We might only be three weeks into the new season, but the first of the silverware will be handed out this weekend when the four Area Finals in the Brian McCormick Sports Cup take place.
St. Catherine’s, winners of the Donegal Area Final last season, will be out to retain that title when they meet Donegal Town at Emerald Park.
Both teams have been impressive on their way to this weekend’s decider. The Killybegs men beat Dunkineely Celtic in their opening game and then Erne Wanderers last Sunday.
Donegal Town were convincing winners over Eany Celtic and then beat Cappry Rovers last weekend to qualify for the final.
Castlefinn Celtic are another club with a great record in this competition in recent seasons. They went all the way to the Cup Final last year, only to be beaten by Milford United.
This Sunday, they are back in the Area Final in the Lifford Area and travel to play a Ballybofey United who upset the odds last weekend when they beat Kildrum Tigers in their semi-final.
In the Gweedore Area, Keadue Rovers have home advantage against Gweedore United in what promises to be a close game. Gweedore got to the final last year as well, only to lose out 2-1 to Glenea United.
The final game is the Letterkenny Area Final where Rathmullan Celtic play host to Lagan Harps. Rathmullan will warm up for Sunday’s big game with a friendly fixture at Letterkenny Rovers this evening. However, they know they will have to be at their best to beat a Lagan team who knocked out the reigning Premier Division champions Drumoghill FC last Sunday in their semi-final.
Meanwhile the first round of league fixtures in the two Saturday Divisions are on this weekend. Arranmore United, who were so impressive on their way to the Glencar Inn Saturday League title last year, begin the defence of their title away to Dunlewey Celtic who make a welcome return to the Donegal League.
In the other games, Drumbar FC have a difficult opener against Orchard FC while Fintown Harps host Strand Rovers.
There are four games in the Reserve Division with champions Glenea United at home to Milford United; Cappry Rovers against Castlefinn Celtic; Donegal Town host Erne Wanderers and Kilmacrennan Celtic play Glencree United.
The first matches in the new Ulster Senior League season take place on Sunday with two matches in the Donegal News League Cup. In Group A, Swilly Rovers are at home to Cockhill Celtic and in Group B, Bonagee United play Fanad United.