Eaton Park men prepare for final showdown

Ballymena Rugby Club coach Andy Graham has challenged his players to maintain their promising season by landing First Trust Senior Cup glory.

Ballymena Rugby Club are aiming for First Trust Senior Cup glory this Thursday night. Picture: Ardclinis Photography.

The Eaton Park side meet Ballynahinch in the final of Ulster club rugby’s showpiece knockout event at the Kingspan Stadium this Thursday night (7.30pm).

“If you’re a club player, no matter what level you play at, it’s nice to be able to run out there,” said Graham, who won the Senior Cup four times as a player.

Sign up to our daily NorthernIrelandWorld Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“Since the stadium was done up it looks great and it adds to the whole excitement of actually getting to play there, which is still very special.

“Ballynahinch have had a difficult enough season in the All-Ireland League but they won their first game recently, beating Lansdowne who are the current champions so they are getting better.

“They have had a lot of injuries but it will be very, very difficult - I make no bones about that.

“It’s going to be a very big test for us but it’s a challenge and one that we’re ready to meet head-on and we are looking forward to it.

“Ballynahinch are certainly a very good side and the fact they are playing at that higher level of Division 1A every week, it is slightly quicker and teams are a wee bit more accurate -if you make a mistake at that level you are more likely to get punished so they will be clinical.

“They have maybe had their difficult time this season and are starting to go on the up,” added Graham.