Comrades facing crucial double-header

Ballyclare Comrades boss, Eddie Hill.
Ballyclare Comrades boss, Eddie Hill.
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HAVING chalked up 10 consecutive Championship 2 wins, Ballyclare Comrades are serious promotion candidates, but they now face a crucial three days.

Visits to their two main challengers, Lurgan Celtic and Armagh City, in quick succession will test Eddie Hill’s lads to the limit.

First up are Celtic on Saturday at Knockramer Park, then it’s off to Armagh on Tuesday evening, and garnering six points from these two fixtures would almost assure Comrades of the ticket to Championship 1.

However Hill remains philosophical and wants to keep clear of all the speculation.

“I keep on saying it, but again I emphasise that I take it one game at a time,” he said.

“I hope that we will see off Banbridge Town at Dixon Park on Wednesday evening. They beat us earlier in the season at Crystal Park, so they would have fancied their chances of ending our fantastic winning sequence.

“With that one out of the way then I will turn my thoughts to Saturday and Lurgan Celtic. We scraped a 2-1 win against them in Ballyclare, so I’m sure that they will be fired up to avenge that defeat.

“They were thrashed 8-0 by Knockbreda last weekend, but I don’t read too much in to that. They will lick their wounds and be even more determined to confirm that they are title contenders, so I expect quite a battle.

“Barring any injuries picked up in the midweek clash with Banbridge, I will have a full panel to select from, with no suspensions in the offing.

“I am now in the fortunate position of having cover in all departments, so in case of injury or loss of form I can replace like with like at the back, in midfield or up top.

“As soon as we leave Lurgan I will then consider our options for the away game against Armagh City. Last time out they tanked Chimney corner 11-1, so that will be the basis of my team talk.

“Getting six points from these two away fixtures would be marvellous, but it is easier said than done, but we will give it a go.

“Apparently we have established a club record with our 10 straight league wins, but it is all down to the hard graft of the players.

“We have a fine bunch of lads who turn up faithfully for training on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and all credit for our successes to date must go to them,” ended Eddie.

Comrades’ next home game will be against Sport & Leisure Swifts on Saturday, April 6.