Carrickfergus captain CJ van der Walt will tell his players to enjoy the occasion and believe they can cause an upset in today’s Challenge Cup final at Stormont (11.00am).

With Waringstown flying high near the top of the Premier League and this the first of three cup finals for them – and Carrick seeing out in the league season in the bottom four - van der Walt, in his first year as skipper, is under no illusion at the size of the club’s task in their first senior cup final.

“The club has waited for long enough for the final (155 years) and while it was not the ideal way to reach the final (a bowl-out success against Lisburn), the way the weather is at the moment is we got the opportunity to be where we are and everyone is buzzing,” said van der Walt.

“Apart from Michael Rippon (their Dutch professional), no-one has played in as big a game as this. If we put up a good fight and win the final we will be remembered in the club forever.

The road to the final for the two teams highlights the difference between the teams with Waringstown’s closest margin being 97 runs and Carrick’s biggest 25 runs.

“Throughout the whole season we  haven’t made it easy for ourselves. Our best win was against CIYMS when we were on the back foot from ball one in the second innings, defending 168 which we knew wasn’t enough, but you have to believe you can do it and we restricted them, proving the boys are capable of doing something like that.

And the final is a reward for long-servants such as Michael Gilmour, Iain Parkhill and Alex Haggan, all survivors from their four-timer in 2014 when they were in Section One.

“Speak to anyone of them and this is most definitely the game they have wanted so it will be a privilege because you never know it might never happen again,” added the 26-year-old South African native.

“Those boys who have done a lot for the club down the years deserve to embrace the moment and go out and enjoy the day. This will psyche up the boys, they have been around for years and it’s massive for the players.”

 Squads - Carrickfergus: CJ van der Walt (capt), C Averill, J Egan, M Rippon, M Gilmour, I Parkhill, A Haggan, B Cave, A Shetty, L Cave, M Armstrong, R Armstrong, R Arbuthnot

Waringstown: G Thompson (capt), R Allen, R Bessell, S Best, P Botha, J Bushe, J Cameron-Dow, A Dennison, G Hume, J McCollum, M McClean, J Mitchell, B Snell, J Snell, M Topping.