Ederney v Belnaleck, Saturday August 10 at Brewster Park, 8pm
Ederney go into the championship as the one rated as Derrygonnelly’s biggest challengers for the New York Cup but Declan McCusker stresses that the St Joseph’s side cannot afford to look any further ahead than Saturday’s quarter-final encounter against Belnaleck.
Belnaleck may be plying their trade in Division Two and come into the senior championship on the back of having won the Intermediate last year but McCusker says that they won’t be underestimating their opponents.
“We expect it to be tough, you only have to look at the players they have with six of them having been part of the Fermanagh squad in the last couple of years while they also have a number of Hogan Cup winners.
“They finished second in Division Two and that’s a credit to them because they seemed to be at a disadvantage to the other teams in the division given the number of county players they had missing for starred games,” said McCusker.
Ederney though enter the championship after a very positive Division One campaign and McCusker is hopeful that if they can find their best form then they can progress.
“We had a good enough league although it is hard to know where anybody is at the minute because nobody seemed to have had a full team available during the league, including ourselves. We know we face a big test but if we can get everything right on the night we are hopeful that we can get through,” he added.
Belnaleck are back in the senior championship for the first time in 51 years and Kane Connor states that they are looking forward to the challenge.
“It will be a big day for the club and one we are looking forward to,” he said. “We know that Ederney are going to be big favourites, they are a good side and had a good league.”
However, Connor acknowledges that Belnaleck have plenty of big game experience in their side and he feels that if they perform then they can push Ederney all the way.
“Hopefully we will turn up and give it a rattle. I don’t think the occasion will get to us as we have a lot of players who have played on the big day and we have good experience in the squad. We’ll be going out there looking for a performance,” he added.
Prediction: Ederney