best team in Ireland.

"The two best teams are in the final and if we don't play well we'll lose, but I am very confident in the talent we have.

"We've had it tough the past three years, losing in the semis so hopefully we can go all the way."

The Quinn twins Conor and Aiden - who play in the All Ireland Premier League - will be crucial to Star taking the silverware, while coach Fulton also points to the performances required by two other men who have shone on the way to the decider.

"Sean Joe Rooney can be the X-factor for us. He is as strong as an ox and sometimes it's a case of having to rein him in, but he can do some damage around the boards," added Fulton.

"And John Largey is another guy who we need to play well. He was great in the semi-final and I am convinced that he will relish the final. Liam Pettigrew is obviously another guy who has to step up - it's going to take a really top team effort."

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