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Irish Cup: Marc Robinson happy for Derriaghy to be labelled outsiders


Derriaghy's player-manager Marc Robinson

Derriaghy's player-manager Marc Robinson

Derriaghy's player-manager Marc Robinson

Derriaghy CC have shown they are more than capable of causing an upset in cup competitions, but despite a growing reputation as potential giant-killers, their player-manager Marc Robinson is happy to accept the outsiders’ tag once again in the Irish Cup fourth round this weekend.

This may only be Robinson’s first season in charge at Seycon Park, and his second as Derriaghy’s man between the sticks, but in that short time, he has heard plenty about their cup escapades.

He was there to experience their 2-0 win over Championship Two side Ballymoney United in last season’s Intermediate Cup third round.

Yet that was nothing compared to the previous season’s Irish Cup campaign, where they defeated Championship One outfit Dergview and even had Ballymena United of the Premiership on the ropes in the sixth round, leading 1-0 until the hour mark before suffering an eventual 3-1 loss.

With those recent outings in mind, Derriaghy’s loyal band of followers can be forgiven for believing they have a chance of another big run in Northern Ireland’s highest profile cup competition.

However, Robinson is keen to point out that all the pressure rests firmly on the shoulders of their weekend opponents, Championship One basement club Limavady United.

The former Loughgall goalkeeper insisted: “The way I look at it, we are the Amateur League team and they are the Championship team – they are expected to win.

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“Irrespective of whether our supporters think we can do it or not, we have to look at the fact we are going to be up against it. We will see it as a day out. Sometimes when you are relaxed about your football, you give yourself a better chance to do well.”

Robinson makes no apologies that his sole aim for this season is to land Derriaghy promotion to their first ever season in the Premier Division, and that every other competition pales in comparison.

That much has been evident in their prolific start to their league campaign. Eight wins and two draw from their first ten games has all the hallmarks of title-winning form  – but previous experience of squandering early leads has taught this club never to get too far ahead of themselves.

“We dropped our first points in the league against UUJ last week, and it has been good to see how they were able to react, and didn’t just let their heads drop.

“The cups can be a distraction, but it is also a good opportunity for me to play my fringe players, and it would be a major boost for them to book a place in the fifth round of the Irish Cup.

The next stage is, of course, when the ‘big guns’ of the Irish League join the party, and the few remaining amateur clubs will largely have their fingers crossed for a big name draw.

Obviously in Derriaghy’s case, they’ll have to overturn Limavady first, but Robinson is confident in his team’s ability to get the job done.

He added: “We’ll respect Limavady, but remember, this club have upset the likes of Dergview in the past, and we have strengthened each year since then. I have every confidence that the team I pick will be good enough to progress.”

The fourth round sees the introduction of Championship level teams in the Irish Cup, but there are still a handful of teams from below that level hoping to make an impact.

The games aside from all-Championship affairs are: Banbridge Rangers v Rathfriland Rangers, Crumlin Star v Newry City AFC, Dergview v Drumaness Mills, Downshire YM v Kilmore Rec, Glebe Rangers v Ardglass, Sport & Leisure Swifts v Sirocco Works, Strabane Athletic v Lisburn Rangers.