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Derg man hoping it’s third time lucky

ADAM Lecky will be hoping that it’s a case of third time lucky when he lines out for Ballymena United in tonight’s Sadler’s Peaky Blinders Irish Cup Final at The National Stadium.

On Monday evening the big Castlederg man helped Ballymena United squeeze past derby rivals Coleraine by winning a dramatic penalty shootout 3-1 in the first of the two semi-finals.

The Bannsiders looked to have booked their place in the showpiece decider following a spectacular free kick by Eoin Bradley on the stroke of half-time however United substitute Kenny Kane bundled in a dramatic 94th minute equaliser to send the last-four tie into overtime.

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And it was David Jeffrey’s men who held their nerve to book a final date with Glentoran, who defeated Cliftonville 7-6 on penalties in the second semi-final which also finished 1-1.

For the towering Lecky this evening will be a third final appearance since joining the Sky Blues. The former Dergview and Ballinamallard player was on the losing side when Ballymena were defeated 1-0 by Linfield in the 2018 BetMcLean Cup Final and earlier this season he picked up another losers’ medal in the County Antrim Shield Final after Cliftonville produced a sensational smash and grab to win 2-1.

On both occasions the Braidmen had been the better side but Lecky knows that counts for little if you don’t put the ball in the back of the net.

“Friday has got the makings of a good final and because of how Glentoran play it’ll probably be a more open game than the semi-final was,” said the big Derg man.

“I’m really looking forward to it, it’s set up to be a cracker, I can’t wait for it.

“This is my third final in two years at Ballymena, so we have a reputation as being a good cup side.

“We will be hoping to get the job done come Friday evening. In the last two finals we have probably been the better side  but we came up short on both occasions.

“That’s what probably made the semi-final win so sweet. You could argue Coleraine had the better chances, were the better side on the day but we turned them over and came out winners.

“We have experienced the other side. We have battered teams before in finals and couldn’t get the goal and ended up losing. We’ll happily take getting battered again if we end up lifting the cup, that’ll be perfect for me.”

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The Strabane Chronicle is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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