IT’S a South Belfast derby on Saturday in Newry as Carryduff and Bredagh meet in the Down Intermediate Hurling Championship final (throw-in 5.30pm).
The teams met earlier this year in Division Two of the Antrim Hurling League with Carryduff scoring a big win over their local rivals, but Bredagh have been operating on a different level in recent weeks.
The Harps played in the Down Senior Hurling Championship that saw them enjoy five games in the round robin.
The format saw the top four advance into the semi-finals with the bottom two moving back into the Intermediate semi-finals.
Bredagh scored just one win in those games, a five-point win over Newry Shamrocks, but it wasn’t enough to make it to the last four of the premier competition.
Instead, they and the winless Shamrocks were given a second shot at silverware at the lower grade and while Bredagh were impressive winners over Cumann Pheadair Naofa in their semi-final clash a fortnight back, Newry were well beaten by Carryduff.
It all sets up an intriguing battle at Pairc Esler this Saturday with plenty at stake.
Carryduff are no strangers to Intermediate final day, but have tasted only disappointment in recent years with Liatroim handing them defeat last year after Newry Shamrocks had done likewise the year before.
They will be determined to ensure they can take the final step this time around and their performances this year suggest that they have made good strides as they were competitive at the top end of Division Two.
In contrast, Bredagh struggled at the other end of the table, finishing second from bottom with their sole win coming in their second game against Creggan who went on to win the Antrim Intermediate crown last week.
Undoubtedly, they will hope this is an omen for Saturday’s clash and their strong win in the semi-final suggests that mixing it with the top clubs in Down in the Senior Championship has been of benefit.
Derby games can take a life of their own and will so much on the line, not to mention local bragging rights, this ought to be an extremely competitive hour-plus of hurling.