Irish Daily Mirror - - SPORTS - BY ORLA BAN­NON

Cushen­dall Bal­ly­cran To­mor­row, Ath­letic Grnds, 8pm

v IT’S 25 years since Down cham­pi­ons Bal­ly­cran last got their hands on an Ul­ster ti­tle and mid­fielder Scott Ni­chol­son says the older play­ers have a mas­sive role to play in to­mor­row’s fi­nal.

They take on Antrim cham­pi­ons Cushen­dall, who were last pro­vin­cial win­ners in 2015 (be­low).

“It would mean ev­ery­thing to us, the whole club and com­mu­nity has got be­hind us and even for peo­ple who don’t usu­ally fol­low Bal­ly­cran it is a big deal,” said Ni­chol­son.

“For the play­ers it would put the ic­ing on the cake af­ter a good year. A lot of the guys have played county hurl­ing and played big games.

“A lot of us have played Christy Ring and played in Croke Park in 2013 so it’s im­por­tant that the older boys keep the younger boys shel­tered a bit from it.”

Bal­ly­cran have been the gi­ant-killers this year and knocked out back-to­back Ul­ster cham­pi­ons Slaugh­t­neil of Derry in the semi-fi­nal.

“I think that helped big style when the big games came,” Ni­chol­son added. “Cushen­dall will be favourites. We’ve played them a cou­ple of times this year and they have good hurlers, but we’ll stick to what we do.”

EX­PE­RI­ENCE Ni­chol­son is one of a host of Bal­ly­cran men to have played at county level

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