On Tuesday night Linfield and Ballymena United FC go head to head in the rescheduled CAS semi-final tie at the Showgrounds (7.45pm ko, played to a finish on the night). The winners of this tie will meet holders Crusaders in the Final to be played in January (TBC). The two teams have already crossed swords twice in the IPL this season with honours remaining even after home wins by the same 2-1 score line.
Both teams had a quiet weekend when their respective Premiership games were postponed after heavy rainfall decimated the local fixture list. With the very real prospect of further match postponements looming in December, David will along with other Premiership managers be bracing themselves for a busy first few months in the New Year ahead.
Ballymena manager David Jeffrey will be hoping that his team's remarkable record run of eleven straight wins in all competitions can be embellished on Tuesday night. In November DJ was deservedly, and almost certainly unanimously awarded, a record 35th NIFWA Manager of the Month trophy. This has already been a season to remember for the Sky Blues supporters who have had their expectations of success raised high. They will now be looking for their team to push on and deliver a major trophy to the Showgrounds.
David for his part will be demanding another big performance to take the club forward to a second domestic cup final of the season. The Linfield players will be expecting a very difficult night at the Showgrounds against a Ballymena side who are obviously right on top of their game. It promises to be a very close encounter between two teams with really very little between them. The only possible downside lies with the continuing inclement weather which unfortunately leaves the fixture vulnerable to yet another postponement. After being forced to miss their weekend 'shot' of football, both sets of supporters will be hoping for some clear skies over Ballymena on Tuesday night! COYB!