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Antrim manager Harbinson has sights on place in Armagh final


By John Campbell

New Antrim football manager Lenny Harbinson has a tough challenge on his hands tonight - and there won't be a Saffron jersey in sight.

Harbinson has been holding the managerial reins at the Ballymacnab club, just a few miles outside Armagh city, and their Championship semi-final confrontation with Harps at the Athletic Grounds has whetted appetites within the county.

When he was given the green light earlier in the week to slip into the Antrim hotseat, Harbinson made it clear that he would remain committed to Ballymacnab until their involvement in the Championship ended, and he certainly hopes that this won't happen tonight.

"I could not ask for more co-operation or work ethic from the players at Ballymacnab and they have certainly earned the right to be in this semi-final," reflects Harbinson.

"We know Harps have been there or thereabouts in the recent past and they will undoubtedly pose a tough test for us."

With holders Maghery and Crossmaglen Rangers due to meet in the second semi-final tomorrow night, Harbinson knows that even if his side manages to overcome Harps they will face an even tougher battle.

"But we are not looking beyond this clash with Harps," says Harbinson.

"This will be a real test of our mettle."

Armagh skipper Rory Grugan heads the Ballymacnab cast which also includes potent finishers in his brother Jack and Gavin McParland, while Paddy Morrison, Joe McElroy, Charlie Vernon, Gareth Swift and Conor White will be in the vanguard of the Harps side.

The city club have charted a difficult course into the last four having met St Patrick's, Cullyhanna on three occasions, once in the second round before a drawn and replayed quarter-final.

"Even though they have played more games Harps will still be up for battle," says Harbinson.

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