Laurelvale sit at the head of the Section Two league standings but captain David Sinton considers this weekend’s Junior Cup semi-final the defining fixture of the season.
Sinton and his on-song squad make the short journey to the city tomorrow (Saturday) for a derby test with the reward of a trophy final the outcome.
Both sides share the league lead alongside Saintfield but knockout honours remain the priority this weekend.
“I think it will be a defining moment of the season,” said Sinton. “We go into the match on a good run of form and certainly take confidence from that number of wins.
“However, a defeat against Armagh could knock everything off course.
“The other aspect is how great a lift a cup semi-final win would provide the club.
“From a personal viewpoint, a Junior Cup win would complete the haul for most of this squad, alongside the league title and Twenty20 Cup.
“Of course, there is a long way to go before we can think about winning a cup and the semi-final is going to be a real test.
“I think it is going to be a quality match as both teams have great form coming into this tie.
“It is up to us to go to Armagh and deal with being the away side on such a big occasion.
“Ultimately, it is exciting for everyone connected to the club.”
Laurelvale’s momentum this season has arrived thanks to some sparkling individual performances.
“It is something we have struggled to achieve over the past few seasons to be honest,” said Sinton. “The quality of player has always been here but we have failed to produce.
“However, our recent win to go to the top of the table came about with a really strong team display to turn around the match and get the result.
“I look around the dressing room and see so many players who have produced this season and we can take great encouragement from that moving forward.
“We have players picking up wickets and putting up runs, with partnerships starting to develop.
“There is a great buzz around the club and we go into Saturday aiming to make sure the blank programme last weekend did not disrupt our form.”
The other semi-final is a clash between two seconds, with Waringstown and CSNI up against each other in the Goldblatt McGuigan-sponsored competition.
Laurelvale thirds defeated Donaghcloney last weekend in Junior League Eight by a single run.