Donegal hurlers going for three in-a-row in All-Ireland final

Donegal hurlers going for three in-a-row in All-Ireland final
Tom Comack @dgldemocrat

Donegal are chasing a third All-Ireland U-21C (Andrew O’Neill Cup) Championship title in-a-row this Saturday when the face Sligo in Markievicz Park in Sligo. (Throw-in 4 pm)

Donegal conceded home advantage to Sligo so the game can be played before the All-Ireland Qualifier of Donegal and Galway,

That game is also in Markievicz Park with a throw in time of 7 pm.

Donegal are managed by Tom Hennessy and have played just one game on their way to Saturday’s decider while opponents Sligo have played two games.

Donegal defeated Tyrone in the semi-final after receiving a walkover from Longford in the quarter-final.

Donegal had 21 points to spare at the end of their one sided clash with the Red Hand County as the defending champions ran out 2-23 to 1-5 winners.

“We played well against Tyrone and it wasn’t a case of Tyrone throwing in the towel. They played right up to the final whistle.”

Hennessy has assembled a good squad of players and the team is backboned by county seniors Jack O’Loughlin, Conor O’Grady, Sean Curran, Aaron McCauley, Sam ‘Roe’ Doherty and Ciaran Rami.

And they are backed up a good crop of emerging young players like Oisin Rooney, Caolan McDaid, Cathal Doherty, Ben ‘Roe’ Doherty and Tom Cleere.

Cleere, who would have played all his underage hurling for Donegal at full-forward, has been converted into a goalkeeper.

Tom Hennessy is in his second year in the job; he guided Donegal to a final win over Fermanagh last year.

“We are looking forward to the final but I find it a bit strange to be conceding home advantage to your opponents in an All-Ireland final.

“Preparations have been hampered by the senior championship but we are still in good shape.

“Sligo are a good side and as we have seen from their two games so far they have been rattling up big scores.

“But we have a good side too and we are the champions and have won the last two and are going all out to win a third.”

The winners of Saturday’s final advance to the All-Ireland B quarter-final where they will face Kerry.

Sligo have chalked up big scores in their two games. They defeated Fermanagh 4-20 to 0-6 in their first outing and they followed that 26 point win with an equally comfortable 5-35 to 1-4 win over Louth in the semi-final.

Donegal panel:

Tom Clare, Buncrana; Jamie De Ward, MacCumhaill's; Aidan Stokes, Buncrana; Ciaran Rami, Aodh Ruadh; Conor O'Grady, St. Eunan's; Jack O'Loughlin, Buncrana; Caolan McDermott, Burt; Sam Doherty, Buncrana; Sean Anderson, Setanta; Shaun Curran, MacCumhaill's; Oisin Rooney, Aodh Ruadh; Paul Nelson, Buncrana; Eddie Lynch, Aodh Ruadh; Aaron McAuley, MacCumhaill's; Johnny Carlin, Setanta; Cathal Doherty, Carndonagh; Cian Durack, St. Eunan's; Ben Doherty, Buncrana; Conor Kelly, St. Eunan's; Sean Halvey, St. Eunan's; Kevin Kealy, St. Eunan's; Fiachra McLaughlin, Buncrana; Stephen Doherty, St. Eunan's; Justin McBride, Setanta; Conor Kennedy, Aodh Ruadh.