MacCumhaill's face a stiff test in Liatroim

MacCumhaill's face a stiff test in Liatroim
Tom Comack sport@donegaldemocrat.com @dgldemocrat

Sean MacCumhaill's are back in Ulster Junior Hurling Championship action this Sunday when they face Down sidem, Liatroim, in the semi-final of the Ulster Junior Club Hurling Championship.

The game is in Maghera, Derry, with a throw-in time of 12.45 pm.

MacCumhaill's have made it through to the last four on the back of a less than convincing win over Na Magha, Derry, last weekend in Celtic Park.

The Donegal champions won that game 1-17 to 1-13 after giving the Derry City side a head start and an early goal and two points.

“We conceded a very soft goal in the opening seconds and then they followed up with two quick points to put us on the back foot from the word go,” said Donegal manager Eamonn McAuley.

“We were a little rusty and there was still something of a hangover from the county final.

“In reality we didn’t play well at all,” added the manager.

MacCumhaill's will still be without the stylish and influential Ciaran Mathewson again this weekend.

A member of the Defence Forces, he is due to head off shortly on a tour of peacekeeping duty with the army.

However, on the good news side, Aaron MacAuley, who was confined a sub’s role last weekend due to to a rib injury, is fully fit again and good to go.

Conor Griffin, who played last weekend though suffering from a chest infection, has also fully recovered and is expected to be in much better shape this Sunday.

The Donegal prospects have also been boosted by the return to squad this weekend of dual star Marty O’Reilly.

Reilly was exam tied for last weekend’s trip to Celtic Park.

Liatroim chalked up a comfortable 13 point win, 2-16 to 1-6, over Naomh Colmcille from Tyrone. “We don’t know much about them than they have mostly been and intermediate and senior team in Down and I don’t know how they are down in the Junior championship.

“They only other thing that we know about them is that they beat Naomh Colmcille who beat us in the Tain League earlier in the season.

“They certainly will be a big step up from Na Magha but we know we have a performance in us.

“We haven’t played well all year and have ground out results rather than playing anywhere near the hurling we are capable of playing.

“Now that we have a game under our belts in Ulster and with the exception of Ciaran (Mathewson), I’m expecting a big performance from our lads,” said McAuley.