Kingspan Stadium date as Ballyclare and Dromore set to clash in Towns Cup final

Ballyclare have reached a fourth consecutive Towns Cup final and the Co Antrim side will meet Dromore this afternoon at Kingspan Stadium.

By Ciaran Donaghy
Monday, 18th April 2022, 7:00 am

Mike Orchin-McKeever’s side have won one final, lost another and had the third cancelled due to Covid.

Ballyclare finished third in the league this year and have already experienced the Kingspan pitch, losing narrowly to Clogher Valley in the All Ireland Junior Cup final.

“This is our fourth final in a row albeit with one year off due to no rugby being played...but we have had four semi-final wins on the bounce in the Towns Cup, which is some achievement by the club,” said Orchin-McKeever. “I’m very excited to get back to Kingspan again, especially after the recent All Ireland final.

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Ballyclare's Mike Orchin-McKeever

“In 2018 we had a win, in 2019 we had a loss and 2020 was a draw due to Covid and that would have been a fantastic game to play.

“The boys are excited to get back to Kingspan again, it is a great opportunity for club players to play where they watch Ulster regularly in a world-class arena.”

Ballyclare lost by a point to Clogher in their previous visit to Kingspan.

“It was a fantastic occasion, it was a really competitive game of rugby and the best team won,” said Orchin-McKeever. “We take a lot of learning from it and we have improved since and put that into practice.

“We are undefeated from it and we are in another final in front of us.

“We take that as a positive and the boys can enjoy it and learn from what has happened in the past and put it into practice for this final.

“And we’ll see where we are come full-time.

“It is the last run-out of the season and it is a final at Kingspan, it’s a highlight and it would be a nice way to finish the season by lifting a trophy and singing your club song in the changing room.”

Ballyclare finished 28 points in front of Dromore in the league but Orchin-McKeever knows that form goes out the window in a final - it is about who turns up on the day.

“Both teams will be full of enthusiasm and trying to make the most of an opportunity in a cup final, Dromore have been on a bit of a run between the previous league game and this final but we are aiming to come out on top.

“We will kind of prepare for everything, Dromore have changed coach within this season so they will be fresh, they will be exciting and they had a great run in to the end of the league campaign with results and performances.

“We’ll just focus on us and make sure we can be the best that we can and play the way we want to play and react the best way to how the opposition play against us.”

This year’s Senior Cup final will be contested between Armagh and Queen’s at Kingspan Stadium on May 14.

Queen’s reached the final after Belfast Harlequins forfeited their semi-final, while Armagh scored seven tries in defeating Omagh on 48-20.