WE get ready to welcome Dundela to Inver Park tomorrow for the third meeting of the season between the clubs.
The Duns have performed fantastically well all season, their first back in the Championship, and we know a stern examination waits for us at Inver Park tomorrow. Our form is good and so is our record at Inver Park this season, but the boys have taken nothing for granted this season and I certainly don’t expect that to start tomorrow.
The win over Portadown last week leaves us in a really good position, but it’s up to us to keep putting the points on the board and hopefully our aim will be met. With Irish Cup tickets on sale before and after the match tomorrow, it’s a great day to get back to Inver Park and we’ll hopefully see you there in your numbers, as we have all season.
As we reflect on that win at Portadown last week, I know the management was delighted to see the gritty side of our game as we got back to digging out a result away from home. The heavy rain made it a sticky pitch for both sides, the Ports pushed us hard and the conditions were difficult, but we showed our character to get the three points.
I have to also take time to mention what turned out to be the winning goal from Davy McDaid. What a strike it was, and worthy of winning any match. I think Marty Donnelly might have a bit of competition the next time we get a free-kick in and around the box – I’ll leave that up to them to sort out!
The support which travelled to Shamrock Park was again a huge factor in coming away with the victory. The noise from before kick-off up until the final whistle really drives the boys on and is appreciated very much by them and the club. Keep travelling in numbers and keep bringing the noise, because you really are the 12th man when you do that.
One area of concern however, remains the use of flares and smoke bombs. The message from the authorities, and from us, is that they need to be left at home. They are putting us at the risk of being fined and they are causing problems for other fans, especially those who have breathing issues. The one thing I want to underline is, they’re not needed in creating an atmosphere. The noise, colour and numbers you bring is what does that and what the players appreciate the most. Everything else just deflects from the tremendous support, as it leaves us having to talk about them, so I would really ask you to leave them at home.
Two weeks tonight we will be taking on holders Coleraine in the Irish Cup at Inver Park, live on BBC Northern Ireland. Typing sentences like that are a reminder of how far we have come together on this journey. This past week has seen lots of meetings with BBC, the project manager, health & safety and the police as we prepare for the night. We are doing everything we can to increase the capacity, but only time will tell. The spotlight will be on both clubs that night and we want those watching at home to be talking about the match for all the right reasons.
Ticket sales are going fantastically well, so please don’t delay if you haven’t got yours yet. General sale begins after the Dundela match tomorrow from the Club Shop, so make sure you’re in to avoid disappointment.
Finally, we will be delighted to welcome two local goalscoring heroes to tomorrow’s match in the shape of Harry ‘Chooky’ Rainey and Tom ‘Tucker’ McCourt. It’s important we remember our rich past and honour the people who helped to shape so many memories as we look forward to a bright future.
Our thanks as ever goes to this week’s match sponsor CarNET Car Sales and the matchball sponsor Hannah K footwear. We are also thankful for our regular sponsors the Curran Court Hotel, who assist our prematch preparations, Graham’s Pizzas who look after the players’ food post match and our man of the match sponsor Classic Drinks.