Tummery Athletic go into the final of the Mulhern Cup against NFC Kesh as many people’s favourites for victory, but manager Gerry Love thinks his side may well be underdogs given their demanding recent schedule of fixtures.

Tummery have progressed to the final of the Irish Junior Cup and have also had to cram in eight league fixtures in the past month, and Love reckons that schedule will be in Kesh’s favour.

“Kesh have had a completely clear time preparation wise,” said the Tummery boss. “You could maybe even say that Kesh would be going into this match as slight favourites to win given the fact that they are a good cup side and they come in with a clean bill of health.”

Tummery are the reigning Cup holders, and in contrast to Kesh’s single victory in the tournament they have lifted the cup on four occasions. The most recent of those victories came last year with a 2-0 extra time win over Enniskillen Town, and based purely on results this season Tummery would appear to be clear favourites to retain the cup. Although their league challenge ended in disappointment after a draw against Enniskillen Rangers on Monday evening, they remain undefeated in the entire league campaign and that has included two victories over final opposition Kesh. Despite those successes, Love reckons that recent history will count for nothing when they face up to each other on Ferney Park on Friday evening. “We don’t gain any extra confidence from beating them twice this season,” he said. “Maybe a bit of satisfaction possibly, but confidence no because it is a one off game, and the most recent game counted for nothing at all. It is a cup game and anything can happen in a cup game. It’s a one off and the last chance Kesh have to get something from the season.”

Tummery’s chances may well hinge on the strength of the side that Love is able to select. The manager was forced into changes on Monday against Rangers after some players picked up knocks, and he admits his side will be dependent on late fitness tests on several players.

“Obviously the schedule we have had has been extremely demanding and we have picked up a few injuries because of that schedule,” he acknowledged.

“We will give everybody every opportunity to make it, but we will have to leave that decision up to the very last minute.”