DERRYGONNELLY forward Conall Jones is expecting a stern test when the Harps take on Kinawley in Brewster Park on Friday night (8pm).

Last season’s Intermediate champions have impressed in the league and Jones feels that there are similarities between the two squads.

“Kinawley are a very skilled team and a real up and coming team. They won the Intermediate last year, and it seems like they have really pushed on this year.

“They beat us in the league and their only loss came to Ederney to a last-minute goal, so they have been good.

“The thing about them is that they are similar to us in that they have a good mix of youth and experience, and they are all physically very fit,” he said.

The Harps are edging closer to a sixth New York Cup in a row but Jones stressed that they are looking no further ahead than the Kinawley showdown this weekend.

“You can’t look any further than the next game. It gets harder every year and there are always new teams coming up.”

“Kinawley have pushed on from last year and, with a full squad, they are a serious danger.

“They have sharp forwards and we are going to have to find a way to reduce their scoring power up front,” he said.

However, Jones feels that the tough, physical encounter against Roslea in the quarter final will stand to the Harps.

“The game against Roslea was very beneficial to ourselves. It was physical and went right down to the wire, but that’s what you expect from a championship match and from Roslea, and we were just glad to get over the line,” he added.

Kinawley will be hoping to book their place in a championship final for the first time since 1993.

However, experienced defender Niall Bogue knows the size of the examination lying ahead of them.

“It is going to be massive step up, Derrygonnelly are going for six in a row and they have been there, and they have the experience.

“They are the team to beat so it is going to be a massive ask,” he said.

The Brian Borus did defeat Derrygonnelly in the league but Bogue says that will count for nothing come Friday night.

“You can play all the league games you want but championship is a different ball game and Derrygonnelly will probably have learnt a few things from that league game.

“It is going to be completely different and if you think that a league level performance is going to win a championship game, then you are going to be disappointed

“It is going to take a much better performance to stay with them,” he added.

Kinawley are a club that are moving in the right direction and Bogue says that the influx of young players has been a breath of fresh air.

“We have some great young lads coming through. There is good competition for places and when you see good young players coming through, it makes it more enjoyable and is an incentive to keep going.

“There is a lot of work put in at the club to get these lads through.”

And he says games against the best in the county are where they want to be.

“It is a great opportunity. Obviously, it is a big test and it is going to be a big ask, but that’s why you play football - to test yourself and see how you get on.

“There is no bigger test than Derrygonnelly but we will give it our best shot and see how we get on,” he said.