The Donegal U-21 Football Club Championship takes centre stage this weekend with quarter-finals in both the A and B Championships down for decision.
The four A quarter-finals see Naomh Conaill against Four Masters, Dungloe against Gaoth Dobhair, St Eunan’s taking on Buncrana and Aodh Ruadh up against Termon, in four mouthwatering, last eight meetings.
In the B championship it’s Naomh Colmcille v Na Rossa, Letterkenny Gaels against Fanad Gaels, Urris v Killybegs, Bundoran meet Burt.
Pictured is Nathan Boyle, the Donegal minor who will be part of the Aodh Ruadh team in U21 action this weekend.
Two of the games are tomorrow night (Friday) and the other six are on Saturday.
In the A championship, Naomh Conaill face Four Masters in Ardara, and Dungloe and Gaoth Dobhair meet in the Banks on Friday night
Naomh Conaill v Four Masters - Ardara, Friday, 8.30pm
Naomh Conaill have a very strong side with county senior player Ciaran Thompson, along with club seniors Kevin and Eoghan McGettigan, Eunan Doherty and Ethan Doherty, backboning their lineup.
Naomh Conaill are managed by county senior Leo McLoone. They had a big first round win over Naomh Muire and will go into tomorrow night’s tie as the favourites.
Four Masters are managed by Luke Keaney and they had five points to spare over Glenfin in the first round.
Kevin Breslin, Darragh Quinn, Dylan Kennedy, Aaron McCrea, Patrick Reid and Ryan Haughey are the senior players in Keaney’s squad.
Verdict: Naomh Conaill
Dungloe v Gaoth Dobhair, The Banks, Friday, 8.30pm
The meeting of Dungloe and Gaoth Dobhair at the Banks, is the other of tomorrow night’s games.
County seniors Ciaran Gillespie and Michael Carroll are the heavyweights in the Gaoth Dobhair line-up.
It’s a team that also includes county U-21 Cian Mulligan and former county minors Naoise and Daire Ó’Baoill, Niall Friel, Gary McFadden, Odhran McFadden, Ciaran Ferry and Gavin McBride.
Dungloe have up to eight of the club’s seniors in their starting 15. Danny Rodgers, Darren, Barry and Mark Curran, Jack and Eoghan Scally, Adam and Luke Neely Ryan Greene, Shaun Wallace and Davy McCarron all played senior championship football this season.
Verdict: Gaoth Dobhair.
St. Eunan's v Buncrana, Burt, Saturday, 1pm
In the first of the Saturday games St Eunan’s face Buncrana in Hibernian Park, in Burt.
This a repeat of the minor final of three years ago, won by Buncrana.
Donegal seniors Darach O’Connor and Caolan McMonagle, along with county U-21 Bruce Waldron, Peter McLaughlin and Stephen Doherty are the big name players in the Buncrana team. Buncrana’s major absentee from three seasons ago is former county minor John Campbell, who is in the US.
Conor Morrison, Darragh McWalters, Conal O’Boyle, Oisin and Darragh Toal, Kevin Keely, Brian McIntyre, Oisin Carr, Matthew Gallagher, David Tyrell and Michael Miller will backbone the St Eunan’s challenge.
Verdict: St Eunan’s
Aodh Ruadh v Termon, MacCumhaill Park, Saturday, 7.30pm
Aodh Ruadh and Termon in MacCumhaill Park on Saturday night is the last of the A quarter finals.
This group of Aodh Ruadh players have won championships at U-12, U-14 and U-16, and the bulk of the team backbone the senior team that has won promotion from Division Three of the All County Football League.
They certainly have a championship pedigree and in Eamon McGrath, David McGurrin, Colm Kelly, Niall Harley, Shane McGrath, Nathan Boyle and Oisin Rooney, they have players of real quality.
Daire McDaid is one of the leading scorers in Division One of the All County Football League and the county U-21 will spearhead the Termon attack on Saturday night. His brother Caolan and county minor Enda McCormick, Aidan Sweeney, Ricky Gallagher, Nathan McElwaine, James McSharry and Conor Tinney are the other big name players in the Termon line-up.
In the U21 B championship Na Rossa are favourites to overcome Naomh Colmcille.
Letterkenny Gaels just about get the nod to see off Fanad Gaels while Killybegs should be too strong for Urris.
Bundoran, the championship favourites, should have a little too much firepower for Burt.