Ballinamallard United ramped up their preparations for the Irish Cup encounter with Dergview on Saturday May 1 at Ferney Park with two more wins.

On Saturday, Harry McConkey’s charges travelled to Portstewart and recorded a 4-1 win before then registering a 7-1 win over Dungannon Swifts at Stangmore Park on Monday night.

The Ducks boss was pleased with both workouts but he is not reading too much into the results from the games.

“In terms of results these games don’t really mean anything but for coaches and managers they do in terms of performance levels, players attitudes and getting the fitness levels up, these are vital.

“We are seeing the boys have made some progress and it is good to get them that game time but we are not in any way getting carried away and we know there is a big difference between a friendly game and a competitive game when players are going to have to play for longer periods,” he stated.

McConkey has said all along that this period of preparation is as much, if not more, about being ready for the start of next season than it is about the Irish Cup.

“I think that regardless of the result on May 1 this has still been a very valuable exercise for us and I would defy anyone to tell me different. The players have all loved getting back together again and they have all loved getting game time. They have started to re-ignite the relationships that were already there and we have put a lot into these lads. I just hope it stands by them and they get some reward for it but if they don’t I think they will get their reward in the longer term. When we come back for the new season we will hopefully be in a better position to start that challenge, anything we get in the Irish Cup for me is simply a bonus,” he commented.

On Monday night Ballinamallard faced a Dungannon Swifts side that was a mix of first team squad players and U20s and the Mallards bossed things from the outset with the lively Darragh McBrien opening the scoring after good work by Josh McIlwaine.

McIlwaine was again involved in number two as he picked out the late run by Reece Byrne who slotted home before McBrien grabbed his second and Ballinamallard’s third, dancing his way into the box before firing a bullet of a shot to the top corner.

A fourth arrived soon after as McIlwaine powered home a header from a well delivered Richard Clarke corner while Sam Robb then made it five as he skipped in from the left and tucked the ball to the bottom corner.

Dungannon pulled a goal back before half time before a string of changes at the break.

Ballinamallard increased their lead as Ryan Campbell clipped home a free kick and Jason McCartney rounded off the scoring from the spot after Ryan Morris was upended.

Two days earlier, the Mallards made the trip to Portstewart and it was the home side who led at the interval.

However, the Ducks were back on level terms when a delightful McCartney ball picked out Campbell to make it 1-1 before McIlwaine put the away side ahead.

Jason McCartney and Alex Holder then added goals to leave it 4-1 at the finish.

The Mallards will continue gearing up for the meeting with Dergview this week with an in-house game.

On the injury front, McConkey has concerns over defensive pair Dean Curry and Ben McCann and says that it is a case of wait and see with regards their fitness for the cup clash.

“We are presently nursing Dean Curry and Ben McCann who have had niggly injuries and we feel we need to protect them. Their rehab is going well but whether they make it for May 1 it remains to be seen. We have a duty of care to both players, they are both chomping at the bit to return to action but we have to be very careful with them,” he said.