The Sporting Diary

with Sports Editor Peter Campbell

The Sporting Diary

McGee’s nose famous in song

The songwriting duo of Fergus Cleary and Noel Sweeney have a hit on their hands at the moment after re-working the famous ‘Rose of Tralee’ following the ‘handlin’ in Austin Stack Park a few weeks ago.

If you haven’t heard it as yet, you should try your best to view the offering by the pair of buckos entitled ‘The Nose of McGee’.

Hopefully McGee’s nose will be okay to go when Donegal hit the field in Croke Park on Saturday evening for the tilt with the Dubs.

It comes on the eve of Easter Sunday and the centenary of the 1916 Rising with much celebration in the capital over the weekend. Hopefully there is another ‘Rising’ in the North West in the offing. We were going well until we hit the road bump in Tralee and it took us a full half against Roscommon to recover.

With just two games left, we need to get two points to ensure a semi-final placing, which would bring welcome revenue as well as restoring some confidence. Getting those two points will be difficult, although one point may well be enough to secure a place in the top four as our score difference is pretty good. Dublin are sure of one of the four places and Roscommon are also almost certain.

So there is a battle for two places. Donegal have to travel to Castleblaney on Sunday week for the final game and, like Croke Park on Saturday next, that will be difficult. Monaghan almost turned Dublin over in Croke Park earlier in the campaign, the nearest any team has come this year. So there is no reason why Donegal can’t put it up to them.

And remember, please don't be giving them boys - Cleary and Sweeney - any new song-writing material!

Harps’ good start

Finn Harps have had a busy few weeks in their new life in the Premier Division of the League of Ireland but they have also acquitted themselves well.

The lights went out in the Showgrounds in Sligo on Saturday night as they were getting on top of Rovers with just three minutes left. No doubt they were probably happy enough getting a share of the spoils, and points like that will prove the difference at the end of the season.

Harps will hardly be battling at the top half of the table as they don’t have the resources of the likes of Dundalk, Cork City, Shamrock Rovers or St. Patrick’s Athletic.

But if they can compete with their North West neighbours as well as Longford Town, Galway, Wexford, Bray, etc., then they can establish themselves in the top flight, which is surely their main objective this season.

They have advanced to the second round of the EA Sports Cup and the only worry at the moment is injury and a possible lack of goal scoring power.

Playing six games in 22 days is a tough schedule for a small panel, but hopefully they can steer clear of any more injuries as they have an important home game on Saturday night against Longford Town. That is the type of fixture they need to get three points from to put their stamp on the season.