In sporting terms, sides from Fermanagh are often said to punch above their weight and Ballinamallard manager Harry McConkey is hoping that his side will show this trait on Saturday when they take on Dungannon Swift in the Quarter Final of the Irish Cup.

This is only Ballinamallard’s second ever Irish Cup quarter final and they will go into the game as big underdogs against Premiership outfit Dungannon but McConkey feels that if his side can produce a big performance then they are more than capable of making life difficult for the Swifts.

“People will see us going up there as no hopers but it is in our DNA in Fermanagh to punch above our weight and we will relish the fact that this is in front of us.

“We are just another group of players from this part of the world trying to fly our flag for the county and do our very best. We know that if Dungannon play to their very best on the day then they will be clearly expecting to wipe the floor with us but we also know if we play to our very best we can make anything happen. That’s what we will be trying to stress to the players, we will go out there and try and keep our heads and do what we have been doing very well at times this season. If we can bring one of our really good performances out we will give Dungannon a really good game,” said the Mallards boss.

Dungannon have been in good form in recent months and McConkey acknowledges that they have a lot of quality in their ranks.

“They have some very good technical players throughout the team. They are solid at the back, their full backs push on and they are spoilt for choice in the middle of the field. Then up front they have Daniel Hughes who is real quality in the box. They are also a threat from set pieces with their physicality and height so we know it is going to be a big challenge,” he said.

From a Ballinamallard point of view though he believes that they have the players to give Dungannon bother too.

“I would say that they are not really relishing playing us either because they will know that we can sting them. I have said all season that if we can get ourselves on the front foot against teams then we have some players up top who can give any back four a problem,” added McConkey.

As always, McConkey and his management team will have their homework done on the opposition.

“We have given every single opponent this season respect and that is no different this time around with Dungannon. They earn our total respect because they are on an incredible run. Myself and my coaches will provide the players with the information they need on Dungannon but we won’t overload them, we want to focus on the great positivity we have had ourselves,” he stated.

And the Mallards will go into the game with an added spring to their step following last week’s win over Portadown.

“What that result does is that it makes it easier. We can’t get carried away with a win over Portadown, it doesn’t solve all the issues that we have to deal with, but there is no doubt about it that it does make everybody feel that bit lighter on the feet and it will have everybody busting this week to try and grab a place in the team. The group are now in a much more buoyant place than they were after the Carrick defeat last week.

“Because of the season we have had, none of us will get carried away but through the difficulties the boys have definitely learned and that arms us even better for Dungannon. We know that we cannot afford not to perform or we will get another big defeat like we got at Dundela. On the flip side of that if we play like we can we can get a fantastic result like we got last Saturday.”