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John Minnis Estate Agents Burney Cup Final - Preview

Friends' will be aiming to avenge their McCullough Cup final defeat by Sullivan Upper on Thursday when the teams renew their rivalry in the John Minnis Estate Agents Burney Cup decider at Stormont (7.30pm) 

In doing so they will be out to turn the clock back 40 years since they last won Ulster schoolboys' hockey's most prestigious trophy. No team has won the competition on more occasions than the Lisburn school, with 15 triumphs to their name.

Friends' went agonisingly close to lifting the McCullough Cup in December when they lead 2-1 with only a minute to go, before Sullivan equalised and then won 4-3 in a penalty shootout.

They have to go back to 1978 for their last Burney success, and have had three final appearances since, losing in 1986, 1995 and more recently in 2012.

Coach Craig Cunningham is in no doubt about the magnitude of the task that lies ahead against the holders, who beat Wallace in last year's final and are now looking to make it a double for the current season.

Sullivan are a top side who have quality throughout and as defending champions they have plenty of experience in finals over past few years." he said. 

"They never give up,  as we know only too well from the McCullough cup final. That was an even match and it should be close again on Thursday." 

"Both sides were efficient in semi final and relied on penalty corners, that has been one of our strengths this year along with a great team spirit. Hockey in Friends' is on a high at the moment with both the boys and girls teams getting to finals."

Sullivan Upper:
Thomas McCord, Paddy Crookshanks, Matthew Willis, Tom Robson, Michael Trimble, Callum Carson, Fergus Gibson, Matthew Morris, Sonny Erskine, Daniel Girvin, Fergus Kerr, Patrick Haley, Isaac Hart, Tom McClintock, Djay Erskine, Jamie McAuley.

Friends' School:
Ryan Kirkpatrick, Matthew Hamill, Matthew Thompson, Ross Little, Harry Scott, Conor Monteith, Matthew Milliken, Rory Brown, Sam Anderson, Hugo Henderson, Ollie Kidd, Matthew Aughey, Jack McGall, Conor Quinn, Conor Irwin, Andy Edgar, Jack Simpson

How they got here:

Preliminary round: Bye
Round One: Sullivan Upper 3 Bangor Grammar 1
Quarter-final: Sullivan Upper 3 Campbell College 0
Semi-final: Sullivan Upper 3 Wallace High 2 

Friends' School:
Preliminary round: Bye
Round One: Antrim Grammar 0 Friends' School 6
Quarter-final: Friends' School 6 Cookstown High 0
Semi-final: Friends' School 3 Methodist College Belfast 1

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