Bumper weekend of action up ahead

GAELIC GAMES

By Tom Comack Sport@donegaldemocrat.com @dgldemocrat

The race for the Sam Maguire Cup may have to go to another day, but here in Donegal the chase for the Dr Maguire Cup, the top prize in Donegal club football, heats up this weekend.

On what is a bumper weekend of championship football action, there will be 21 games down for decision across five championships - Senior, Intermediate, Junior A, Senior B and Intermediate B, along with Senior and Intermediate relegation play-offs.

There is one game on Friday night, 12 more on Saturday and eight games on Sunday.

With the exception of Gaoth Dobhair, all the heavy-weights are still in the senior championship chase.

Kilcar, the favourites, Naomh Conaill, the reigning champions, and St Eunan’s, the previous year’s champions, are the big three and they are all still in the hunt.

Glenswilly, twice winners of the Dr Maguire Cup in the last five seasons, and outsiders, Dungloe, Malin and Termon complete the last eight line-up.

The big game of the weekend is the meeting of Naomh Conaill and St Eunan’s.

The two big guns collide on Sunday evening in Ballybofey, throw-in 5 pm. This is a repeat of last year’s final won by Naomh Conaill, 0-11 to 0-10.

That is the last of the quarter finals. On Saturday afternoon Glenswilly and Sean MacCumhaills get the ball rolling in O’Donnell Park, throw in 4pm.

The action on Saturday night sees league leaders Kilcar face giant-killers Termon in MacCumhaill Park. The throw-in for that is game is timed for 8.30pm.

The big game on Sunday afternoon is the clash of Dungloe and Malin in a first versus second division tie. This game is in O’Donnell Park and has a 2.30pm throw-in.

Intermediate Championship

The four quarter finals in the Intermediate championship are also pencilled in for next weekend, with two games on Saturday and two on Sunday.

Division Two champions Milford, one of the favourites for the Cathal McLaughlin Cup, face Naomh Brid. That game is in Convoy (4.30 pm).

Aodh Ruadh, another of the fancied teams, go head to head with Naomh Ultan in Tir Chonaill Park at 2.30pm.

On Sunday Naomh Columba and St Naul’s collide in Dunkineely. And in the last of the quarter finals Cloughaneely and Burt meet in Pairc Naomh Columba, Glenswilly at 2.30 pm.

Junior A

Red Hughs and Naomh Padraig, Muff meet in the first of the Junior A championship semi-finals on Friday night in St Mary’s Park, Convoy at 8pm.

The second of the Junior A semi finals is on Saturday where Downings and Letterkenny Gaels lock horns in Dunfanaghy at 5.30pm.

Play-offs

They may be out of the Dr Maguire Cup race but next weekend is a big one for Four Masters, Glenfin, Ardara and Killybegs.

They all finished at the foot of their respective Group tables and are fighting for their championship status for next season.

Four Masters and Glenfin meet at the Red Hughs grounds at the Cross, in Killygordan at 5.30pm on Saturday.

Killybegs play Ardara at Naomh Ultan’s grounds at 3pm on Sunday.

The winners of these two ties retain their senior status while the two losing sides have one more chance. They play-off to determine the one team relegated to Intermediate football in 2017.

Naomh Colmcille and Buncrana meet in Ture, Muff, in the one Intermediate relegation playoff.

The four games in the Senior B championship quarter finals are Naomh Conaill versus Kilcar, Ardara versus Sean MacCumhaills, St Eunan’s versus Glenfin and Dungloe versus Gaoth Dobhair.

In the Intermediate B championship Aodh Ruadh meet Buncrana, Fanad Gaels face St Naul’s and Naomh Brid take on Glenswilly

Photo Naomh Conaill celebrate after defeating St. Eunan's in last year's county final.