Boss says win could spark league form

The Galloway News - - SPORT -

BY STU­ART MCFAR­LANE Dal­beat­tie Star are hop­ing that cup suc­cess this week­end can boost their stut­ter­ing league sea­son.

The South Chal­lenge Cup hold­ers con­tinue the de­fence of their tro­phy with a home fix­ture against South of Scot­land side Lochar This­tle at Isle­croft on Satur­day, with a place in the semi-fi­nals at stake.

There was frus­tra­tion as Star’s home fix­ture against Kelty Hearts was one of many to fall vic­tim to the weather at the week­end, with Isle­croft de­clared un­playable on Fri­day af­ter­noon.

But boss Dar­ren Kerr (right) was quick to en­sure that his side weren’t left rusty fol­low­ing the call off.

Kerr said: “It’s ob­vi­ously dis­ap­point­ing but we knew from early in the week that the game didn’t have much of a chance and the club made an early de­ci­sion on Fri­day af­ter­noon, which was ap­pre­ci­ated by Kelty.

“We man­aged to get a bounce game or­gan­ised at He­ston up at the new pitches at St Joseph’s. We man­aged to get the whole squad in­volved and that was a good ex­er­cise be­cause it was played at a slightly higher in­ten­sity than train­ing.”

The cup of­fers sweet re­lief from a dif­fi­cult Low­land League sea­son for Star – who cur­rently sit sec­ond bot­tom – and they have racked up com­fort­able wins over New­ton Ste­wart and Cree­town in the ear­lier rounds.

And gaffer Kerr ad­mit­ted that it was a dif­fer­ent chal­lenge for his squad com­ing into the match as favourites.

He said: “It shows the char­ac­ter of the play­ers be­cause we will need to play the game in the op­po­si­tion’s fi­nal third, which isn’t as much the case in the Low­land League, but we will need to adapt well as Lochar are a tough side.

“We know enough about them and we are aware of the threat that they will pose.

“They’ve got a cou­ple of exDal­beat­tie play­ers like striker Iain An­der­son who we will have to keep quiet and their keeper Dar­ren Ma r t i n , who is ex­cel­lent as well.Our aims for this sea­son are to fin­ish well in the league and to win this cup and while the league sea­son has been dif­fi­cult so far, we are still in this cup and are hop­ing to go all the way. “But it’s a tough year to win it, with Edus­port and Queens still in­volved, and you also have Stran­raer re­serves who are un­beaten in the South league this sea­son, so it is a big chal­lenge.”

No go Dal­beat­tie Star’s Isle­croft pitch was deemed un­playable on Fri­day be­fore their game against Kelty last week­end

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