STRATHROY Harps had double cause for celebration over the weekend after booking their place in the semi-finals of the Coca Cola Irish Junior Cup.
On Saturday the Harps brushed aside the challenge of St Patrick’s YM Seconds in a last eight decider at the Boucher Road Playing Fields, Belfast, courtesy of goals by Mark Sloan, Darren Teague, Tony Quinn and Ryan Mayse.
The quarter-final triumph came less than 24 hours after the defending champions were named the Senior Team of the Year at the UH annual sports awards evening in Kelly’s Inn, Ballygawley.
Harps player-manager Seamus Fanthorpe admitted everyone at the club was on a high after taking another step towards retaining the coveted silverware.
“To be recognised for last year’s achievement by other sports and by the local press was tremendous, You simply don’t pick these things off the ground,” he said.
“The confidence was high going into Saturday’s game, we knew we had the tools and experience to do the job and we are now looking forward to the semi-finals.”
While Harps have thrown their name into the hat for this week’s last four draw, there was bitter disappointment for Dergview and Fivemiletown United. United were defeated 3-0 by Lurgan Celtic in the quarter-final of the Mid Ulster Senior Cup while Dergview went down 3-1 to Championship Two opponents Banbridge Town in the last eight of the Coca Cola Intermediate League Cup.
That result was something of a surprise and manager Tommy Canning insisted his team had missed an excellent opportunity.
“It’s disappointing because we had everything we asked for in that we had been handed a home draw against a team we should be beating,” said Canning. “ The responsibility lies with the players and today they just didn’t produce the goods. As a result we’re out of the cup.
“That leaves us now with nothing but pride to play for as we look to finish as high up the table as we can.”