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Sunday 30 Apr 2017
Junior teams set for battle

Out of an initial entry of almost 250 clubs Hill Street and Enniskillen Rangers are the last two standing.

The pair will go head-to-head on Monday (May 1st, kick-off 2:30pm) at the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park to determine who will be crowned the 2016/17 IFA Junior Cup winners.

Lurgan side Hill Street booked their place at the top table of junior football after a stoppage time equaliser and penalty shoot-out defeat of Ahoghill Thistle while Enniskillen Rangers have Mark Cutler to thank as his hat-trick helped them sweep past Newry Celtic.

Hill Street go into the game on the back of an impressive run of results, hitting 17 goals without reply in their last two outings and currently sit second in Mid-Ulster League Division One, three points behind leaders Ballyoran but, crucially, with a game in hand.

Apart from knocking out Ahoghill in the last four, David Wilson's side grabbed plenty of attention on their way to the final.

Finaghy fell by the wayside in the Quarter-finals while Strule United were hit for six in Round Five. Indeed, scoring a bagful of goals has become something of a habit with victories in the earlier rounds of the competition racking up a further 25 goals!

But Enniskillen Rangers are no slouches in front of goal themselves.

The Fermanagh & Western side clocked up an average of nine goals per game in the first four rounds alone, but it was a 3-0 defeat of Rosemount Rec., runners-up for the past two seasons, in the Fifth Round that really made people sit up and take notice.

And boss Michael Kerr will be hoping that defeat of last season's losing finalists will spur his side on.

"You are at the National Stadium, 90 minutes away from being the best junior team in Northern Ireland and there is a hungry bunch of players and quality bunch of players in that changing room.

"We have prepared to the maximum for this game and we will be ready. We are in the final and nobody wants to be the runner-up. We are travelling to win the game."

But there is equal determination in the Hill Street camp, too.

"We don't fear anyone. We have plenty of respect but we don't fear anyone," said Wilson

"We treat everyone with total respect. It's built into us now to take each game as it comes and give our all every time."

Admission on Monday is £5 adults/£3 concession.