Dollingstown take on Stuart King’s Banbridge Town in Boxing Day’s Bob Radcliffe Cup final, before going head-to-head with them again just three days later in a crucial Bluefin Sport Premier Intermediate clash.
Boss Stephen Uprichard would dearly love to be celebrating a double success over his old-mate King, but he says the three league points are probably more vital to their season as they languish at the foot of the table.
“Obviously we will be out to do our best in both games, but probably if I was offered I’d bite your hands off for three league points now,” he admitted. “It’s funny how the fixtures have worked out, but we’ll take it one game at a time.
“It’s great to be involved in the final at Loughgall, our showpiece final, our Steel and Sons Cup.
“The club were delighted to win it a couple of years ago and it would be great to replicate that again. We will go into the game as underdogs given the league positions of the two clubs.
“But as we all know, finals can be a bit of a lottery and it can come down to who turns up on the day.
“There’s a lot of local pride at stake too given the proximity of the clubs.
“There has been some good banter flying about already between everyone so it has the makings of a good game.
“The atmosphere has been very good despite not getting the results we want.”
King has set his sights on delivering a late Christmas present to Banbridge Town.
King leads his side into Loughgall eyeing their first success in the competition since 2010.
“We can’t wait for the game,” said King. “This is a massive game for a club like ours.
“It has been eight years since we last won it so you can imagine we are well up for it.
“It’s brilliant for the lads to be involved in a game like this, they deserve it.
“I can’t praise them highly enough, they have improved every year that I have been here.
“I have so much time and respect for Stephen Uprichard, he has been so helpful to me during my time here and if I manage to be in the game for as long as he has been then I know I’ll have done good.
“They are a good side, with lots of players in the side who have been at Banbridge in the past so that gives it an edge.
“It’s a derby, so there’s a lot at stake for both clubs.
“We know anything can happen with a final, it’s 50-50, and it all comes down to who turns up on the day, hopefully it will be us.”
Kick-off at 11 o’clock.