Armagh set sights on Senior Cup hat-trick

Armagh assistant coach Chris Parker.
Armagh assistant coach Chris Parker.
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Armagh are looking to complete a hat-trick of Senior Cup victories as they begin the defence of the trophy at the Palace Grounds against Banbridge on Saturday.

Armagh have beaten Ballymena in the last two Kingspan Stadium finals and assistant coach Chris Parker is looking for progression from last Saturday’s Senior League win over City of Derry.

“It has appeared very quickly and we really haven’t had a chance to discuss it, we’d like to get a win but we just want to see an improvement in performance,” said Parker.

“The opinion on Saturday was it was job done and we came away with five points, there were some pleasing aspects of the performance that we have been trying to ingrain during pre-season and there were some aspects that require a bit of work, but it was a very physical hit out.”

Parker is expecting another tough encounter against a Banbridge side that has never lifted the Senior Cup.

“They can take it to you up front or they are able to play a bit of ball and they have a lot of variety to their game,” he said.

“They have a new coaching ticket who will have new ideas of what they need to implement.

“We’re going in with what we’d like to try and do and hopefully nullify what they are trying to do; they were two feisty games last year and it will be something similar on Saturday.

“A home draw was great and have those familiarities but Banbridge came to our place last year and won so I’m sure it won’t hold too much fear for them, but we’re happy to get a hit out at home after being away last week.”

Centre Chris Colvin faces a fitness, Aaron White is in contention to start in the first row.

Queen’s have won the cup a record 23 times and they travel to Ballynahinch in a repeat of the 2014 final which the students won.

Hinch will be looking to bounce back from a shock league defeat at Rainey last week.

Elsewhere Malone travel to Dungannon while Bangor host Omagh.