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Limavady's Paul Owens is relishing McAlinden battle

By Keith Bailie

Limavady United player-manager Paul Owens is looking forward to taking on his old friend David McAlinden in the fourth round of the Irish Cup tomorrow (1.30pm).

McAlinden's Larne, fresh from their agonising County Antrim Shield semi-final defeat at the hands of Ballymena United, will face Championship Two leaders Limavady at Inver Park.

Ex-Coleraine winger Owens said: "Davy and I played together at Carrick Rangers and we've stayed in touch ever since. We had a bit of banter after the draw, but we will both be trying to win come kick-off.

"Larne are a good team. I had them watched against Ballymena, and I know they were very unlucky not to reach the final. They're on the verge of the promotion battle, so we know it will be a tough game.

"However, we knocked Bangor out of the League Cup, so we've shown we're capable of beating Championship One clubs."

Owens, 33, has already lifted the North-West Cup this season while his side are preparing to play Institute in the Craig Memorial Cup final on Boxing Day. Despite this cup success, promotion from Championship Two is the club's priority.

"My focus is on promotion. We're unbeaten in Championship Two this season, but we know there is a long way to go," he added. "Saturday's match is a good yardstick. It will tell us how far away we are from Championship One standard. After all, our aim is to play clubs like Larne, Bangor and Institute every Saturday, not just in cup games."

Elsewhere, Ards are preparing to face Donegal Celtic (2.30pm), Bangor will travel to Coagh United (1.30pm) and Lisburn Distillery will host Knockbreda (1.30pm).

Belfast Telegraph


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