Excitement builds for Loughgiel, Ballymoney and Dalriada ahead of cup games

Eddie McCloskey, left, Loughgiel Shamrocks, and Edward Coady, Mount Leinster Rangers, are pictured in advance of their side's AIB GAA Club Championship Semi-Final in P�irc Esler, Newry, on the 8th February at 3pm.Picture: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE
Eddie McCloskey, left, Loughgiel Shamrocks, and Edward Coady, Mount Leinster Rangers, are pictured in advance of their side's AIB GAA Club Championship Semi-Final in P�irc Esler, Newry, on the 8th February at 3pm.Picture: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

IT is set to be the biggest sporting weekend of the year so far for teams from the Ballymoney Borough.

Loughgiel hurlers are in Newry this Saturday (3pm) for an All-Ireland Semi-final against Mount Leinster Rangers; Ballymoney United are away to Crusaders in the Irish Cup (3pm) and in the Schools’ Cup in rugby, Dalriada host Inst from Belfast (11am).

Loughgiel boss PJ O’Mullan is cautious ahead of the Rangers’ game.

He said: “Maybe Mount Leinster Rangers are something of an unknown quantity but the fact that they have come out of the province of Leinster says it all as far as we are concerned”.

And over at Ballymoney United, manager John Fall, is looking forward to a tilt at Crusaders, one of the top teams in local football.#

Ballymoney have been going well in the cups this year.

They are also still in the Intermediate Cup and they know now their opponents will be Queen’s University who defeated Glentoran II.

In rugby, the Dalriada 1st XV are looking forward to their third round Cup game against RBAI.

Going up against last year’s finalist Dalriada approach this tie with quiet confidence. They have performed well against all the ‘big guns’ this season and have prepared well.

At the weekend they were away for a training get-together in Limerick, based around the University training facilities and worked with members of the Munster squad.

A school spokesperson said: “We are looking forward to having a big support”.