VICTORY over Moyola last Saturday keeps Lurgan Celtic joint top of the table and it was a win which pleased manager Ciaran O’Kane because of the great stamina being display by the team at present.
“We had a real tough and energy sapping cup game during the week with extra-time and I expected that would eventually take its toll on Saturday but generally we coped very well and claimed another excellent victory,” said O’Kane.
“They may be at the wrong end of the table but we never expect an easy game from any team and have hopefully learned from last season when we dropped so many points in these type of games.
“We played some very good football throughout the 90 minutes and although we only scored our second goal with ten minutes left I always felt we were totally in charge of proceedings. “The legs did begin to tire in the second half but we brought young Ciaran Conway into the middle of midfield for some fresh legs and he was superb. Far from being a negative it was a positive for us and he really showed how good a player he is. Shane McCabe and Conor McKavanagh also came on and helped us secure a comfortable three points.”
Saturday sees a great game in prospect as The Hoops face fellow title challenges Knockbreda in a top of the table clash.
“It’s a big six pointer,” added O’Kane. “They have a game in hand but we are the home team and we are going to take the match to them right from the start. We have to impose ourselves on the match quickly. We drew 4-4 at home last season and beat them 4-2 away - I would take four points from the two encounters now - but I think winning the home game is very important.”
After reaching the Bob Radcliffe Cup final once again, the boss is thrilled at the prospect of retaining the trophy.
“It is great to win it and last year we ended a bit of a barren spell without a major trophy, but now the present squad have a change to write their names into club history with back to back wins. At least we are there and can look forward to the big occasion.”