Kelly hopes hurt of final defeats will spur on Ballymoney

Ballymoney Bowling Club prior to their away match against Letterkenny on Saturday.INBM34-13 135L
Ballymoney Bowling Club prior to their away match against Letterkenny on Saturday.INBM34-13 135L

KEY Ballymoney bowler Gary Kelly hopes the hurt of losing Irish Senior Cup finals in recent years will spur them on to land the prestigious trophy this year.

Despite Ballymoney’s proud bowling tradition they have never won the Irish Cup but the club want to get their hands on the title this time round.

Irish international Kelly told the Times: “In the last five years we have reached three finals and two semi-finals but have never won it but we want to create history this time round.

“We have had disappointment in losing finals in recent years and although the club has had great success over the years, winning the Irish Senior Cup would be the last piece of the jigsaw.”

It is a big derby match for Ballymoney against Coleraine and in the league both sides have each won one of their two ties.

Added Kelly: “It is fantastic to reach the final once again and it shows the stature of the club and how consistent we have been.

“It shows the talent in the squad and it is good for the team, club and our community. It is fantastic to come up against local rivals Coleraine, there is a good healthy rivalry.”

One player who will be well up for the match is Ballymoney’s Alister Steele who previously turned out for a season for Coleraine.

But there is disappointment for Ballymoney’s Christopher Brogan - Kelly’s cousin - who misses the final through injury. Despite playing up to the quarter-final stage he has broken a bone in his foot.

The Ballymoney rinks to take on Coleraine are set to be: Aaron Tennant, Aaron Wallace, Alan Paul, Gary Kelly; Eric Sands, Martin McAleese, Ken Shirley, Alister Steele; Brian Hughes, Nicky McCaw, Jim Martin, Brian McAlary; Club President Aidan Reid, Tommy Smith, Steven Smyth, Willie McCaw.

It will be a family occasion for the Ballymoney Club as the McCaws are brothers and Aaron Tennant is Ken Shirley’s nephew.