The final place in next season’s Donegal League Premier Division will be decided this Sunday when Milford United and Gweedore Celtic meet in a promotion/relegation play-off at Dry Arch Park, Bonagee (kick off 2pm).
For both clubs, it’s a game of huge importance. Milford have a chance to secure survival in the top-flight after finishing third from bottom on goal difference.
Meanwhile Gweedore Celtic, who finished in third place in Division One behind promoted Cappry Rovers and Donegal Town, will be hoping their fine league campaign ends with some success.
Gweedore’s chances on Sunday however, aren’t helped by the unavailability of a number of key players due to GAA commitments. Odhran MacNiallais and Eamon McGee will both feature for Gaoth Dobhair against in their opening game in the Donegal Senior Championship against Kilcar on Sunday afternoon.
And with Gaoth Dobhair Reserves also in action, it means several players will be absent from Hugo Diver’s match-day squad.
“It’s not ideal,” the Gweedore Celtic manager said.
“To be honest, it’s not a great way to end the season. We haven’t played a game in six weeks and it’s very difficult to keep players motivated and to organise training when it’s so long to the play-offs.
“It’s almost like a pre-season game again. At the minute, it looks like we’ll be without a good few players. We’ll have to see who we have available and take it from there.”
With Milford GAA club in action in the championship on Saturday evening, Michael Deeney’s Milford United are likely to be at full strength for Sunday. He’s aware of the selection problems facing Gweedore Celtic, and said it’s an unfortunate situation.
“I’d much prefer if both teams had everyone available,” he said.
“It’s such a big game for both clubs and I don’t think it’s right that one team should have an unfair advantage over another because players are away playing GAA.”
Like Gweedore, Milford haven’t played in a number of weeks. Their final league game was against Rathmullan Celtic at Moyle View Park on April 9th where the visitors scored a 93rd minute goal to win 2-1.
It was to prove a costly goal to concede. Had Milford held out for the draw, they would have survived in the Premier Division and avoided the play-offs.
Gary Merritt of Milford United in action against Castlefinn Celtic.