After ending a nineteen barren harvest with their Junior A championship final win over Moville, Downings are embarking on a new journey this weekend.
The Donegal junior champions are having their first outing in Ulster club football when they travel to St. Tiernach’s Park, Clones on Sunday. Monaghan champions,Drumhowan, will provide the opposition for the new Donegal champions in the first round of the Ulster Junior Football Championship (throw-in 12.45 pm)
Downings defeated Moville with a convincing 0-10 to 0-5 win over Moville, two weeks ago in O’Donnell Park.
Gary ‘Ban McClafferty, Andy Connors with two points each and one each from Shea Coyle, Finian McClafferty, Oisin Boyce, Danny McBride, Eric Roberts and second half substitute Barney Curran were the scorers.
And they have since copperfastened their Division Three status for another season with a big 3-9 to 0-2 win over Burt. That win over Burt was last Saturday evening as the warmed up for Sunday’s clash with the Monaghan champions.
Downings are boosted by the return of the experienced Colin Gallagher, who missed the Donegal campaign.
With the exception of the inclusion of Gallagher, the Downings line-up is not expected to alter all that much from the side that defeated Moville, to claim the club’s first title since 1993 and the club’s first Junior championship in 35 years.
Team captain David Hay and James McBride will man the central defensive positions with Sean McBride and Shay Coyle expected to continue their partnership at midfield.
The experienced Finian McClafferty will once again lead the attack at centre half-forward with the mercurial Gary ‘Ban’ McClafferty spearheading the forward line on the edge of the square.
Drumhowan defeated Emyvale 1-11 to 3-4, in the Monaghan final to retain the title they last won back in 2008 on their way to winning the Ulster Junior championship outright.
And while there was just a point between themselves and Emyvale at the final whistle Drumhowan, by all accounts, were the worthy winners.
This is a tough assignment for the Donegal champions against what is a very physically strong and experienced Drumhowan outfit.