IRISH CUP: Bragging rights at stake as Coleraine host Tobermore

Coleraines Ian Parkhill is relishing Saturday's Irish Cup encounter with Tobermore United. 
Photo Aidan OReilly/Pacemaker Press
Coleraines Ian Parkhill is relishing Saturday's Irish Cup encounter with Tobermore United. Photo Aidan OReilly/Pacemaker Press
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There will be plenty at stake in the Parkhill household this Saturday when Coleraine entertain Tobermore United in the Irish Cup.

The two sides face off against each other at The Showgrounds in the sixth round of the competition with brothers Ian and Trevor in opposite camps.

Ian, who has been in great form for the Bannsiders of late, is relishing the clash with his sibling but admitted it will be a tough task against the Championship Two outfit.

“I hope he’s up against me,” joked the Coleraine forward, who scored against Ards last Saturday.

“We’ve chatted a couple of times about it since the draw was made, but we haven’t said too much.

“We’ll see how it goes on Saturday, there could be a bit of banter afterwards!

“It’s a local derby for them and they’ll be coming here with nothing to lose, it’s all set up for them, we have to make sure we go out and do our jobs.

“They have a few decent players in the team, Trevor has told me about them when we’ve talked in the past and they are going well, so it won’t be easy in the slightest.”

Coleraine’s recent Irish Cup record has been less than impressive.

But Ballymoney man Parkhill said they were determined to use their recent cup disappointments as motivation on Saturday.

“Losing the League Cup semi-final was very hard on us, but it brings home just how important these games are,” he said.

“We have to learn from it as no-one wants to experience that feeling again.”

Out to stop Parkhill and the rest of his team-mates will be Tobermore keeper Matt McGraw.

The experienced custodian knows all about the Bannsiders living on their doorstep in the near-by village of Garvagh.

“The buzz has been great since the draw,” he said.

“It’s a day for us to enjoy and to go out and give it a good go. We’ve played six games to get here so we’ll not be sitting back, we’re coming to have a go.

“Oran (Kearney) has assembled a very good forward line, all with different attributes too.

“Goalkeeping is an art, it’s probably the only position that doesn’t change no matter what level you play at.

“Goalkeepers’ objectives remain the same, keep the ball out of the net and distribute it well, the only differences we face are the speed of the ball, so bring them on!”

Tobermore have suffered a bit of a dip in form recently but as McGraw knows the form book goes out the window on days like these.

“We’ve hit a bit of a blip recently with injuries and loss of form but we definitely have the players capable causing damage on the day.

“The last Tobermore player to hurt Coleraine was signed by Oran straight after the game, and that was none other than Ian Parkhill!”

As well as starring between the sticks Matt also makes his own gloves as he explained.

“MG-GK gloves have made it on to Socccer AM two weeks in a row, which has been a pleasant surprise,” he said.

“As long as I’m not a bad advert for the gloves on Saturday I’ll be happy!”