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Richard Kee will miss his big chance to create history

By Ian Callender

Richard Kee will miss the opportunity to captain Donemana to four successive Danske Bank Senior Cup triumphs because he is in Spain this weekend.

It may have been the obvious solution to rearrange last week's showpiece - the best attended club fixture in Northern Ireland - abandoned after just 37 overs were possible on the original two days, to Saturday and Sunday as the teams were scheduled to meet in a league fixture at Eglinton tomorrow, but it has proved the nightmare scenario for Kee.

Only one team in the history of the 127-year-old competition has won it four times in succession - Clooney won six in a row from 1906, but with different captains - so Kee's trip to the Nou Camp to watch Barcelona will prevent him from creating history this weekend.

Dwayne McGerrigle, the former Ireland international and a veteran of previous cup finals, is set to take Kee's place in the team which will now be captained by Ricky-Lee Dougherty.

And that would mean McGerrigle dropping out of the Qualifying One Cup semi-final against Bready which was due to start on Monday but, after being postponed on three successive nights because of the wet weather this week, will now also be played tomorrow, with a bowl-out to decide if necessary.

That two-day final was due to start today at Donemana, but a new date has still to be agreed and next weekend has already been ruled out because Donemana are hosting Brigade in a rearranged Premiership game on the Sunday.

The Senior Cup final could now also host no fewer than SIX sets of brothers because new groom Mark Averill and his best man and sibling, Craig, are available for selection for Eglinton.

They could join team-mates Jamie and Andrew Millar as well as captain Chris Pierce and Andy Pierce while seven members of the Donemana line-up come from a total of just three families - Gary and William McClintock, Ricky-Lee and Kyle Dougherty and the three McBrine brothers, Ritchie, Andy and William.

The delayed final means it will now clash with a full Premiership and Championship programme and gives Coleraine the chance to extend their lead with victory at Strabane.

Brigade, level with Donemana, who are four points behind in second with both having played a game less than the Bannsiders, will expect to move up by winning at St Johnston while for basement club Bready, it is already getting into the must-win category when they host Ardmore.

Tomorrow's fixtures, Danske Bank Senior Cup final (11.00): Eglinton v Donemana

Long's SuperValu Premiership (12.00): Bready v Ardmore, St Johnston v Brigade, Strabane v Coleraine. Championship: Burndennett v Killyclooney, Creevedonnell v Newbuildings, Drummond v Fox Lodge.

Belfast Telegraph


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