Another big day ahead for Glenswilly

Another big day ahead for Glenswilly
Diarmaid Doherty @dgldemocrat

Michael Murphy, Cormac Callaghan and Ryan Diver all returned to training on Tuesday night and will be available for Glenswilly for Sunday’s eagerly awaited Ulster Club Senior Championship quarter-final meeting with Kilcoo in Newry (2.30pm throw-in).

The trio were left out of the team that defeated Termon in the All County League Division One last weekend. Callaghan and Diver were both carrying knocks from the county final while Murphy was also rested.

Their return to action is a timely boost ahead of what’s another big weekend for Michael Canning’s side.

The Down champions recently won a fifth county senior title in five years and with home advantage, will go into the game as favourites.

But as Glenswilly captain Gary McFadden pointed out this week, the Donegal club have performed well when they’ve stepped onto the provincial stage.

“I remember the first year we won the county title, we played against Cavan Gaels,” he said.

“We’d only really a week to prepare for that match and with all the celebrating that went on, we just decided to go out and give it a go.

“We managed to win that day, but got beat in the next round. But the next time we got into Ulster, we knew that if we prepared properly and we could give it a rattle. As it turned out we got all the way to the final.”

Glenswilly were beaten in that 2013 decider by four points by Ballinderry. It’s a game that is still fresh in the memory of McFadden.

“It was one of those days when everything they tried seemed to work. They were kicking points from everywhere when on another day, they’d have been dropping wide.”

Glenswilly had wanted a free weekend ahead of their game in Newry and manager Michael Canning confirmed that a request to have their league game against Termon postponed was turned down by Donegal CCC.

McFadden said in hindsight, it’s probably no harm to have the game played and their status in Division One confirmed for another year.

“Some might say a game like that is as good as two or three hard training sessions,” he added.

Canning ran his bench against Termon, using six subs in the second half and he said those that got their chance showed up well.

“We were missing three of our starting team from the final so there were opportunities for players to come in from the start and it was good to see them showing up well,” he said.

“We used six subs as well. There’s good depth in the panel and going into Ulster, that’s what you need.

“If we are to get over Kilcoo, we’re going to have to have strength in depth. There’s no point just going with a Plan A, you need a Plan B and C. It’s really unknown territory, we’ve never played Kilcoo before and we don’t know a lot about them.

“We’ll go with our own game-plan and try to implement that and just as we did with Kilcar, we’ll compete and see where it takes us on Sunday.”

The winners of Sunday's tie will meet either Maghery (Armagh) or Ramor Utd (Cavan) in the semi-final