The highlight of the club year, the club championship, gets underway this weekend with a new sponsor, Michael Murphy Sports and Leisure. If what we have witnessed in the seven rounds of league games so far is anything to go by, then there are only about four teams in contention. However, when it comes to championship, things can become more competitive.
All eyes will be on O’Donnell Park, Letterkenny, on Sunday when St. Eunan’s host Kilcar. The championship pedigree of St. Eunan’s in recent times has been outstanding, while Kilcar are perennial contenders but have not even made it to the final in 23 years. With Martin McHugh in charge, they have been one of the form teams of the league, winning six of their seven games with ease, while their only defeat was away to Gaoth Dobhair in a star game. Not alone were they without their county men, but Michael Hegarty was also missing for that game.
With St. Michael’s hosting Killybegs in the other game in the group (and expected to win) whoever loses in O’Donnell Park will be on the back foot for the remaining two group games.
It is hard to get excited about any of the other games in the other groups. Hopefully, there will be few shocks, which would make the remaining games in the groups more appetising.
A feature of the weekend games will be the inclusion of minor players who are on the Donegal minor panel. They are eligible to play and Co. minor manager, Shaun Paul Barrett, will be keeping his fingers crossed that they come through unscathed.
Donegal minors will play the winners of Fermanagh and Antrim (who meet on Sunday in Brewster Park) in the Ulster quarter-final on Sunday, 29th May with an evening throw-in.
The county minors had a good workout against Sligo on Tuesday evening in Ballyshannon, with Eoghan McGettigan looking like he is back to his sharpest, which is good news.
Come on the Harps
Another great result for Finn Harps in taking a share of the spoils against Derry City in the Brandywell on Tuesday night. That’s four points they have taken from the two games to date against their local rivals.
Indeed, they led the game for a very long period, but then when they were hit by two late goals, they showed great resolve to get an equaliser. That resolve is reflective of the way they have competed in every game so far in the Premier Division. That spirit is something manager Ollie Horgan will have instilled and if they can maintain that, then there will be many more good moments this season.
There should be some atmosphere when the Candystripes return to Finn Park for the third league encounter.
Congrats to Ladies
Congratulations to Donegal Ladies and manager Micheál Naughton on their great win in the League final despite the odds. There were so many great individual displays - the Hegartys, Yvonne McMonagle, Amber and Geraldine, but I certainly agreed with the Player of the Match award - Karen Guthrie was just outstanding.
Hopefully, they can go on and achieve even more glory in the championship this summer.