Donegal minor footballers are bidding to write their own piece of Donegal GAA history when they face Tyrone in the Ulster Minor Football League final in Glen, Maghera on Saturday. (Throw-in 12 noon).
Donegal, the Minor League champions for the last two seasons, are bidding for a first ever three-in-a-row of Ulster Minor League titles having only gone close to completing the treble twice before.
Donegal were back-to-back champions in 1962 and 1963 and again just over 20 years later in 1984 and 1985.
This year’s team is managed by Shaun Paul Barrett from Milford who is only in his first season in the position having taken over from Declan Bonner at the end of last season.
Donegal qualified for a third final-in-a-row with a 0-23 to 0-21 extra-time victory over Monaghan in Clones, last Saturday.Niall O’Donnell of St. Eunan's capped a man of the match performance at centre half with 13 points, eight of them from placed balls.
.Tyrone had six points to spare over Armagh in their 1-16 to 1-10 semi-final victory.
The sides have met once already in this season’s league with the Red Hands claiming the points, in their 2-8 to 1-9 victory in Sean MacCumhaill Park.
Donegal posted 14 wides in that game, many of them from good scoring positions.
“We didn’t play at all well against Tyrone that day, it certainly was not a game that went to plan and it was our poorest performance of the league,” Shaun Paul Barrett told the Democrat.
Donegal had beaten Fermanagh in their opening game before they played Tyrone and they bounced back from their defeat by the Red Hands, with big wins over Derry and Antrim, in the group stages.
Shane McGrath (sick), Oisin Rooney (hamstring) and Owen Carr (hip), who have missed the last few games, are once again unavailable for this weekend.
However, Donegal’s prospects have been boosted by the return of Enda McCormack from suspension and the manager is also optimistic of having Peadar Mogan, who missed the semi-final.
Jim McGuigan Cup
Meanwhile Donegal are aiming to maintain their dominance of the Ulster U-17 Jim McGuigan Cup competition in Saturday’s final, against Tyrone.
The final forms part of a double bill with the Ulster Minor League final and is in Glen, Maghera, at 1.30 pm.
Ulster Minor Hurling Shield final
In the first of three meetings between the counties this weekend, Donegal and Tyrone go head to head in the Ulster Minor Hurling Shield final in Celtic Park, Derry, tomorrow night, Friday. (throw-in 7.30 )