Belfast Telegraph

Jenkins is tipping Sky Blues for derby cheer

By Graham Luney

Allan Jenkins hopes Ballymena United can use their magnificent Irish Cup win over Linfield as a springboard to consolidating their position in the Premiership's top six.

The Sky Blues are buoyant after stunning Linfield 2-1 at Windsor Park and it was Jenkins who got the ball rolling with a powerful header from David Cushley's corner.

United now go into tomorrow's derby date with Coleraine at the Ballymena Showgrounds with a spring in their step and Jenkins, who netted twice in a 3-2 win at the home of the Bannsiders on Boxing Day, expects his side to build on the Windsor triumph.

"It was a fantastic result for us," said the United skipper who handed the captain's armband to former Linfield hero Jim Ervin for the cup clash.

"I didn't realise how long it was since we beat Linfield at Windsor until I watched the BBC's Irish League show and they said it was 10 years.

"I was pleased to come up with a good header for the goal but I'm not sure about the other 89 minutes," he joked.

"It really does give us a bit of momentum and belief now as we push on and try to secure that top six place which the club has never done. As far as the Irish Cup is concerned, some big hitters like Linfield, Cliftonville and Portadown are out so there's a great opportunity for the clubs still in with a shout.

"But the league is a very important objective for us and we want to be among the big boys come the split.

"I've good memories from the Boxing Day win in Coleraine and hopefully I can grab another few goals."

The Sky Blues endured a rocky period earlier in the season but boss Glenn Ferguson has steadied the ship.

"We have produced a few decent performances of late," added Jenkins. "Over the last few years teams such as Cliftonville and Glenavon have given us a few drubbings but I hope those days are behind us."

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