First-time entrants Coláistí Inis Eoghain will have the support of the peninsula for St Patrick’s Day’s Danske Bank MacLarnon Cup final.
Sam Maguire was looking on from the sidelines when Coláistí Inis Eoghain surprised St Eunan’s, 1-10 to 0-11, in the Rannafast Cup quarter-final in October 2012 at Burt’s Hibernian Park.
Both teams will have a considerable overlap still involved and such a result - just like Buncrana’s capture of the county minor championship - can act as encouraging signs.
Sean Noonan, the Coláistí Inis Eoghain manager, looks like he will be without Georgie Kelly. The Derry City conscript is part of Ollie Horgan’s Republic of Ireland Schoolboys squad who are due to face Northern Ireland at the Showgrounds in Sligo on Monday in the Centenary Cup.
There is also a doubt over centre-back Tony McClenaghan, who sat out Donegal minor training on Tuesday with a calf injury sustained against Monaghan minors in Saturday’s 3-10 to 0-7 challenge win.
However, in an attempt to fast-track the Moville clubman’s recovery, he will undergo dry needle training this week with physiotherapist Dermot Simpson.
Noonan is also glad that Darach O’Connor - the county minor captain, U-21 and senior panellist - will be rest for the seniors Allianz League Division Two clash in Newry against Down unscathed on Sunday.
“We’re staying in the Four Seasons in Monaghan so he will join us there,” Noonan said.
O’Connor was almost unplayable in the 4-10 to 2-13 semi-final win over Monaghan’s Patrician Carrickmacross when his personal tally was 3-5.
In the quarter-final, Kevin McLaughlin was the hat-trick hero in the 3-9 to 3-6 victory against the fancied St Patrick’s, Downpatrick.
In Group C, there was a 3-11 to 2-7 triumph over St Louis, Kilkeel, on opening day, a 9-11 to 1-4 hammering of De La Salle from Belfast before St Pat’s, Keady, were overcome 1-8 to 2-4.
“It’s a great occasion and the derby element adds something for me,” Noonan said of Monday’s final.
Colaisti Inis Eoghain panel: Jordan McLaughlin; Danny Monagle, Jack O’Loughlin, Stephen O’Donnell; Gary Doherty, Tony McClenaghan, Sam Doherty; Caolan McGonagle, Fergal Doherty; Mark Coyle, Darach O’Connor, Sean McHugh; John Campbell, Kevin McLaughlin, Shane McLaughlin, James Jackson, Ultan Doherty, Aaron McCarron, Christopher McLaughlin, Aidan McLaughlin, Ultan Doherty, Jamie McLaughlin, Owen McColgan, Jonathan McLaughlin, Danny McCarron, Thomas O’Sullivan, Tommy Byrne, Georgie Kelly,