Glenswilly one step from Ulster club final

Alan Foley


Alan Foley

Glenswilly one step from Ulster club final
Glenswilly are one step away from being just the fourth team from the county ever to reach the Ulster club championship final.

Glenswilly are one step away from being just the fourth team from the county ever to reach the Ulster club championship final.

Naomh Conaill made the decider in 2010 against Crossmaglen and 19 years beforehand, Killybegs lost out to Castleblaney Faughs.

In 1975, St Joseph’s, the club that once covered Bundoran and Ballyshannon, defeated Castleblaney to become the sole Donegal proprietor’s of an Ulster crown.

Gary McDaid’s team take on Roslea Shamrocks, the Fermanagh champions, at Healy Park in Omagh on Sunday for the place in the provincial final against either Ballinderry from Derry or Down’s Kilcoo.

Crossmaglen Rangers - who won 10 Ulster championships and six All-Irelands since 1996 - were beaten on Sunday having lost 3-10 to 1-8 against Kilcoo.

Glenswilly, obviously, won’t be looking past Roslea but will privately admit that the landscape has certainly changed.

However, despite being as short-priced as 1/5 in some bookmakers, Glenswilly aren’t looking past a Roslea side that have won three out of the last four county championships - with the exception being 2012.

Their 1-12 to 0-11 win over Ballinagh from Cavan made them the first Fermanagh team since 2002 to win a match in Ulster.

Roslea are celebrating their 125th year within the senior and junior championships, but know they need to make an impression in Ulster.

The Quigley brothers, Seamus and Sean, who were only allowed to play after having red cards appealed, scored 1-11 out of their 1-12 winning total.

It was a similar story in the Fermnagh final, where the Quigleys scored 1-10 in their 1-12 to 1-9 victory over Belcoo.

“It’s a massive opportunity for both clubs on Sunday,” said Glenswilly manager Gary McDaid.

Leon Kelly is still hamstrung but might train later in the week, while Aidan McDevitt is also in doubt having fallen off a roof at work in the lead-up to the 1-10 to 0-10 win over St Gall’s a fortnight ago.

There was bad news for the Foxhall club when they learned Ryan Hunter, who picked up a knee injury in the All-County Football League Division Two 1-13 apiece draw in Glenfin in late September, in fact tore his cruciate and faces a long lay-off.

Therefore, McDaid could have a similar panel available to the one who ousted the 2010 All-Ireland champions St Gall’s on an afternoon where all the club’s big hitters - Michael Murphy, Ciaran Bonner, Gary McFadden and Neil Gallagher - excelled.

“Gall’s were the best team we’ve ever played and we’ve built up a bit of experience,” McDaid added.

“We don’t heed favouritism and know Roslea are a team that wants to make an impact. But we’re happy where we’re at and have had some backing from the clubs of the county, which is something we really appreciate.”