Kinawley manager Kevin Gilleece is hoping that it will be third time lucky for his side when they take on St Paul’s in the Ulster Ladies Club IFC Final in Emyvale on Saturday at 2pm.

The Brian Borus suffered defeat in the 2016 final to Shane O’Neills (Armagh) by four points before going down to Monaghan outfit Emmet Og in a tight encounter in last year’s decider, one point dividing the sides at the final whistle.

Gilleece is hopeful though that they can go one better and secure the silverware this time around.

“At this stage everybody is looking forward to it and there is a good buzz about the club. This will be our third Ulster final in four years and having lost the last two we are hoping to go one better this time around. It would be just great for those girls who have suffered defeat on those previous two times to get over the line this time and claim the win,” he stated.

Kinawley have had to battle hard to get this far, edging out a good Killeeshill side in the quarter final by two points before defeating O’Neill Shamrocks from Monaghan by a point after extra time.

Gilleece feels though that these tight contests will stand to his side on Saturday against St Paul’s.

“Both games have gone to the wire and we have been pushed all the way in those games. The Killeeshill tie was nip and tuck throughout and could have gone either way and in the semi-final against O’Neill Shamrocks it needed extra time to get through.

“There has been a lot of hard work and effort put in to get this far and I think the fact that we got through those games will give the players confidence and if it is tight again on Sunday they will have the belief that they can win these type of games. We would like to think that the games we have had in the competition to date will serve us well on Sunday,” he added.

In contrast, Belfast side St Paul’s have had two very comfortable wins over Gowna and Kilcoo en route to the final and Gilleece knows that it is going to be a massive test of his side on Saturday.

“It is going to take a massive performance if we are to win it and there is no doubt that St Paul’s will go into it as favourites. They played senior for a number of years but have been regraded so they will have that experience to call on of playing at the higher level,” he said.

Indeed, St Paul’s are filled with players with inter-county experience with a number of current Antrim players in their ranks.

Defensively, they will look to Maria Hanna and Saoirse Tennyson while they can also call on a former Kinawley player, Aishling Healy, who is goalkeeper for the Antrim outfit.

Further up the pitch Lara Dahunsi will be a massive threat to Kinawley’s hopes while Aine Tubridy, Emma Kelly, Niamh Enright and Northern Ireland soccer international Kirsty McGuinness will also need to be carefully marshalled.

Kinawley too though have their fair share of county players in their squad and with Fermanagh and Antrim having met numerous times in recent years, the players will know each other well at this stage.

Kinawley will look to the Murphy sisters, Courteney, Erin and Michaela along with Eimear Keenan to keep a tight rein on the St Paul’s attack while they will also be hoping that Roisin O’Reilly and Aine McGovern can provide them with a solid footing in the middle of the park.

And then they will look to the likes of captain Joanne Doonan, the Maguire sisters Lisa and Danielle along with Niamh McManus to get the scores needed.

“We are going into this game holding no fear,” said Gilleece. “Yes, they are a good side but we have good belief in our players and we will be looking to get a big performance from everybody that takes to the pitch. We need everybody to put their shoulder to the wheel and the girls have shown in the last couple of games that they will keep going to the death.

“We are going there with the aim of winning an Ulster title,” said Gilleece.