Sky Blue Cup Final Fever!

Don't miss our 12-page Ballymena United cup final preview in this week's paper.
Don't miss our 12-page Ballymena United cup final preview in this week's paper.

After a week of passionate debate on the streets and right across social media, it seems that the town is to get a special Sky Blue splash of colour in the run-up to the Irish Cup Final.

Bunting in Ballymena United’s blue and white colours is to go up at Council’s key town centre facilities in a show of support by the local authority for their Irish Cup Final quest.

The Bandstand, the Braid Town Hall and Ballymena Showgrounds are to be decked out with the special bunting following an agreement at a recent Council meeting to recognise the significant achievement of Ballymena United in reaching the Irish Cup Final for the first time in a quarter of a century.

The Cup Final, which takes place at Windsor Park on Saturday, May 3, will see Ballymena take on Glenavon.

Confirming the special arrangements, Ballymena Mayor, Cllr Audrey Wales, said: “Ballymena United’s achievement is a great inspiration to all the young footballers in the borough and we wish them all the best for the Final.”

Meanwhile, it is understood that United fans have forked out their own cash to buy special flags and ribbons to put up around the town. The voluntary effort will be warmly applauded by the thousands who will travel by train, bus and car to Windsor Park on Saturday.

Ballymena exiles are also flying in from right across the UK to see their team in the first final in a quarter of a century! We understand that the vast majority of seats in the huge South Stand have been bought up by United fans and the ‘Kop’ end of the ground, also allocated to Ballymena, is thought to be filling up rapidly.

The mass exodus from the town and district will begin in mid-morning when a special train will leave Ballymena station bound for Belfast.

This will be followed in the early afternoon by dozens of coaches which will go direct to the ground.

Read all about the game - win or lose - in next week’s Ballymena Times. We’ll be covering the build up online with regular updates on our twitterfeed and facebook page.

All that remains to be said is COSB!