but pedlow’s out

Banbridge Town will welcome back top-scorer Stephen O’Neill but will have to assess some other injury worries ahead of their Intermediate Cup tie this weekend.

Town are due to host Championship Two rivals Wakehurst as they begin their cup campaign in the third round (kick-off 1.30pm).

They’re currently on a promising run of six games without defeat.

However, they didn’t escape their Irish Cup win over Rathfriland without casualties as Adam Pedlow’s knee injury is likely to keep him out while Jonny Kernoghan is a doubt for this weekend’s game thanks to a shoulder problem. Boss Ryan Watson is hoping he will have as few absences as possible.

He said: “Adam had to come off at half time on Saturday. We’ll have to get a professional opinion on his knee so we’ll just have to hope it’s not too serious.

“Jonny Kernoghan picked up a shoulder injury as well so we’ll have to keep an eye on him too. As for the others, hopefully it’s just a case of having a few knocks and strains after the game and it’ll settle by Tuesday night’s training session. We don’t want to take any risks with anybody.”

However, they will welcome back goal-scorer Stephen O’Neill, who didn’t train last week and missed the Irish Cup tie with an infection. Also back in will be Stephen Jones, who has been missing due to exams.

The two sides met at Crystal Park back in September when Banbridge came out on top, 3-1 victors.

“Wakehurst have had an up and down sort of season and we will certainly need to put in another good performance,” said Watson.

Banbridge have only won the competition once in their history, way back in 1986 and Watson reckons it would be a hard feat to repeat.

He said: “I’m not thinking about getting anywhere near winning anything. We’re just taking things week by week and looking for a good result each Saturday. We’ve got a fairly new team and every week provides a fresh challenge.

“The Intermediate Cup is a marathon. There are so many teams in it and so many rounds. It seems to go on forever but you just have to keep trying to pick up results. There are a lot of very good clubs in it. It’s a very difficult competition and if you’re to make any progress in it, the draw has to be kind to you.”

Rathfriland Rangers are also in the third round, getting a bye through the second. They host Ardglass on Saturday, their game also kicking off at 1.30pm.