Lisnagarvey coach Davy Allen insisted that his team can stay up in the top flight although he is realistic enough to accept that Saturday’s game with champions Pegasus is unlikely to help the cause.
The Hillsborough outfit held Pegasus to a narrow 3-2 defeat in a pre-season friendly at Comber Road but the chances of going even one better than that and avoiding defeat are slim to say the least.
Not that Allen will lose too much sleep over such a result as he has smaller fish to fry to reverse the traditional sporting metaphor.
Instead the former Randalstown boss will be targeting points against the likes of the other newly promoted side, Harlequins, Armagh and his former club in the weeks to come.
Lurgan might also fall into that category but the opportunity to clinch a point or three against them, in the first of two league encounters at least, has already slipped away with a 2-1 defeat in last week’s opener.
“I am quietly confident we can stay up this season but we need to score 20 goals plus I think if we are to do so and hope that our defence keeps them out at the other end as well.” Allen explained.
“At this level it is also important that the players maintain their concentration for 70 minutes every game because, if not, we will get punished.”
Pegasus and Ards in most people’s opinion – in whatever order they finish – seem likely to be favourites for the title and so anything other than a defeat tomorrow would be a huge bonus for ‘Garvey.
And Lurgan face Ballymoney and Randalstown will be confident of beating Harlequins.
In tomorrow’s other top flight games the Elks host Armagh, while Queen’s travel to Ards.
Premier League: Ards v Queen’s (230pm), Ballymoney v Lurgan (230pm), Lisnagarvey v Pegasus (230pm), Randalstown v Harlequins (230pm), Ulster Elks v Armagh (230pm).
Senior One: Civil Service v Larne (1pm), NDown v Ballyclare (230pm), Omagh v Portadown (230pm), Victorians v Cookstown (4pm), Banbridge v Ballymena (4pm).