Thursday, December 24, 2009

Understrength Reds battle Glens in festive final

Corinthian's hopes of ending a memorable 2009, the Whitechurch club's 75th anniversary, with a second men's senior trophy look set to be an uphill battle on St Stephen's Day as the club's cosmopolitan line-up has left the reds shy of a couple of key performers.

The Neville Cup always throws up its fair share of selection dilemmas, given its timing in the calender year, notably in 2007 when Pembroke were without 11 key performers.

Corinthian's plight is not quite as severe but if they are to prise the title away from Glenanne, they will have to do so without inspirational player-coach Andrew Cronje and his compatriot Darren Kimfley who have both returned to South Africa for Christmas.

Lucas Piccioli and Dan Williams could both be absent, too, for the Yuletide decider, making it necessary for Peter Darley to ring the changes to the panel which has won nine matches on the spin. Their last loss came in October - their conquerors being Saturday's opponents and the Glens' boss Arul Anthoni has reported a full bill of health for the tussle.

The Malaysian had offered certain players time off from training in the past weeks following busy recent schedules but said that the offer was turned down as the battle for places in the final squad intensified with the "family" nature of the occasion a bonding factor.

A draw and two losses in December suggest a side slightly out of form but the Glens have a habit of finding a way to win against the odds, none more so than the previous running of this event when they were reduced to nine men at one point against YMCA but still record a 3-1 final win.

That spirit and a full panel makes them favourites but the upbeat nature around Whitechurch Park these days means it will be by no means a foregone conclusion when they pair lock horns at Serpentine Avenue.

Elsewhere, Catholic Institute will hope to cause a huge shock and bring home their first title in 25 years when they face Cork C of I in Munster's Peard Cup final. Institute's last title came in their 75th anniversary year and will hope home advantage will aid them on the occasion of their centenary against formidable opposition.

In Ulster, Banbridge are aiming to add the Kirk Cup to the Anderson crown they earned in November. The Co Down club face Cookstown who are contesting their third Boxing Day showdown in four years.

Neville Cup final (St Stephen's Day):
Glenanne vs Corinthian, 3pm, Serpentine Avenue

Peard Cup final:
Catholic Institute vs Cork Church of Ireland, 1pm, Rosbrien

Kirk Cup final:
Cookstown vs Banbridge, 2.30pm, Lisnagarvey


Anonymous said...

Glens to win 6-2. Can't see chc getting close to this one.

Come on green army.

Anonymous said...

lol at 1:43, as a glenanne supporter there is really no way I can see this game being 6-2, it will be close.

Anonymous said...

can't find the result anywhere - any idea who won?

Stephen Findlater said...

Glenanne 3 Corinthian 0 - Butler hat-trick, in process of writing report now.