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Cranes’ Suffolk Senior Cup final preparation hampered by ‘stag dos and jolly-ups’

Crane Sports manager Iain Radnor.

Crane Sports manager Iain Radnor.

James Ager

Bring your boots and you’ll get a game!

That’s the message from Crane Sports boss Iain Radnor – tongue placed firmly in cheek – ahead of his side’s clash with Achilles in the Suffolk Senior Cup final, at Portman Road, on Sunday.

While Achilles are brimming with confidence ahead of their first-ever appearance in the showpiece final, the current SIL champions have had their preparations punctured by trips abroad and Radnor is sweating on his players being back in time for the 2.30pm kick-off.

“Our preparation could not have been much worse and anyone with a pair of boots will get a game,” joked Radnor who will be pitting his wits against opposite number Luke Hillyard in the first all-SIL Senior Cup final for 19 years.

“I won’t know my squad until Sunday dinnertime at the earliest as I have three or four players flying home from stag dos and jolly ups which isn’t the best preparation.

“Two of the lads won’t be arriving back then, and that is provided they recover from their hangovers, make the flight and get home in time!

On the pitch, Cranes’ preparations for their big day haven’t been the best either – the Senior Division’s third-placed team and current champions, suffering a 1-0 home reverse to Leiston St Margarets on Tuesday night.

“We tried to work on a few things for Sunday, but it was a bit of a waste of an evening,” added Radnor who believes his side will be the underdogs.

“Achilles are the clear favourites, they are in great form and beat us recently, although there was not a lot of quality on the night.

“But it’s a one-off game, a prestigious game and we are looking to enjoy our day.”

A big crowd is expected for Sunday’s final, Achilles having beaten Capel Plough in the semi-finals and Cranes having overcome higher-league opposition in Haverhill Borough to reach Portman Road.

“The Senior Cup means everything to the lads that play locally at a non-paying level, especially with the final being played at Portman Road,” Radnor explained.

“All I will ask of my boys is that they give everything and make our fans proud.”

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