Clough aiming to cause an upset in O’Kane Cup final

Harryville Homers won the O'kane Cup last year among their haul of six trophies.
Harryville Homers won the O'kane Cup last year among their haul of six trophies.

This Saturday, December 27, sees the first final of the year take place in the Ballymena Saturday Morning League calendar.

Harryville Homers take on Clough Rangers in the County Antrim Post O’Kane Cup Final, in a re run of the Rainey Cup Final from last year.

Homers are going for their fifth O’Kane Cup win in a row. Their passage to the final this year included emphatic wins over Glenravel and Steadfast and also wins against rivals Carniny Rangers and All Saints OB so manager Robert Duddy will be hoping this difficult run can bring them more silverware.

Goalkeeper Ryan Martin has seen off competition from new signing Alex McCosh and has nailed down the number one spot for Homers with a string of impressive displays.

Homers have built their success on a solid defence with David Gibson back to the form he showed in 2013, and he forms a solid partnership with the experienced Ian Russell and gives Homers a platform to build on.

Left back Ryan Stewart is a constant threat for Homers as he creates and scores many goals and on his day can prove to be a match winner and with the influential Ricky Nicholl now playing at right back this gives Homers a solid base in defence.

BSML player of the year last season Darren Campbell has again showed his ability for Homers chipping in with some important goals for his side and his game has been helped by the return to fitness of Gary Baird and together they form a formidable midfield partnership. Homers have loads of options in the wide area with the pacey Alan Rainey, David McWhirter and Jason Logan all capable on their day of terrorising defences and along with David Nicholl they provide the ammunition for Homers deadly striking partnership of Gary Bonnes and Paul McNeill.

These two have formed a deadly partnership over the past few seasons with their goals firing Homers to many victories and this season the two have already hit 41 goals and will prove a major threat to Clough.

Clough have built on a successful season last year with the addition of several players making them a huge threat. Their run to the final has included victories over Ballykeel, Holywell, Connor and a semi final victory over Ahoghill Rovers.

Much of Clough’s success last season was built upon a strong back five and despite the loss of Alan Norton they have proved once again to be a difficult force to break down. Colin McCaughern has again showed this season that he is on his day one of the best stoppers in the league. In front of him the Gage brothers Steven and David along with Jonathan Rice and Johnny McCloy make up a big strong back four who last season where the only team to keep Homers scoreless.

The addition of the goals of Dean Magill to an already hard working midfield which includes the industrious duo of Kyle McRoberts and Richard Gregg has added another dimension to Clough’s game and this engine room could well prove to be were the final is won and lost.

Jordan Leighton, Jonny Clarke, Adam Whitehurst and Chris McDonald will all be hoping to earn a spot in Gary Morrison’s team for the final and on their day all four can get goals, but Clough’s main goal scoring threat this season has been new signing Richard Dunlop and they will be hoping his rich vein of form in which he has hit 23 goals in his first season in the BSML can help fire Clough to their first ever O’Kane Cup win and after running Homers close in the Rainey Cup Final in May they will be confident of doing so.

The final will take place at Ballymena Showgrounds Main Arena with a 10.30 kick off, entrance to the final is by Slemish Drive only and admission will be £3 for what should be a highly entertaining final.