Belfast Telegraph

Bob Radcliffe Cup final: Dungannon kids eyeing up silverware

Dungannon Res v Rathfriland Rngrs - Bob Radcliffe Cup Final - Stangmore Park, Boxing Day, 11am

Dungannon Swifts are renowned for their excellent youth policy and anyone attending Boxing Day's Bob Radcliffe Cup final at Stangmore Park (11am) will see the next generation from the production line. (stock photo)
Dungannon Swifts are renowned for their excellent youth policy and anyone attending Boxing Day's Bob Radcliffe Cup final at Stangmore Park (11am) will see the next generation from the production line. (stock photo)

By Steven Beacom

Dungannon Swifts are renowned for their excellent youth policy and anyone attending Boxing Day's Bob Radcliffe Cup final at Stangmore Park (11am) will see the next generation from the production line.

While Dungannon Swifts will bring promising youngsters to the party, Rathfriland Rangers will call upon a host of players with Irish League experience.

That young blood v wise old heads match-up is one of the reasons why this year's decider is so eagerly awaited.

Head of development at Dungannon Swifts Dixie Robinson says: "It should be a really good game. Our youngsters have a lot of ability and real potential but Rathfriland are a very good side with bags of experience.

"Both teams try and play good football and hopefully it will live up to expectation."

The last time a Dungannon side won the trophy, Northern Ireland international Niall McGinn was in their team back in the 2005/2006 season.

With players such as ex-Glentoran ace Andy Kilmartin, Rathfriland will begin as favourites, but if the Swifts grab a foothold in the game early on and take confidence from that, it should be a cracking contest.

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The Bob Radcliffe Cup decider is not the only Christmas final that Rathfriland are involved in as they also have the Border Regiment Cup showpiece to savour versus Ballynahinch Olympic at Seaview on New Year's Day.

Should the Boxing Day clash with Dungannon's youngsters go to penalties, Rangers will certainly fancy themselves because in the Border Cup semi-final against East Belfast they won 3-0 on spot-kicks, after a 2-2 draw, with Johnny Parr saving everything in the shoot-out.

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