Gweedore and Glenea square off for title

There will be a cup final feel to the Brian McCormick Sports Premier Division as north-western rivals Gweedore Celtic and Glenea United play-off for the title on Sunday afternoon in Ballyare (kick-off 3pm).

There will be a cup final feel to the Brian McCormick Sports Premier Division as north-western rivals Gweedore Celtic and Glenea United play-off for the title on Sunday afternoon in Ballyare (kick-off 3pm).

There was drama on the final day of the regulation season three weeks ago when the destination of the trophy changed hands on a couple of occasions before the sides were ultimately deadlocked on 45 points.

Hugh Rua Gallagher’s Gweedore went into their final fixture against Milford United two points in front of Glenea, only to fall two goals behind with Milford’s Ciaran McGinley scoring twice.

That suited Glenea at Castlefin, especially so after Michael Barry’s fifth minute goal had given them the lead. However, when Castlefin’s Ronan Tourish levelled, the trophy was on its way to Gweedore momentarily before Kevin Mulhern restored the Glenea advantage.

They would hold on to win 2-1 but Gweedore - after Tómas Diver had missed a penalty - scrambled a 2-2 draw thanks to a pair of Paul Rua McBride goals, the second of which landed in the 91st minute.

Sunday’s play-off is one on the lips of many people in the neighbouring parishes but both managers will be missing a key player.

Gary Whoriskey flew off to Dubai two days after Gweedore won the Brian McCormick Cup a fortnight ago to begin work in sports management, while Mulhern is in Boston for the summer.

“There’s been talk that Kevin might be back but I can’t see it,” said Glenea manager Tom Coll. “He’s had a great season and is a loss but we’ll have to work without him.

“We were very close to winning the league on the last day but didn’t really expect to. We’re glad in that respect as going into the game we were behind and to get a chance in a 50-50 game, which Sunday is, is great.”

Glenea have a very young team and their campaign has surprised many. They are the only side to have beaten Gweedore Celtic this term, when two Darren McGeever goals sealed a 2-1 win in February at Glaserchoo.

The corresponding fixture saw Michael McClafferty grab a draw in the 94th minute at An Screaban, a goal that evolved in importance the longer the season went on.

Glenea warmed up for Sunday’s titanic battle with a fine 1-0 win over Clonmany Shamrocks in the Knockalla Caravans Cup quarter-final, with Barry on the mark, a result that sees them in the last four as the only Donegal League representatives.

“Gary will be a loss for us as his delivery has been excellent but it’s an opportunity for someone else,” Gweedore manager Gallagher said of Whoriskey.

“It’s going to be a great occasion for the area as a whole and I can see a big crowd attending. It’s good for the Donegal League as well. There’s a lot of talk about the game and like any final, or indeed derby, form goes out the window.

“Glenea have had a brilliant season and beat us well the last time we played. We were delighted in the end up to get a second chance after Milford, but disappointed as it was in our hands.

“But since the cup final win there’s been a lift in the attitude and Sunday will be about hunger and desire more than anything.”

Gweedore and Glenea square off for title

There will be a cup final feel to the Brian McCormick Sports Premier Division as north-western rivals Gweedore Celtic and Glenea United play-off for the title on Sunday afternoon in Ballyare (kick-off 3pm).

There was drama on the final day of the regulation season three weeks ago when the destination of the trophy changed hands on a couple of occasions before the sides were ultimately deadlocked on 45 points.

Hugh Rua Gallagher’s Gweedore went into their final fixture two points in front of their neighbours, only two fall two goals behind with Milford United’s Ciaran McGinley scoring twice.

That suited Glenea at Castlefin, especially so after Michael Barry’s fifth minute goal had given them the lead. However, when Ronan Tourish levelled the trophy was on its way to Gweedore momentarily before Kevin Mulhern restored the Glenea advantage.

They would hold onto win 2-1 but Gweedore - after Tómas Diver had missed a penalty - scrambled a 2-2 draw thanks to a pair of Paul Rua McBride goals, the second of which landed in the 91st minutes.

Sunday’s play-off is one on the lips of many people in the neighbouring parishss but both managers will be missing a key player.

Gary Whoriskey flew off to Dubai two days after Gweedore won the Brian McCormick Cup a fortnight ago to begin work in sports management, while Mulhern is in Boston for the summer.

“There’s been talk that Kevin might be back but I can’t see it,” said Glenea manager Tom Coll. “He’s had a great season and is a loss but we’ll have to work without him.

“We were very close to winning the league on the last day but didn’t really expect to. We’re glad in that respect as going into the game we were behind and to get a chance in a 50-50 game, which Sunday is, is great.”

Glenea have a very young team and their campaign has surprised many. They are the only side to have beaten Gweedore Celtic this term, when two Darren McGeever sealed a 2-1 win in February at Glaserchoo.

The corresponding fixture saw Michael McClafferty grab a draw in the 94th minute at An Screaban, a goal that evolved in importance the longer the season went on.

Glenea warmed up for Sunday’s titanic battle with a fine 1-0 win over Clonmany Shamrocks in the Knockalla Caravans Cup quarter-final, with Barry on the mark, a result that sees them join face Kildrum Tigers in the last four as the only Donegal League representatives.

“Gary will be a loss for us as his delivery has been excellent but it’s an opportunity for someone else,” Gweedore manager Gallagher said of Whoriskey.

“It’s going to be a great occasion for the area as a whole and I can see a big crowd attending. It’s good for the Donegal League as well. There’s a lot of talk about the game and like any final, or indeed derby, form goes out the window.

“Glenea have had a brilliant season and beat us well the last time we played. We were delighted in the end up to get a second chance after Milford but disappointed as it was in our hands.

“But since the cup final win there’s been a lift in the attitude and Sunday will be about hunger and desire more than anything.”