Richard Hedley is relishing the extended preparation time for back-to-back dates with Clogher Valley provided by this weekend’s blank schedule.
The Chambers Park head coach offered his senior squad a welcome free night on Tuesday and will designate tomorrow (Saturday) as a rest day in advance of the league and cup commitments.
However, this week’s second session was marked in for a tough test and next week will be used to develop a fitness and tactical strategy designed to gain the edge over modern rivals Clogher Valley.
“We have not really had a free date since August but, on the other hand, injuries and unavailability have prevented us from fielding the same side week in, week out,” said Hedley. “Irrespective, we will grab the chance for a free date and then focus our preparations on those two games with Clogher Valley.
“We have called on quite a few players but it has been encouraging, from a coaching viewpoint, to see the enthusiasm and development of those selected.
“It is great to see players rise to meet that challenge and great for the overall development of the club and squad.
“We got a win last weekend against CIYMS that was probably more comfortable than the final margin of 21-13 would suggest.
“Disappointment at not winning games by a greater gap is a nice problem to have at the minute.”
Seconds v Donegal (Saturday, away, league): G.Reid, D.Thompson, M.Davison, AN.Other, A.Winter, J.Burns, D.Thompson, D.Hardy, J.Hampton, N.Irwin, C.Chambers, O.Montels, R.Quinn, S.Buckly, J.Orr, R.Dougan, AN.Other.
Thirds v Limavady seconds (Saturday, home, league, start 2.30): D.Cornett, S.May, P.Keightley, E.Murray, J.Elliott, S.Lynas, AN.Other, G.McCullough, B.Gribben, R.Davis, D.Harpur, C.Woods, R.Davis, A.Morton.
Fourths v Civil Service seconds (Saturday, home, league, start 2.30): Players to be confirmed.
Craigavon B edged past Lisburn Racquets D by 8-7 to sit top of Division Three following the opening two Ulster League fixtures.
Caroline McGuinness lost out by 3-0, with Alan Emerson down on a 3-2 tally. However, wins for Raymond Broderick and Nathan Wilkinson - by, respectively, 3-0 and 3-1 - kept Craigavon on song.
Craigavon A finished down by 8-7 against Mid-Ulster B, with Darren McCabe home in a thrilling clash by 3-2 and Rory Reynolds recording a 3-0 win. Nick Rusk suffered a 3-0 reverse, with Andrew Reaney on a 3-1 defeat.
A recent midweek Ulster League Division Two date in Belfast finished with Craigavon A down by 10-6.
Darren McCabe posted Craigavon’s sole win.
Nick Rusk finished on the losing side of a competitive appearance for the first time in over a year. Fifteen-year-old Andrew Reaney proved encouraging on his Ulster League debut and battled back from a 2-0 deficit within the 3-2 reverse to a veteran.
Club nights will run each Monday from 7 o’clock at Craigavon Leisure Centre.