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Lisburn rivals set sights on final clash


By Graham Hamilton

What are the chances of the Burney Cup final being an all-Lisburn affair for the first time in 60 years?

Friends take on Methodist College Belfast in the first of the semi-final double-header at Lisnagarvey today (1.30pm), while city rivals Wallace High face holders Sullivan Upper in a repeat of last season's decider at 3.30pm.

Friends and Wallace last contested the Burney final way back in 1959, with the former chalking up a 3-1 win, although they did meet in a McCullough Cup decider in 2014 which Wallace won 3-2.

But before we can talk about the possibility of an all-Lisburn showdown, there's the matter of two difficult semi-finals.

"We know Methody are going to be tough opponents," said Friends coach Craig Cunningham.

"We met in this season's McCullough Cup semi-finals - it was a close game, our corners proved the difference that day."

Methody are hoping to reverse that outcome but coach Rory Capper accepts that the Lisburn team go in as favourites with so many Ulster and Irish under-age representative players.

"We're delighted to be in our second semi-final of the season and are fully prepared," said Capper. "We don't want to waste this opportunity."

Wallace coach Gareth Kidd knows his team have been getting stronger and is confident they can produce a good performance.

"We played exceptionally well to beat Banbridge Academy and Regent House and will have to repeat that against a Sullivan team that has already won the McCullough Cup," he said.

Sullivan certainly are the team to beat, with inspirational captain Fergus Gibson the man to watch.

Belfast Telegraph

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