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Favourites Oriel totally focused on title defence

Oriel's Gerry O'Hare believes his team are equipped to make a successful defence of the IIBA Inter-zone title, but will leave nothing to chance in their first round meeting with Western at Corduff tomorrow (2pm).

It's a repeat of last season's final. On that occasion, Oriel's storming second half performance earned them the Boomer Cup for the second successive year.

"We'll go into the game as favourites, but we'll be taking nothing for granted," said O'Hare.

"Western know what it takes to win this tournament, having had their name on the trophy quite a few times. Like every team we play, we'll be giving them our respect. But we have home advantage and we must make the most of that."

Meanwhile, Western will be missing the influential Gary McNabb, but they still have the experience of the Graham brothers - David and Alan - Gary Burke, Jude Morris, Ron Stubbs and Karl Bradshaw, to call on as they look to avenge last year's defeat.

Fixtures IIBA Men's Inter-Zone Championship, first round: East Antrim v Mid Tyrone; Oriel v Western; Cork v North Down; Mid Antrim v Armagh; Foyle v South Tyrone; North Eastern v Larne; North West v West Down.

Belfast Telegraph


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