Belfast Telegraph

Whitehead on course for terrific triple trophy haul

 

By Alex Mills

The champagne will be kept on ice, but Whitehead are only one game away from etching their name into the history books.

They have already raised the bar in the IBA Senior Cup. Their narrow win over Balmoral at Fruithill Park on Saturday punched their ticket to their first ever appearance in the final.

Whitehead will now meet Larne on Saturday, August 25. It means the club is on course for a fantastic triple trophy haul.

The NIBA Senior Cup is already sitting proudly in trophy cabinet, while Whitehead are currently involved in a hectic battle with Banbridge at the top of the table in a title race that looks likely to go to the wire.

Success in the sport's top knockout tournament would top the lot. However, the East Antrim boys know they'll have to be at their best against a Larne side that still has memories of being beaten by Belmont in the 2004 final.

Although they are within touching distance to creating their own little niche in the club's rich fabric, Whitehead will be taking nothing for granted.

"We have a few crucial league games looming so that will help deflect the build-up to the final," said Whitehead's Martin McHugh. "We are thrilled to be in the final... it's a little piece of history in itself as we've never reached this stage before. But having come so far, it's important we now finish the job."

Larne also had good reason to celebrate. They pinched a nervy three shots win over Coleraine at Ballymena.

"Cup final appearances don't come around too often, so we aim to enjoy it," said Larne's Paul Robinson. "It was a real ding-dong battle. Coleraine pushed us right to the final bowl.

"It's our first final for quite a while and we'll be underdogs on the day, but that suits us."

IBA Senior Cup semi-finals: Larne 85 Coleraine 82, Whitehead 76 Balmoral 70.

IBA Intermediate Cup semi-finals: Ballywalter 97 Dungiven 62, Ballycastle 76 North Down 69.

IBA Junior cup semi-finals: Whitehead B 91 Larne B 59.

NI Private Green League Division One: Ulster Transport 59 (1) Old Bleach 80 (6).

NIBA Division One: Portadown 85 (5) Bangor 61 (2), Donaghadee 96 (7) Lisnagarvey 64 (0).

NI Provincial Bowling Association Senior League: Dunluce 70 (3) Portrush 77 (4), Letterkenny 9 (7) Cookstown 54 (0).

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