Banagher face local rivals Kevin Lynch's in Group B of the hurling championship in Owenbeg at the weekend. Pic by Mary K Burke.
Derry and Ulster intermediate champions Banagher are facing a must-win clash against local rivals Kevin Lynch's this weekend.
St Mary's fell to a surprise defeat at home to Ballinascreen last Wednesday and must now defeat their neighbours if they are to stand any chance of making the senior final.
Shane Elliott's side started off with comfortable 3-21 to 1-13 victory over Eoghan Rua, and will be backing themselves to return to the showpiece for the fourth consecutive year.
Banagher last contested a senior final in 2017, but a run to the All-Ireland intermediate semi final last season had raised hopes of returning to the senior decider.
However, the opening day defeat to Ballinascreen has complicated matters for the north Derry club, with injury concerns also hampering their preparations.
Brian Óg McGilligan sat out the defeat to St Colm's, while goalkeeper Darrell McDermott is also a doubt for the weekend's crunch encounter at Owenbeg.
Elsewhere in Group B, Ballinascreen will hope to capitalise on their fine start as they take on Coleraine on Sunday at the same venue, with a win setting them up for a final game against Kevin Lynch's.
In Group A, Swatragh take on Na Magha, with both sides still looking for their first win.
The Davitt's were rocked by two late Lavey goals as their opening game ended in a draw, while Na Magha were on the end of a heavy defeat at the hands of champions Slaughtneil.
The Emmet's face Liam Watson's Lavey side on Sunday at 2.30pm in Owenbeg.
(All games at Owenbeg)
Saturday August 6: Na Magha v Swatragh (4.30pm), Banagher v Kevin Lynch's (6.00pm).
Sunday August 7: Coleraine v Ballinascreen (1.00pm), Lavey v Slaughtneil (2.30pm).
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