Reaching final would be a ‘dream come true’ admits Ballymena defender Johnny Taylor

Ballymena United defender Johnny Taylor

Ballymena United defender Johnny Taylor

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Ballymena United defender Johnny Taylor is hoping to realise his dream of playing in an Irish Cup final.

The Sky Blues are one step away from reaching next month’s showpiece decider, but first they must get past Queen’s University.

Taylor is refusing to take anything for granted against the Championship 2 minnows in Saturday’s semi-final, and insists Ballymena will be “fully focused” when they step out at the Oval.

“It will be the biggest game of the season for us. All the boys are really looking forward to it now,” he said.

“All our focus is on Queen’s and trying to get into the final.

“As a player, reaching an Irish Cup final would mean everything.

“Any one of the players would give their right arm to win it, so we are looking forward to this semi-final.”

It is 25 years since Ballymena last lifted the Irish Cup, with Paul Hardy’s goal sealing a 1-0 win over Larne at the Oval.

“There is expectation at our club,” Taylor admitted.

“I didn’t realise until recently that it is 25 years since the club lifted the Irish Cup.

“So it is a long time for the supporters.

“The fans will be wanting us to do well, and hopefully we can give them something to cheer. But it will be a tough test. People might think we have got an easy tie, but at the end of the day it is 11 versus 11, and the team that goes out and gives it 110 per cent will come out the winners.”