LOCAL rugby fans will be roaring on their respective teams this weekend in the hope of a big day out for the Powerade Towns’ Cup Final at Ravenhill’s Kingspan Stadium on Easter Monday.
Clogher Valley host neighbours and rivals Enniskillen in the first semi-final at the Cran while Omagh Accies face treble-chasing Bangor at Upritchard Park.
When the last four draw was made at headquarters there was no doubt Phil Marshall’s injury-ravaged Accies drew the short straw in every sense of the word. They lock horns with a Bangor outfit which has already bagged the Junior Cup and is slogging it out with Instonians for the Qualifying League One title.
The Seasiders will be firm favourites to secure another trip to the Kingspan but Marshall insists his charges can upset the form book.
Last weekend Omagh posted a slender one-point victory over Dromore and the coach was encouraged by the performance of his somewhat ‘experimental’ team, especially in the first 40 minutes.
“We have been experimenting a wee bit out of necessity more than anything else,” said the coach.
“The first half last Saturday was the best we had played for a long time and there were a few things that we had changed which seemed to work.
“There’s no doubt Bangor are massive favourites but previously against them this season we were competitive up to a point.
“If we can replicate Saturday’s first half display for an hour or more then I think we can give them a rattle.
While Omagh are up against it, Clogher are favourites to secure another trip to Ulster Rugby HQ when Glen Kyle’s team square up to Enniskillen at the Cran.
That mouth-watering tie will draw a big derby crowd with the Qualifying One side expected to come through with a little something to spare.
Kyle though will be warning his players against complacency.
“Anything can happen in a derby,” stressed the coach.
“It’s a semi-final at home and it’s all about the players stepping up to the plate. It’s all on the day. We have been in this position many many times and ultimately it comes down to who wants it more.
“Enniskillen have nothing to lose, they are a team hungry for success and I’m under no illusions they will be hard to beat.”
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