McGuinness gives the club championship the go-ahead

Alan Foley

Reporter:

Alan Foley

Donegal are in dreamland and just one game away from a place in the All-Ireland final after Saturday night’s high drama and late late victory over Kildare, in Croke Park.

Donegal are in dreamland and just one game away from a place in the All-Ireland final after Saturday night’s high drama and late late victory over Kildare, in Croke Park.

But it’s back to basics again this weekend for many of the stars of Saturday night’s last gasp extra-time heart stopping win over the Lillywhites at GAA headquarters.

The heroes of Saturday night are not getting much time to rest on their laurels as it is straight back into the white heat of the local club senior championship race this Saturday and Sunday.

Kevin Cassidy, scorer of last Saturday night’s dramatic winner along with his club colleagues the McGee brothers, Eamonn and Neil, will all be back in action this Sunday. Also back in the groove will be goal scorer Christy Toye, and his St. Michael’s team mates Colm McFadden, and Daniel McLaughlin, Neil Gallagher and Michael Murphy, Glenswilly and Rory Kavanagh and Kevin Rafferty.

Paddy McGrath, Ardara, Paul Durcan and Karl Lacey, Four Masters and Frank McGlynn will have one less day to recover from the exertions as they all have games on Saturday.

The games have been given the go ahead by Donegal manager Jim McGuinness after consultation with county chairman P. J. McGowan and despite the fact that the All-Ireland semi -final with either Tyrone, or Dublin is just over three week’s away.

Tyrone and Dublin meet in the last of the All-Ireland quarter-finals this Saturday night in Croke Park.

“Jim has given us the go ahead to play the games this weekend, the three quarter-finals and the one outstanding first round play-off game. Beyond that we have not planned anything,” County Competitions Control chairman Charlie Cannon told the Democrat/ Peoples Press.

The of the weekend games are on Saturday evening with the other two on Sunday afternoon. In the first round play-off Ardara and Cloughaneely go head to head on Saturday evening in Letterkenny, while Four Masters and Glenfin go toe to toe in the first of the quarter final also on Saturday evening in Ballybofey.

Then on Sunday, in two big games and clashes of the four of the titans remaining in the championship race Glenswilly conquerors of champions Naomh Conaill in the first round face their arch rival and neighbours St. Eunan’s. That game is in Sean MacCumhaill Park, while also on Sunday Gaoth Dobhair and St. Michaels lock horns in Falcarragh. Times for the games have not been finalised, but it is thought both games will have afternoon throw ins.

Efforts may also made to have the fourth and final quarter-final between Kilcar and the winners of the Ardara versus Cloughaneely, played in the middle of next week to give Jim McGuinness a free run and two clear weeks to prepare for the All-Ireland semi-final.

With a number of his players doubtful because of injury - most notably his captain Michael Murphy, and his midfield pairing of Rory Kavanagh and Kevin Rafferty - and with up to 15 of his senior squad in action, next weekend will be anxious one for the Donegal boss and his backroom team.