The top game in the RTE Raidio na Gaeltachta Senior Championship quarter-finals should attract a bumper attendance to Ballybofey on Sunday.
MacCumhaill Park hosts the rematch of Kilcar and Glenswilly (2.30) with plenty of anticipation around the tie.
The sides met at the semi-final stage two years ago in a tempestuous encounter that saw county player Michael Hegarty see red early in the second half. An early goal from Neil Gallagher was enough for Glenswilly to win by 1-7 to 0-7
Then in June of this year the sides met in the group stages in Towney. This time it was Ciaran Bonner of Glenswilly who saw red early in the second half as Kilcar held on for an 0-14 to 2-7 win with Patrick McBrearty notching 0-8.
Now it is round 3 on Sunday, but hopefully this is more than a boxing match. Jimmy White is again in the middle (as he was in Towney) and he will need all the help he can get. Both camps have welcomed his appointment this week.
While Glenswilly went on to win the Dr. Maguire in 2011, they were relegated last year and have been operating in Division 2 of the League this season while Kilcar have been riding high at the top of Division 1. Glenswilly, however, do look odds on to return as Division 2 champions.
The delay in the championship, while not the flavour of the month in most quarters, has been welcomed by Glenswilly manager, Gary McDaid, who has got some of his injured stars back on the field.
“It has helped. All year we have struggled with injury. Even in our last championship game we didn’t have Big Neil,” said Gary, who said that Leon Kelly was struggling with a hamstring and a few players may not have a full 60 minutes, including Keelan McFadden and Brian Farrelly.
“We have got used to that and we have to get on with it. Thankfully, the date going back will have helped,” said McDaid, who feels that Kilcar’s record in the group stages makes it a massive task for them.
“At the start of the year we were in a bad position, relegated and a poor championship. We came in to rebuild and it was a massive achievement for us to get out of the group.”
For Kilcar manager, John McNulty, Sunday is a big occasion. He has Ashley Carr back in the squad from his travels while Patrick Gallagher will miss the game due to an injury.
“We are looking forward to it. Patrick Gallagher is a big loss. We have doing well all year but we want to make sure that we play well on Sunday,” said McNulty.
“It was a good tight game between us in Towney. We will prepare as we have prepared for all games all year. Both sides know each other very well at this stage. It is just a matter of going out and hoping to come out on the right side.
“The players have to show the fight and heart to win the game and I feel the team this year have leaders and they will have to do that again on Sunday,” said McNulty.