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Goal machine Allen plays down record ahead of final

By Graham Hamilton

Ahead of today’s Kirk Cup final, Cookstown’s Greg Allen insists there is no pressure on him to continue his run of scoring in every game he has played this season.

The Tyrone side’s co-captain knows opponents Annadale will be difficult opposition when they meet at Stomont (3pm) but, as long as the prestigious trophy finds its way back to Steelweld Park, he doesn’t care whether his record remains intact or not.

“Yes, it has been a great run this season and I’m pleased after all the injury problems I had the previous term,” said Allen.

“I did miss two games this season but in every one I have played, I have managed to find the net at least once.

“It would be great to continue that run but, at the end of the day, it’s all about winning and not who scores the goals.”

Annadale’s bigest threat comes from player/coach Peter Caruth, who enjoyed the Rio Olympics experience with the Irish team in the summer.

“We have a young squad — the average age is 18 — but they are fast, fit and eager to learn, and that’s encouraging,” he added.

Meanwhile, Queen’s midfielder Jodie Kee, who scored the winning goal in the women’s Denman Ulster Shield semi-final win over Randalstown, has opted against flying home from a skiing holiday and will miss this afternoon’s Stormont showdown (1pm).

Last year, when the students lost on penalties to Town in the final, Kee travelled home from Switzerland especially to participate.

“We left the decision this time entirely up to Jodie but there is no doubt we will miss her as she is very effective, particularly down the right flank,” said Queen’s coach Simon Bell.

“However, we won’t be too seriously weakened as we have brought our 2nd XI captain, Kathryn Bryans, into the squad and she has a lot of first-team experience from years gone by.”

Lurgan, who lost to Queen’s in the semi-finals last year, have been practising penalty strokes just in case the game goes all the way.

“We should have several potential takers but, at the end of the day, if the game goes to a shoot-out, it’s down to who wants to take them at that time,” said coach Robbie McMinn.

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