LEAGUE CUP: Teams welcome Saturday date

Ballymena United's League Cup semi final against Cliftonville has been rescheduled for this Saturday.  � Matt Mackey / Presseye.com
Ballymena United's League Cup semi final against Cliftonville has been rescheduled for this Saturday. � Matt Mackey / Presseye.com
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Jim Ervin says Ballymena will be fully focused on the job in hand as they prepare to face Cliftonville in the semi final for a FOURTH time.

The NI Football League confirmed last night the last four showdown, which has fallen foul of the weather on three occasions, will be played this Saturday afternoon.

The Sky Blues skipper is itching to get the game played as they bid to retain the trophy.

“Hopefully it will be fourth time lucky,” said Ervin. “We will be fully focused on progressing into another final.

“Our main objective at the start of the season was to retain the League Cup and that is still in our sights.

“It has all the makings of a great game with two teams who will go at each other and put everything in to it.

“Tuesday’s decision was the hardest to take because it came so late in the day.

“We had all our preparation done and we all ready for the game.

“But it was the correct decision, the officials were in a no-win situation because of the previous postponements and with the final next week.

“At the end of the day though safety is paramount and the pitch just wasn’t playable, so it was the only decision the referee could make.”

Cliftonville boss Barry Gray echoed Ervin’s sentiments about Tuesday’s postponement.

“It was the correct decision, it would have been a disaster really because of the conditions,” he said.

“I fully understand how difficult it has been for the League as they have built up the competition in recent years attracting great sponsorship and television coverage from Sky.

“The competition has a lot of prestige associated with it now and the last thing anyone wants is for the final to have to be rescheduled.

“Unfortunately the weather has impacted on everyone, but hopefully it will be resolved on Saturday.”