INSTITUTE Football Club will attempt to secure a St. Stephen’s Day Final when they take on Intermediate outfit, Newbuildings United, in the Craig Memorial Cup semi-final tomorrow afternoon at Newbuildings Park. (Kick-off: 2 p.m.)
The Drumahoe club is seeking a place in what would be their second final of the season having already booked a North-West Senior Cup Final spot against Coleraine on October 25th next.
Although firm favourites to record victory against their Waterside neighbours, ‘Stute’s joint manager, Paul Carlyle expects a difficult derby clash against a junior club which will be going all out to cause a major upset.
“We have the chance to get into our second final this season, so we’ll want to win the game,” said Carlyle. “We face Coleraine on October 25th and if we win on Saturday then we have a Boxing Day Final, so it’s all to play for.”
A resurgent ‘Stute recorded their fourth successive league win against Warrenpoint Town at the Riverside Stadium last weekend but Carlyle was disappointed at their complacency and failure to kill off their opponents, warning they must raise their game tomorrow.
“We’ll be ready for the semi-final and because we were complacent against Warrenpoint that is something we’ll be looking to make sure that doesn’t happen against Newbuildings.
“Because it’s a derby and they are a junior club they’ll be up for it and going out to impress, so because of that we need to be fully focused.”
Carlyle will have to reshuffle his pack as Declan McKeever is ruled out through suspension while Mark Kelly (ankle) and Sean Friars (calf) are rated doubtful having sustained injuries during last Saturday’s 4-3 win.
“We have Thomas McBride and John Curran back, so we are pretty much back to full strength, but Declan McKeever is suspended and both Mark Kelly and Sean Friars are both struggling,” confirmed the ‘Stute boss.
Carn F.C. Open New
Pitch on Sunday
Carn Football Club will host Irish League side, Cliftonville, at St Patrick’s Park, Carndonagh on Sunday afternoon to mark the official opening of the Inishowen League team’s new pitch. (2.30 pm)
The club’s pitch has been closed for the past 12 months for extensive renovations and a large crowd is expected to attend the match against the North Belfast side.
Founded in 1976, Carn has enjoyed success in the Inishowen League and won the Ulster Senior League in its inaugural season. More recently the club has won the Top Four Cup in the 2010/11 campaign and has twice reached the semi-final stages of the F.A.I. Junior Cup.