The final countdown is on for Donegal and Monaghan as we enter the final week before the Ulster final in St. Tiernach’s Park, Clones on Sunday next.
Donegal and Monaghan will clash once again with the throw-in at 4 p.m. with Laois official, Maurice Deegan, the man in the middle.
Donegal completed their build-up to the big game with a weekend camp in Co. Leitrim where the plans for the rematch with the Farney men were hatched.
The closeness of the contest is reflected in the betting for the decider - Donegal and Monaghan are even money with the draw available at 15/2.
It is that close. The Monaghan form was franked yesterday in Omagh when Armagh pulled off something of a shock victory when they ended Tyrone’s interest in the 2014 championship.
Monaghan have the scalps of Tyrone and Monaghan already under their belt, so in many ways they should carry the favourites’ tag on Sunday next.
Much of this week will be taken up with getting the Donegal wounded to Clones in full health. The main worries surround midfielders Rory Kavanagh and Neil Gallagher, who have been on the injury list since the semi-final.
All of Donegal will be keeping their fingers crossed that both will be able to make a contribution in the decider this weekend.
The Donegal minors also concluded their build-up to the minor final, where they will face Armagh with the throw-in at 2 p.m.
The Donegal panel stayed overnight in Buncrana on Friday night but they are sweating on a number of players who were involved in club games on Saturday and Sunday.
Their biggest injury worry surrounds centre half-back Tony McClenaghan. The Movillepowerhouse did not play for his club in the Junior A Championship on Saturday evening and is rated 70/30 to be fit for Sunday. Again supporters will be keeping their fingers crossed, such is the importance of the Moville man.
A number of other players played club football over the weekend including Gavin McBride for Gaoth Dobhair and St. Eunan’s quintet, David Tyrell, Michael Miller, Sean Daffan, Conor Morrison and Conall O’Boyle.
The Kilcar trio of Stephen McBrearty, Andrew McClean and Conor Doherty sat out their win over Glenswilly, as did Eoghan Ban Gallagher for Killybegs against Glenfin.
The Donegal minors will carry the favourites’ tag into the game as they have been unbeaten at minor level this year and defeated Sunday’s opponents in the Minor League semi-final in Letterkenny earlier in the year.