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Seasiders can coast to cup final success


By Graham Hamilton

Bangor go into the New Year's Day Linden Cup final at Deramore (2.30pm) as hot favourites to land the trophy for the second time in three years.

Currently top of the Ulster Premier League, they made it eight wins from nine with a 3-0 success over Raphoe last weekend - and that augurs well for when they take on the Co Donegal lads again, this time with silverware at stake.

Coach Scott Parker refuses to take anything for granted, but with a strike force of Rhys Cunningham, Ryan Burgess and David McClune, they have players who between them have scored almost 40 goals this season.

Raphoe, on the other hand, are languishing second bottom in the league having lost some of their star players during the course of the summer.

"We may be favourites based on league position, but finals are never quite like that and we are well aware of the danger Raphoe can pose," insists Bangor coach Parker.

"Last Saturday we were three up at half-time but failed to score in the second half, so it certainly won't be an easy game.

"Our guys will be well drilled on what they need to do and are very much looking forward to it. 

"Regarding our league position, obviously I'm delighted to be at the top. But I'm well aware that we haven't played two of the more difficult clubs, Kilkeel or Instonians, yet so our feet are firmly on the ground."

Meanwhile, newly crowned Kirk Cup winners Kilkeel should account for Antrim in tomorrow's Ulster Premier programme but the big match sees unbeaten Instonians go to Portadown.

TOMORROW: Ulster Premier League (2.30pm): Portadown v Instonians (1pm); South Antrim v Mossley; Queen's v Belfast Harlequins; Kilkeel v Antrim; North Down v Cliftonville

MONDAY: Linden Cup final: Bangor v Raphoe (Deramore, 2.30pm)

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