Maguiresbridge and Derrylin will battle it out for the Junior Championship title under the lights at Brewster Park on Friday night.

Silverware is up for grabs for both sides but maybe more importantly is the promotion to the Intermediate Championship for 2020 for the winners so this is sure to be a well contested clash.

The sides have already met in the championship this year with Derrylin coming through in that encounter and Maguiresbridge manager Keith Reilly accepted that while the O’Connells were underdogs going into the game, they won on merit.

“I suppose having lost to them already it gives us a bit of an incentive to make sure that we get the result this time. We felt that we didn’t perform in that first game and Derrylin deserved their win but the format of the championship means that we have an opportunity to put that right and what that defeat did was show our players that if you don’t perform then you don’t deserve anything,” said Reilly.

Maguiresbridge bounced back from that loss to defeat Brookeborough last weekend to secure their place in the final and Reilly acknowledges that it is important now to go on and win the title and take that step up to Intermediate for next season.

“For our younger group of players coming through, you want them to be playing at as high a level as possible, so it is important to get up to Intermediate,” he said.

However, he knows that it is going to be a tight encounter on Friday night and he feels that the middle third is going to be crucial.

“Both sides would generally be tight enough at the back so it will be about which forwards have the better of things and the key to that is whoever can come out on top in the middle and get ball into their forward line,” he added.

Derrylin boss Ferghal Shannon stresses that his focus is on getting a performance out of his side on the night.

“We will be looking to get our best performance and if we can do that then hopefully the result will look after itself,” said Shannon, who isn’t reading too much into his side’s earlier win over Maguiresbridge.

“It is a new game, it’s a championship final and they are different to semi-finals. I don’t think that previous game will have any bearing on Friday night’s game.”

Not too many tipped Derrylin to make an impact in the championship this year and while Shannon stresses that his side will be the underdogs for the game, he states that they will be aiming to give it their best shot.

“There wasn’t too many people talking about us in terms of the championship this year but we always believed that we had a puncher’s chance. Maguiresbridge will be hot favourites going into the game but I feel that the players have improved a lot from last year and we want to go out and give a really good account of ourselves,” he commented.

And, like Reilly, Shannon is expecting a tightly fought final.

“I can’t see there being a lot in it. There will obviously be key battles and you would be hoping that each player can win their own battle and help in getting that performance that I’ve talked about,” he said.