David Jeffrey’s side have reached the semi-finals of the County Antrim Shield and League Cup

Ballymena United manager David Jeffrey says he expects a “momentous battle” in Tuesday’s County Antrim Shield semi-final against Ards at the Showgrounds.

A last-gasp Tony Kane strike in extra-time secured a 3-2 win for the Sky Blues in the League Cup quarter-final between the sides a fortnight ago.

“The games between us have been very tight this season and we know the challenge ahead of us,” said Jeffrey.

Crusaders host Carrick Rangers in the other semi-final tie at Seaview.

“Ards are coming off the back of a phenomenal result at the Oval – if we are going to progress we going to have to be at our very best,” added Jeffrey.

Ards boss Colin Nixon says his side, who saw off Linfield 1-0 at the last eight stage at Windsor Park, have endured a “punishing schedule” in recent weeks but welcomes the chance to get to a final.

Crusaders lost 3-1 to Linfield in last season’s Shield decider but are currently on an unbeaten run of 10 games in all competitions.

A late double from Paul Heatley helped Stephen Baxter’s team come from 2-1 behind to beat north Belfast rivals Cliftonville in the quarter-finals.

Carrick will welcome the break from Premiership action as they have lost their last six league matches.

Meanwhile, Glenavon defeated Portadown 2-1 in Monday night’s Mid-Ulster Cup semi-final at Shamrock Park.

Goals from Adam Foley and Jordan Jenkins gave Glenavon a 2-0 lead by half-time with Peter Duffin pulling a late goal back for the Ports in the second half.


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