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Malone and Ports square up in cup glory bid


By Ronnie Ingram

Portadown and Malone II will battle it out this afternoon to decide who will have the daunting task of travelling to Ballynahinch II in the semi-final of the Millar, McCall, Wylie Junior Cup on November 25.

A fortnight ago their quarter-final was aborted when referee Stuart Douglas sustained a serious knee injury with Malone leading 22-3.

Since then Portadown have conceded six tries in their Irish Junior Cup tie at Ballina while the Belfast team had a confidence boosting seven-try victory over Banbridge II.

Malone have had to make a few enforced changes due to injuries to their firsts so winger Lorcan O'Connor and full-back Lorcan Bryans will be absent.

Centre David Irvine who scored a brilliant try in the last encounter is on the sidelines after being concussed but Malone have strength in depth which should see them through even at Chambers Park.

Captain Ricky Greenwood said: "We have to set out for victory right from the start."

Portadown coach Richard Hedley will be hoping that his team defends a lot better than in recent weeks and he has made a number of changes with that problem in mind.

Josh Matchett, Ryan Mulgrew, Matthew Wilson, Gary Hall and Niall Davidson have been included in the squad.

The other semi is between Ballymoney and Armagh II.

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