Brookeborough v Derrylin

Sunday August 30

in Donagh, 12noon

Brookeborough and Derrylin will meet on Sunday in Donagh with a place in the semi-final of the Junior Championship up for grabs for the winners.

It is not do or die as the format of the Junior Championship allows for a second chance for the loser but both sides will be keen to make the semi-final at the first time of asking.

After some good performances to date in the league Derrylin will go into the game as favourites but O’Connells manager Aidan Gilroy is expecting a tough test.

“It is going to be tough, Brookeborough are like ourselves, they want to get out of Junior football, they have been there long enough.

“They have decent forwards who can cause you problems so we know that we are going to have to produce a performance,” said Gilroy, who reveals that he will have a full hand to select from for Sunday’s encounter.

“We have a couple of niggles but nothing that will hold anyone back from being available for selection, in that respect it is good to get to the championship with the full hand available,” he added.

The O’Connell’s did suffer a heavy defeat in their last league outing against Lisnaskea but Gilroy is delighted with the response to that from the squad.

“I would be delighted with how we have done so far apart from the defeat to Lisnaskea in our last game.There has been a good response in training since that defeat and maybe it was the kick up the behind that we needed. The boys are hungry and they want to go out and see if they can go one better than last year,” he said.

Brookeborough manager Niall Rooney spoke at the start of the season about wanting his side to be competitive in the league and on the whole that has been the case for the Heber McMahons.

“Apart from Teemore, who are very strong and are a senior championship team while we are obviously a Junior Championship team, we have held our own in most games. We beat Donagh and we could have beat Coa in Coa. We have been competitive and that is pleasing,” he said.

Indeed, he believes that all the sides in this year’s championship have a right to feel that they could lift the silverware at the end of it.

“The four teams in the Junior Championship, any one of the teams could beat any of the others on the day. It is about getting a bit of luck on the day and getting a good performance.”

And Rooney knows that his side will need a performance if they are to progress on Sunday.

“Derrylin have been going strong enough in the league before losing to Lisnaskea and they are well improved from last year. Hopefully on the day though we can get a performance and get the result but we will just have to wait and see what happens,” he said.