ADRIAN CUSH says that the Championship starts properly in three weeks time and so he won’t take any risks with his Magherafelt squad this weekend.
Round three in the Derry senior championship throws in this weekend, and Magherafelt take on Glen in what will be a replay of the 2019 final which Magherafelt won 0-12 to 0-11. Magherafelt and Glen have both won their first two games so they are playing for top spot this weekend.
Manager Cush, who is in his third season in charge, said: “Of course we will be trying to win the game but we won’t be taking any risks on anyone carry any knocks or an injuries.
“We are fortunate to have had our first two victories and we are likely to finish first or second.”
With a record of two wins from two games played, one might think that the Magherafelt boss would be happy. Instead he would not read much into their performances.
“It is early days yet. The real championship starts in three weeks time. That is when you need to producing performances, not now.
“I don’t think anyone is ever pleased. The victory is the most important thing. You don’t get bonus points for winning by 20 or 30 points.
“We have had two wins, and two tough battles. Kilrea at home was tough. Bellaghy away was tough and we were more than delighted with the results.”
Magherafelt lost last year’s final to Sleacht Néill by 0-11 to 1-4. They want to win their title back but have they got stronger?
“It is hard to say. I don’t think any team prioritised the league. We used it to give players game time and a lot of teams seemed to do that. It is early days. In reality we have only played two serious games.”
They are playing Glen this weekend, one of the strong teams in the competition. Sean McGoldrick, the Eoghan Rua manager. said that Glen were one of the best teams in the competition based on how they performed in the league. When Magherafelt played Glen in July they lost by 2-8 to 0-13.
Cush said: “I only saw them in the league, but I don’t think that anyone took the game seriously. Obviously I know all their players, I have seen them in the last three years and I know that they are one of the best teams about. We will have to be at the absolute top of our game to have any opportunity to win. They have been very close over the last few years. They are littered with top players. We will have to be at the top of our game to win on Saturday.”