COOKSTOWN Rugby Club aim to make history this Saturday, as they go head to head, with East section winners, Ballyclare RFC, in the final of the Ulster Minor League Cup.
Cookstown captain Ryan Eastwood will hope to be holding aloft the Ravenhill Cup at the final whistle, to secure the club’s first ever piece of recognised silverware, to top of a year which has already seen promotion secured.
The team’s only defeat to date, in 15 competitive games, came against Saturday’s opponents, as they exited the McCambley Cup at the quarter final stage, with Ballyclare going on to win the competition, beating Harlequins on Saturday past, making them favourites to complete a remarkable double.
South Section Winners Cookstown, whom are managed by Draperstown’s Mark Brown, will travel with confidence, knowing they played nowhere near their best in that defeat earlier in the year, and having only conceded 47 points in 2012, they will believe they have the firepower on the flanks, to exact revenge on Ballyclare.
Saturday will be a proud day for all involved with the club, as they have been putting in a massive effort over the past 3 years, gelling together a strong team, with representatives from Cookstown, Ardboe, Kildress, Pomeroy, Stewartstown and Dungannon.
For a lot of these guys it will be their first ever rugby final, as they have only recently started to play the game and it’s a great achievement for the club, knowing they have helped train and mould these newcomers into good rugby players. Ballyclare will not be an easy challenge, as they have gone unbeaten in their twenty games thus far in the campaign.
Liam Currie, Daryl Donaghy, Stephen Rea, Owen Mallon and Colin Workman will do their best to stop Ballyclare on the tracks and they will call upon Nugent brothers, Denver and Kezzy along with Ronan Campbell and Ciaran Corey to get the scores on the board.
Paul O’Neill will be a key component in Cookstown’s game plan, as he is usually a very reliable man from the Penalties and from time to time, pops up with scores from boot, and come Saturday a lot could hinge on whether or not O’Neill brings his best shooting boots, on the clubs biggest day in history.
Cookstown’s Owen Mallon said “our defeat last time out against this team was a bitter pill to swallow”, so with revenge in mind, coupled with the fact Cookstown were minus some key players in their defeat, they are giving the nod on Saturday, to reverse their only defeat in 2012 by the narrowest of margins, against the odds, and take the Ravenhill Cup to Cookstown for the very first time.