Casement SC Antrim JHC quarter-final
Davitt’s v Armoy Glen Rovers (Davitt Park, Saturday, 3pm)
DAVITT’S hurling boss Martin Mooney insists his side have nothing to lose as they prepare for Saturday’s Junior Championship quarter final tie against Armoy.
Mooney’s team won their first two games in Group One against Ballymena and St Brigid’s, but an error-strewn display against Rasharkin contributed to a 4-11 to 0-14 defeat at Dreen which cost them an automatic semi-final place.
Armoy meanwhile, were the third team to qualify from Group Two following a 2-19 to 2-9 victory over Lámh Dhearg.
Despite expressing his delight at reaching this stage, there was a slight twinge of disappointment for Mooney at his side’s inability to top the group and progress straight to the semi-finals, but they have another chance to reach the last four and a meeting with Glenarm.
“We’re very happy with where we are at the minute and qualifying out of the group,” he said.
“We were obviously disappointed with the last result, getting beat which prevented us from topping the group, but we played well in our first two games.
“We probably let ourselves down a wee bit at the Rasharkin game but we’re happy and preparing well for the weekend. We’re at home on Saturday so we should give it a good go.”
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Mooney admits that the manner of the defeat against Rasharkin hurt the most, and that they must learn from their mistakes if they want to overcome Armoy at the weekend.
“All defeats are hard to take but it was quite tough, I thought we could have played better,” he reflected.
“We conceded a couple of soft goals early on which put us on the back foot from the start but I thought in general, apart from those soft goals we hurled well.
“There wasn’t much in the game, the goals were a big contribution to us getting beat and if you cut out the mistakes there’s nothing in the match at all.”
The manager has quickly put that result behind him and has instead turned his attention to building on the positive performances his side have produced so far.
“I thought against Ballymena we played as well as we’ve played all year,” he insists.
“I think we’ve been very consistent at home, the results haven’t been going our way but we’ve only been losing by a point or two points.
“Having a home tie is a bonus, the boys are really up for it and that should help us as well have a good support there Saturday.”
Mooney believes that Armoy go into the game as favourites, but that this suits the Lower Falls side as there is less expectation on them.
“Obviously they will be favourites, they played intermediate hurling for the last few years and they’re a big, strong and physical team,” he accepts.
“They have a couple of very good hurlers, they’re very strong up the middle, so it should be a good game.
“It has all the makings of a good game, if we can get our match ups right and play to our capabilities. If we can cut out mistakes I think it will be a close game.
“We have everything to gain and nothing to lose. We’ve been training well so they’re well up for it. We know we’re underdogs and we relish that tag.”
The other quarter-final will take place at the same time on Saturday when Cloughmills host All Saints, Ballymena. The winner will move into a semi-final against Rasharkin.