Donegal hurlers are in the happy position going into their final game in Division 3A of the Allianz Hurling League this Sunday against Fingal in O’Donnell Park, having already booked a place in the 3A final. (Throw-in 3 pm)
This follows four straight wins that sees the Donegal at the top of the table, one point better off than Sunday’s opponents in what has been the county’s best league campaign in years.
While a Fingal victory on Sunday would see the North Dubliners leapfrog Donegal, third placed Louth are three points adrift with just one game to play and cannot catch the men from the North West.
“It has been a very good season so far and everything has gone really well. It is a matter of maintaining that form now and building on it for the Nicky Rackard (championship),” said Donegal midfielder, Danny Cullen, who is on the teaching staff at St. Pat’s College in Navan.
“The mood and spirit in the squad is good and everybody is working hard in training and the whole squad and the backroom teams has put in a big effort since we started training back in October.
“Fitness levels are very good and there is a good spirit in the squad and everybody is enjoying their hurling. It is a good position to be in going into the last game knowing that regardless how it goes that we have already qualified for the final.”
With their place in the April 14th final assured and Fingal the likely opponents - even if the Dublin side took nothing from their trip to Letterkenny - Donegal manager Ray Durack is not expected to show his full hand and is expected to experiment somewhat with the formation on Sunday.
“That is something for Ray and the selectors to decide but even if they do, I don’t think it will make that much difference how we approach the game.
“We have a strong squad and there are a lot of lads looking to get into the team and there is keen competition for places in the starting team. Regardless of what team is named we will still go out and put in a performance and hopefully get the result.
“The important thing is that we are in the final for now and looking forward to at least one more game before we build for the Nicky Rackard,” concluded Danny, who only featured in the last two games in last season’s league following his return from Australia.
With the return of Justin McGee, who missed last Sunday’s comfortable 3-13 to 0-10 victory over Louth in O’Donnell Park, for this weekend’s game, Durack has a full squad to choose from.
Sean MacCumhaill’s McGee is a member of the Irish army and missed the Louth game due to work commitments.
The Donegal boss was still mulling over how to approach the game when speaking to the Democrat earlier this week. However he did give an indication that he was thinking of using the opportunity to give a number of players in the squad he wanted have a look out starting berths.