With Jim McGuinness giving the go ahead for all county panellists to play for their clubs this weekend there is an almost full programme of club action here in Donegal this weekend.
There are three games in Division One of the All County Football League - with three of them involving Four Masters, Cloughaneely and Gaoth Dobhair - all teams who bowed out of the championship race last weekend.
Four Masters are away to Malin, Cloughaneely host Gaoth Dobhair while in the third game table toppers Dungloe are in Ardara.
The top game in Division Two sees Kilcar at home to St. Michael’s, with Bundoran hosting Sean MacCumhaills and Killybegs entertaining Fanad Gaels. There is just one game in Division Three , Milford at home to Carndonagh.
In championship football, the Intermediate championship takes centre stage with Naomh Mhuire and Naomh Colmcille and Urris versus Buncrana in first round first leg games.
All these game are on Saturday evening.
There are also games in the Senior Reserve, Junior A Championship and Junior B Championship. Naomh Conaill face St. Eunan’s in the Reserve Championship quarter-final, while Downings play Letterkenny Gaels and Muff face Burt in the Junior A, and in the one game in the Junior B Championship it is Pettigo at home to Lifford.
All these games are on Sunday.
Brian McCormick Sports Division One
Saturday August 13th - 7. 30 pm - Malin
Malin v Four Masters
With their championship ambitions over for another season Four Masters face a long trip to Connolly Park, Malin.
This is a tricky assignment for Karl Lacey and company especially after their defeat by Glenfin last Saturday night, against a side who are anchored to the foot of the Division One table, and in relegation bother.
As things stand Four Masters, with four wins from their eight outings, are just above the relegation spot while a win on Saturday night would propel them up the table.
But Malin on home soil are a tough nut to crack and with their Division One status hanging by a thread it may be just enough to spur them on to victory.
Saturday August 13th - 7 pm - St. Finian’s Park, Falcarragh
Cloughaneely v Gaoth Dobhair
Another two sides that are licking their wounds this week after bowing out of the championship race last weekend.
And with both occupying the relegation play-off zone, the stakes are high in St. Finian’s Park on Saturday evening. Local rivalry and bragging rights should mean that Joe McGarvey (Cloughaneely) and his opposite number Sean ‘Nancy’ Gallagher will have little difficulty motivating their charges for this.
Like last Sunday evening’s Gaoth Dobhair, St. Michael’s championship clash the outcome of this one may come down to how the Gaoth Dobhiar rearguard copes with the forward threat of Shaun McGarvey, Denis Boyle and Sean Maguire up front for Cloughaneely.
With Joe Friel likely to give Cloughaneely the edge around midfield this and the home sod could just about swing in favour of the locals.
Saturday August 13th - 7.30 pm - Pearse Park, Ardara
Ardara v Dungloe
Ardara will be hoping to build on their championship play-off victory over Cloughaneely, when they host table toppers Dungloe on Saturday evening, in Pearse Park.
The two sides had contrasting fortunes last weekend. Ardara had a comfortable win over Cloughaneely in the championship while Declan Bonner’s men suffered a heavy away defeat to Naomh Conaill.
With Ardara’s thoughts turned to Kilcar and the championship quarter-final and hoping to maintain that winning habit and Dungloe determined to return to the winners’ enclosure this promises to be a cracking contest.
As is so often the case, especially in the league, home advantage can be a crucial factor all of which should tip the scales ever so slightly in favour of the locals in what is Dungloe’s last away game of the season.
McGlynn’s Restaurant Castlefin Division Two
Saturday August 13th - 7 pm - Towney
Kilcar v St. Michael’s
Could this be a dress rehearsal for the senior championship final? It certainly is a possibility. Both are still standing in the race for the Dr. Maguire Cup, but there are a few hurdles to be crossed and a few other teams with designs on the same goal.
This game has a little bit of history attached to it as it was not played when first fixed and ended up at the disciplinary table of the Ulster Council, with St. Michael’s overturning a decision to award the points to Kilcar. A second fixture also fell by the wayside and maybe it will be third time lucky this Saturday evening.
For now, league points are what are up for grabs and while St. Michael’s were impressive winners last weekend over Gaoth Dobhair in the championship, they will find Kilcar - the form team in the league - a much stiffer proposition in Towney.
Saturday August 13th - 7pm - Bundoran
Bundoran v Sean MacCumhaills
Third placed Bundoran have a great opportunity to copperfasten their league status when they entertain Sean MacCumhaills, who are struggling to put a winning run together.
Saturday August 13th - 7pm - Burn Road
Termon v Glenfin
Glenfin put their poor league form behind them last weekend with a deserved senior championship quarter-final victory over Four Masters.
And with Termon struggling and at the bottom of the table the men from the Gaeltacht Lar should ease their relegation worries at the Burn Road.
Saturday August 13th - 7pm - Fintra
Killybegs v Fanad Gaels
With Killybegs’ focus on the league and promotion back up to the top flight they should have a little too much for Fanad Gaels, who are really struggling on the road.
Centra Supermarkets Division Three
Saturday August 13th - 7pm - Moyle Park, Milford
Milford v Carndonagh
Milford and Carndonagh are struggling at the bottom of the table though Milford will see this as an opportunity to ease their relegation fears.
Busanna Feda O Donaill Intermediate Football Championship
Saturday August 13th - 7pm - The Banks
Naomh Mhuire v Naomh Colmcille
Naomh Mhuire, the runaway leaders in Division Three of the All County Football, get into championship mode this weekend when they entertain last year’s junior champions Naomh Colmcille at the Banks in the first round of the Intermediate championship.
Their opponents Naomh Colmcille, with county man Thomas McKinley on board, already have two championship games under their belts after defeating Carndonagh over two games in convincing fashion in the preliminary round.
When the sides met in the league earlier in the season, also at the Banks, Naomh Mhuire had six points to spare and with home advantage once again the Lower Rosses will be fancied to draw first blood in this encounter.
Verdict: Naomh Mhuire
Saturday August 13th - 7. 30 pm - Pairc Ui Chraimhsaigh, Urris
Urris v Buncrana
This all Inishowen clash has all the ingredients of being a closely contested affair. Both sides are in the top half of the league table with Buncrana, who are managed by former county defender Mark Crossan, the slightly better positioned.
Ryan Bradley is the big man in the Buncrana line-up with former county panellist Eddie Kelly the man Urris followers will look for the drive and leadership to see them over the line.
When they met earlier in the year in the league in Buncrana, Urris bagged the two points with a six point victory, and while Buncrana have upped their performances since, home advantage could very well swing this one in the way of Urrs.
Busanna Feda O Donaill Junior A Football Championship
Saturday August 13th - 7 pm - Downings
Downings v Letterkenny Gaels
Downings, who have already taken the scalp of Na Rossa in the preliminary round, should prove too strong for Letterkenny Gaels, who are propping up the Division Four league table, in this Division Three versus Division Four clash.
Sunday August 14th - 3 pm - Muff
Naomh Padraig (Muff) v Burt
Last year’s beaten finalists Naomh Padraig will be anxious to get their bid for a return to another county final up and running when the entertain neighbours Burt, in this all Inishowen tie. And with Naomh Padraig showing good form in the league and top of the Division Four table they may get their wish against a Burt side that are struggling at the bottom of the Division Three.
Verdict: Naomh Padraig
Junior B Championship
Sunday August 14th - 3 pm - Pettigo
Pettigo v Naomh Padraig, Lifford
Verdict: Naomh Padraig.
RTE Raidio Na Gaeltachta Reserve Championship, quarter-final
Sunday August 14th - 6.30 pm - TBC
Naomh Conaill v St Eunans
Verdict: St. Eunan’s