Donegal and Monaghan meet on Sunday in the Ulster Senior Hurling Shield Championship final in Brewster Park, Enniskillen. (Throw in 2 pm).
It is the final action of the season for the hurlers of Donegal and Monaghan and they will both be anxious to bring down the curtain with silverware. As well as the Shield title the other big prize on offer is entry into next year’s Ulster Senior Hurling Championship.
The teams have already met this season. That was last month in the quarter-final of the Nicky Rackard Cup with Donegal taking the spoils with a 4-14 to 3-14 victory
Donegal dominated most of the game and led 4-12 to 1-11 going into the closing minutes before Monaghan scored two late goals. That was Monaghan’s last game while Donegal advanced to play Mayo in the Nicky Rackard Cup semi-final.
Donegal booked their place in the final with a 3-18 to 3-14 hard fought win over Fermanagh, in Brewster Park.
Only seven of the team that ran Mayo to four points featured last weekend against Fermanagh as Donegal manager Ardal McDermott gave a number of young players a run.
“Due to holidays and other commitments we’re short a number of regulars. But it did give us an opportunity to give a number of the younger lads and members of the squad a run,” said Donegal manager.
“It is a matter of now looking forward to next season as much as winning the Shield. A number of those were given their chance against Fermanagh and they did well.
“We are happy with the performance against Fermanagh and especially the young lads. Sam Doherty played at wing-back and turned in a very good performance and overall the team I felt played well though we eased off a little after racing into an early lead. ”
Last week’s team, despite being short a number of regulars, still had a formidable look to it with Paul Burns, in goals; Dara Grant, Joe Boyle, and Marty Callaghan in the full-back line, Jack O’Loughlin, Christopher McDermott and Sam Doherty in the half-back line.
Danny Cullen and Stephen Gillespie made up the midfield pairing while Ronan McDermott Sean McVeigh, Lee Henderson were in the half-forward line.
And the full-forward line was Niall Cleary, Paddy Hannigan and Bernard Lafferty.
With a number of regulars still missing McDermott confirmed that the team for Sunday’s showdown with Monaghan will be much the same as defeated Fermanagh last weekend.
Monaghan received a bye into the final after Tyrone failed to show up for their semi-final meeting with Monaghan.