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Urney aiming to defy league odds in derby

AN URNEY team which has consistently proved its Intermediate championship credentials during the past decade is now intent on defying the odds once again.

League survival is still very much in the balance for the St Columba’s. But that has made no difference so far in a knock-out campaign which reaches an intriguing milestone this weekend.

The Clady side take on local rivals Owen Roes at Strabane in a tie which will capture the imagination and demand attention far beyond the boundaries of north Tyrone.

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The men in green and gold were inspired in their first round victory over Cookstown a fortnight ago.

Now, more of the same would do nicely indeed as they bid to reach the semi-finals.

Among those, unsurprisingly, who was to the forefront of their efforts was Jonathan Lafferty. His promptings helped ensure that they held on against the favourites from Fr Rocks to secure a win that the former Tyrone player is certain has boosted the confidence of both him and his teammates.

“The win over Cookstown was a good one for us because the first round of the championship is always tough. We’re just glad to have got into the quarter finals,” he said.

“But Owen Roes looked very strong as well in their win over Stewartstown and we’re definitely going to have our work cut out for us. There’s been two weeks to get ready for the game.

“We got a good start in the last round which definitely helped and thankfully we never gave up the league that we got. League form usually goes out the window in the championship and that’s what happened here.”

With Owen Roes safely secure in the middle of the Division Two table, Urney, who have had just two league wins so far, will be hoping that history repeats itself.

Their record of achievement in Division Two during the past few years should stand to them as they prepare for what’s expected to be a strenuous test.

“It’s a derby for both teams first and foremost and then the fact that it’s in the championship gives the tie that extra wee bit of spice as well,” added Jonathan Lafferty.

“They are a young and fit team, they’ve got a good system which works very well in bringing Cathal McShane into things and obviously he’s a massive player for them.

“But anything can happen in championship football. There’s no points up for grabs in the championship, so it’s a case of going out, working hard and seeing where that takes you.

“We need to pick up points in the league because we’re struggling. It’s nice though to be try to juggle the demands of the two at the moment.

“The win over Cookstown has given us good confidence and we’ve had a bit of momentum in the league as well. We’ll be looking forward to Owen Roes, the two teams will do their work on each other and I’m sure it’s going to be another tough game.”

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The Strabane Chronicle is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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