Friday, 16 February 2018
The BetMcLean League Cup final between Dungannon Swifts and Ballymena United on Saturday promises one of the games of the season with all to play for! (kick-off: 5.30pm).
It’s the League Cup holders of Ballymena against a Swifts team looking to secure the first major silverware in their history.
Both teams overcame tricky semi-finals to book their place in the showpiece final at the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park. Dungannon were the team to finally break Crusaders’ long unbeaten streak at Stangmore Park when Ryan Harpur’s penalty sent the County Tyrone side into their first final since losing the Irish Cup final in 2007.
David Jeffrey was Linfield manager for Dungannon’s last final and he is in the dugout for Ballymena United on Saturday as they aim to retain their League Cup trophy which has been proudly displayed at the Warden Street Showgrounds for the past year. The Sky Blues overcame Cliftonville last Saturday in their thrice re-arranged fixture, sealed by a Cathair Friel wonder goal from his own half in a 3-1 victory.
Mark Patton and Daniel Hughes are both cup-tied for Dungannon Swifts whilst Steven McCullough is suspended for the Sky Blues.
The managers view
David Jeffrey (Ballymena United): “Rodney McAree knows it’s a game that each of us can win, we’re very much in the mindset that we have to perform on the day against two easily matched teams, but it’s great for local football.”
Rodney McAree (Dungannon Swifts): “I’m delighted for our players to have the opportunity of landing this trophy as I know the hard work and commitment they have given over the past few years and they can be extremely proud, but they now must go on and grasp this opportunity.”
The players' view
Tony Kane (Ballymena United): ““I believe we’ve got enough to retain the cup, but it’s all about the rub of the green on cup finals which and maybe also takes a bit of luck as it will be even better than last year if we do!”
Chris Hegarty (Dungannon Swifts): “Occasions like this don’t come along too often so I’ll be trying to do those people proud. This is as much for them as it is for me!”
Tickets will still be available right up until kick-off from Ticketmaster, priced at £12 for adults and £8 for concessions. Click here to buy your match tickets.