DONEGAL LEAGUE

Junior and Glencar Celtic all set to celebrate title success

Saturday League title likely to be decided this weekend

Diarmaid Doherty

Reporter:

Diarmaid Doherty

Email:

sport@donegaldemocrat.com

Junior and Glencar Celtic all set to celebrate title success

Kevin Rafferty in action for Glencar Celtic against Fintown Harps.

Nestled in the shadows of Errigal Mountain, Glentornan Park in Dunlewey is one of the most scenic sporting venues in the country.

On Friday it plays host to a Donegal League game that’s sure to attract a few more spectators than normal.

Dunlewey Celtic play host to Orchard FC in the Glencar Inn Division of the Saturday League where anything less than an Orchard win will hand the title to Glencar Celtic.

The Glencar squad are planning to take in the game to see if Dunlewey can do them a favour.

However, their joint manager, Junior Russell, said no matter what happens in Friday’s game, his team want to finish off their season unbeaten.

“We go to Arranmore ourselves on Saturday so if Orchard win in Dunlewey, we’ve still got the chance to win the title this weekend.

“At least we know that no matter what happens in the Orchard game, we’ll win the league if we beat Arranmore.”

Russell, who looks after Glencar along with player-manager Garbhan Grieve, said his team have enjoyed a real tussle with Orchard all season.

“We actually didn’t start too well,” he pointed out.

“We drew our first couple of games and we were behind Orchard for a good bit of the season. But once we got our tails up and got past them, we were determined not to let that lead slip.”

Russell was keen to point out that no matter what happens this weekend, Orchard should also be commended for their efforts this year.

“They’ve a new manager Sean Sweeney who has done brilliant and they have some fine players.”

Glencar have a strong squad as well with former county star Kevin Rafferty an important addition.

“Kevin has been brilliant,” Russell said.

“He’s a real calming influence on everyone and when he speaks in the dressing room, the players listen.”

Ciaran Doherty and Eugene Sullivan have played well this year while Grieve, a central midfielder, is the joint-leading scorer in the division along with Orchard’s Michael Sweeney.

Russell also paid special tribute to defender Paddy O’Kane who suffered serious injury playing against Fintown Harps earlier in the campaign - an injury which ended his season.

“That was hard on Paddy,” he said.

“It was his last game before he got married and he had been playing so well at the time, he was on his way to being our player of the year.”

Dunlewey’s game against Orchard is at 2pm on St. Patrick's Day. Aside from the Arranmore v Glencar Celtic game, there’s one other match in the top division on Saturday with Fintown at home to Strand Rovers.

In the Reserve Division, the big game sees Keadue Rovers at home to a Castlefinn Celtic side who are two wins away from winning the league.