Newly crowned Donegal Intermediate football champions Bundoran will be hoping against hope that their talismanic forward Jamie Brennan will be fit to face Armagh champions Clann Eireann in the Ulster Club Championship in Fr. Tierney Park, Ballyshannon, on Sunday (2.30), writes Gerry McLaughlin.
The brilliant dual star, who is also an outstanding hurler, had to leave the field after just 24 minutes in their stunning victory over Naomh Colmcille.
He is suffering from a hamstring injury and his chances of starting are rated as “less than 50/50”.
His absence would be a big blow against a youthful but physically powerful side from north Lurgan.
There are no Armagh county stars in their ranks, but reports say they looked very impressive in their own county final dismissal of Whitecross on a score of 2-13 to 2-8, and they also took the Intermediate League title for good measure.
The Lurgan side plays a direct style and has a very clinical striker in front of goal in Chris McCafferty.
Paul McKenna and Ryan Henderson are also key finishers for the Armagh lads.
But Bundoran has a pretty formidable look, even in the possible absence of the talismanic Brennan.
Brian Gavigan’s men have loads of physical power in key areas and are a good combination of youth and experience.
Christy and James Keaney, whose father Joe is from Grange, provide loads of the latter while Tommy Hourihane’s left foot is as cultured as ever.
The strongly built Hourihane hit 1-5 in the county final while Darragh Hoey and Gary Clancy are also proven score-getters.
Shane McGowan, Peter McGonigle and the powerful McCaugheys are a strong spine as the Donegal champions go in search of Ulster glory.
Next season, Bundoran will be scrapping with the big boys and would dearly love to build on this very successful year.
And a home victory on Sunday would certainly build confidence in an essentially youthful side with loads of potential.
But their chances will be increased immeasurably if the dynamic Brennan is able to take his place on the provincial stage.