Cavan next up for Donegal in McKenna Cup

Cavan next up for Donegal in McKenna Cup
Tom Comack @dgldemocrat

Donegal are back in Dr McKenna Cup action on Sunday when they face Cavan in Sean MacCumhaill Park, Ballybofey. (2 pm)

This is a second round tie. Donegal lost their opening round game the University of Ulster, Jordanstown, last Sunday, also in Ballybofey.

Declan Bonner’s young charges, made up entirely of county U-21 players, were cruelly denied the win over the Belfast students by a late Ryan McHugh goal.

The Martin McHugh managed UUJ won on a scoreline of 2-20 to 4-13 at the end of a free flowing and open game, in difficult enough conditions.

Cavan, who are looking forward to playing in Division One of the Allianz Football after a long number of years out of the top flight, defeated Tyrone in their opening game.

The Breiffni men were four points winners, 1-13 to 0-12, over a strong Tyrone selection in Cavan, also on Sunday last.

Cavan are managed by former Tyrone player, Mattie McGlennon, who is in his first year in charge.

“We played very well last week and we were very happy with the performance even though we lost the game in the cruel manner we lost it,” said Declan Bonner.

“Cavan will be a different type of challenge to UUJ. They are a seasoned and experienced team and they come to Ballybofey on the back of a good win over a strong Tyrone selection.

“They have a new manager in Mattie McGlennon and the are preparing for playing in Division One and they are using the McKenna Cup as preparation for the league.

“They will be big and stronger and more physical than UUJ were last week.

“But we are looking forward to the challenge and another outing in preparation for the U-21 championship.”

With so many of his team out of the county at College, Donegal will not train this week until Saturday.

“It is not easy, but those are the cards we have been dealt with and we will just have to get on with it as best we can.

“We will have a training session on Saturday to work on tactics and a few things for the game and make a final decision on the team for Sunday’s game.”

Bonner expects the squad for Sunday’s clash to be very much along similar lines to last weekend.

“There are a couple of boys we will not know of their availability until the weekend. But even if we are one or two short it will be an opportunity for other guys to come in and stake a claim for a place.

“We are carrying a big squad and we are anxious to give everybody in a squad a run before we finalise our panel at the end of January.”

Donegal are also due to play Tyrone on Wednesday night in Healy Park, in a final game in the group.

And unless they win on Sunday and again on Wednesday night against Tyrone, they will have no further games in the Dr McKenna Cup.

“It is more about performance on Sunday against Cavan and again on Wednesday night against Tyrone, than it is about getting a win.”

UUJ play Tyrone in the other game in the group. That game is on Saturday night in Omagh.