COCA-COLA INTERMEDIATE CUP PREVIEW
DERGVIEW v INSTITUTE
Tuesday April 3, 7.45pm at Stangmore, Dungannon
TWO teams that promised much this season but to this point have delivered little will lock horns at Stangmore Park this evening bidding for a place in the final of the prestigious Coca Cola Intermediate Cup.
With Ballinamallard United clinching the Championship One title at the weekend, both Dergview and Institute could mathematically still claim runners-up spot but in terms of silverware the North West pair are pinning all their hopes on the Intermediate Cup.
Just two points separate the sides in the Championship rankings although the Castlederg outfit have three games in hand. And having picked up 10 points out of a possible 12 including the 3-1 victory over Loughgall United on Saturday, Harry McConkey’s charges are going into the last-four encounter with a certain degree of momentum.
In stark contrast the Derry side was defeated 1-0 at home by HW Welders on Saturday however the Drumahoe outfit is recognised as one of the best footballing sides in the league and well capable of beating any team on their day.
Dergview manager McConkey believes ‘Stute start as slight favourites, but remains confident that his team has the capability of booking a cup final date with the winners of the Newry City versus Larne semi.
For McConkey the eagerly-anticipated semi-final clash takes the Enniskillen school teacher back to his old stomping ground which holds many great memories for him.
Before taking an enforced break from football some years back, McConkey coached for a number of seasons at Stangmore and was a member of the great Lisbellaw United team that defeated Moyola Park in the final of the 1978 Irish Junior Cup at the same venue.
Stangmore holds many positive experiences for the Derg supremo, who insists that the surface at the Dungannon will allow both teams to express themselves.
Absolutely both sides like to play football and there are few better playing surfaces than Dungannon,” said McConkey.
Everyone knows about Institute. They have a top management team in place and they play a brand of football that people are prepared to pay to watch.