Ardara and Dungloe will be hoping to build on last weekend’s championship wins as the All County Football League takes centre stage once again this Sunday.
They both have one win from seven outings in the league and find themselves at the wrong end of the AllSportsStore.com Divison One League tables as the league approaches the halfway mark.
Ardara are at home to St Michael’s and Tony Boyle will have the welcome mat out for his old county team colleague, Martin McHugh when Dungloe host Kilcar in Rosses Park.
Ardara chalked up their second win of the season in a hard fought two point victory over Glenswilly in Pearse Park on the championship last weekend.
The big downside to that win was the non appearance of their county ace Paddy McGrath for the second half after suffering a number of knocks in the opening 30 minutes.
With Donegal’s Ulster championship meeting with Fermanagh only three weeks from this Sunday, Ardara are likely to be without their lynchpin for the visit of St Michael’s.
St Michael’s have their injury concerns too. Colm McFadden was replaced late on in the championship win over Killybegs at the Bridge. He had been a major doubt before last Sunday’s game and was clearly not going freely before being substituted. He is also unlikely to feature this Sunday in Pearse Park.
St Michael's, the Democrat Cup holders, recovered from a slow start to the league and have won four of their six games to sit mid table. Nevertheless their form has been patchy and their performances less than convincing and they may find Ardara in Pearse Park a tough nut to crack.
Dungloe face an in-form Kilcar, who have lost just one game - a star game against Gaoth Dobhair in Magheragallon - and who head to Rosses Park fresh from their 1-10 to 0-13 draw against St Eunan’s in Donnell Park.
A very young Dungloe 15 with five 19-year-olds in their lineup, turned in a good performance and a ten point win at home against Bundoran last Saturday evening.
Tony Boyle will have Adrian Sweeney back for this weekend’s clash, but expect to be still without the long term injured Cory Gallagher, who is back in training but still believed to be a number of weeks away from a return to action.
The sides have already met this season in the league with Kilcar running out comfortable 12 point winners, 1-20 to 2-5 in Towney.
That was in the second game in the league and Dungloe have improved since that meeting but it is a big ask for Tony Boyle’s young guns to bridge that 12 point gap from the last meeting. Expect it to be closer this time around but another Kilcar win.
Bundoran were disappointing last weekend against Dungloe and the word is that there has been a fair bit of soul searching in Gaelic Park this week.
They are at home to St Eunan’s this Sunday. This is a second meeting between them in the league and like Dungloe, going on the margin between them on that occasion in O’Donnell Park, Bundoran have ground to make up.
St Eunan’s won that game 2-13 to 1-8. But with a reaction expected from the trip to Rosses Park, it is expected to be much closer this time around. And with St Eunan’s main focus on the championship if the Bundoran reaction is a positive one, they could even sneak a win.
Naomh Conaill are at home to struggling Glenswilly who have just one win from their six games to date in the league and lost in the championship last Sunday against Ardara.
Naomh Conaill have lost just once in the league and with Michael Murphy sidelined and Neil Gallagher also unlikely to feature the locals look a banker for two more league points.
In the remaining game table toppers and unbeaten Gaoth Dobhair are at home to Termon at the Burn Road.
This is also a second meeting and while Termon ran Gaoth Dobhair to a point in a low scoring encounter at the Burn Road, the men from Magheragallon have gone up a notch or two since that meeting and are expected to continue their winning run.
In Division Two, the match of the weekend is in Gerard Gallagher Memorial Park where St Naul’s host league leader Four Masters.
Four Masters won the earlier encounter and are fancied to make it two wins from two against their neighbours.
Elsewhere in Division Two, Malin at home should be too strong for Glenfin; Killybegs will fancy their chances against Naomh Columba in Pairc Na nGael while Milford and Sean MacCumhaill’s, both of whom are at home, should have the measure of Naomh Muire and Cloughaneely.
In Division Three Naomh Ultan, Letterkenny Gaels, Aodh Ruadh, Naomh Brid and Buncrana get the nod against Urris, Naomh Colmcille, Fanad Gaels, Downings and Burt respectively.