The Donegal senior championship has new favourites as the race for the the Dr. Maguire Cup hots up this weekend with the playing of the two championship semi-finals.
St. Eunan’s, who were 6/1 in the betting at the start of the championship and third favourites behind Naomh Conaill and St. St. Michael’s, are now 5/4 favourites. This follows their 2-15 to 0-7 quarter-final win over Killybegs on Sunday last and their 2-8 to 2-5 play-off win over Kiclar the previous Thursday night.
The Letterkenny men face surprise package Dungloe, conquerors of champoions Glenswilly, in last Saturday’s last eight clash.
Naomh Conaill, who were joint favourites with St. Michael’s, are now second favourites at 13/8 with St. Michael’s, who face Four Masters in a quarter-final replay tonight (Thursday) now lengthened to 9/2.
Going on the odds it is between these three, as both Dungloe at 9/1 and Four Masters at 12/1 seen as the outsiders.
“St. Eunan’s look to be the side alright and at this stage look to be the in-form team,” says Donegal All-Ireland wining Vocational School manager and member of the Killybegs management team, John Joe O’Shea.
“They were impressive against us last weekend and were very strong all over the field. I fancy them to see off Dungloe on Saturday night, and make it through to the final. The momentum is very much with them.
“Dungloe got a great result last weekend against Glenswilly, but Raymond Sweeney is a huge loss to them and really they would need Raymond to be in with a chance.
“I expect Dungloe to make a game of it but unless St. Eunan’s take their eye off the ball it is difficult to see anything but a Eunan’s win.”
O’Shea expects Naomh Conaill to come through the other semi-final which has been pencilled in for O’Donnell Park on Sunday afternoon as St. Eunan’s final day opponents.
“It is shaping up to be a St. Eunan’s versus Naomh Conaill final. The extra game and the possibility of picking up knocks and injuries in their play-off means that Naomh Conaill are going to be fresher than either St. Michael’s or Four Masters whichever eventually come through from the play-off.”
While the momentum is with Four Masters following last Sunday’s 0-9 each draw and the fact that St. Michael’s have also lost Martin McElhinney to injury, O’Shea still feels that last year’s beaten finalists St. Michael’s will make it through to meet Naomh Conaill, in the last four.
The St. Michael’s verus Four Masters game is in Sean MacCumhaill Park tonight at 8 p.m. with the St. Eunan’s and Dungloe game also in Ballybofey, on Saturday, throw in 8pm.
The second semi-final is on Sunday, in O’Donnell Park, throw in 4pm.