Inishowen Ladies League Senior Cup Final, Illies Celtic v Carn FC, Thursday, Maginn, 7.30pm

Illies Celtic boss John Doherty insists his side will not be taking Carn for granted in Thursday evening’s Inishowen final.

The recently crowned North West Super League champions are odds on favourites to land the spoils against a fledgling side that, though improving with every match, still have some way to go before reaching the same level as the all-conquering Illies girls.

But shrewd Doherty has been monitoring the progress of the St Patrick’s Park outfit over the course of the season, and he expects the clash to be anything but a walkover.

He told the Inish Times: “We’ll treat Carn the same as any other team. Yes we are the favorites, but they have improved a lot this season and they will definitely put it up to us.

“They have a few players back in, the likes of Rachel McLaughlin, who can really play, and they’re in good spirits themselves after winning the tier two title last week.”

Illies landed the treble last season in imperious fashion, and after defeating Bonagee last Thursday to clinch the super league title, they are on course for a repeat of that achievement this season.

And Doherty says winning the treble once more would be particularly sweet given the challenges facing his side this year.

“It was great to win the super league for the first time last year, but I think to retain it was an even bigger achievement given that we were up against it in many ways this season.

“With girls having work commitments and all the rest of it, we often struggled to get our strongest team out, and the players we had really stepped up. Last year six players scored all our goals throughout the course of the league, but this season 13 girls all made the scoresheet.

“I think the fact we had to dig that wee bit deeper to win the title this time around makes it all the more satisfying - and it will be the icing on the cake if we can take home the Inishowen and Ulster cups into the bargain.”

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