No risks in low key cup final rehearsal

Daniel Kearns - expected to start against Linfield on Saturday.
Daniel Kearns - expected to start against Linfield on Saturday.

It may be a rehearsal for the Irish Cup final with Linfield coming to Mourneview Park on Saturday, but after last week’s results both sides have nothing to play for.

Glenavon will use the match to give game time to players recovering from knocks and also slot in some of the young up and coming players from the reserves.

“Thankfully we can use this game to get some players 90 minutes without worrying about the result,” said manager Gary Hamilton.

“The fact we managed to secure third place last week takes all the pressure off. It’s an ideal situation for both clubs.

“We have players who are recovering from injury so it is vital they get through 90 minutes to see if they can figure in the cup final squad.”

James McGrath will get his first league start of the season in goal while Daniel Kearns, Mark Sykes, Andy McGrory, Declan O’Brien and David Elebert will benefit from the 90 minutes.

Bobby Burns, Caolan Marron and Conal Delaney can also expect a run out.

It may be a low key affair, but it is the perfect end to the league campaign with the manager not having to risk players ahead of the cup final.

After the game Hamilton and his backroom team will then begin the process of selecting the 16 man squad for the big day.

There will be big decisions to make not just who starts, but who makes the bench.

Tickets for the final are going fast - the lower deck for Glenavon fans has been sold out with seats in the upper tier now being sold.

Glenavon officials are hoping their numbers will hit the 5,000 mark.