BUNCRANA CUP U-16

Donegal bidding to end four-year famine in Buncrana Cup (U-16) this Saturday

Tom Comack

Reporter:

Tom Comack

Donegal bidding to end four-year famine in Buncrana Cup (U-16) this Saturday

Donegal will bid this weekend to end a four year Buncrana Cup famine when they play in the finals of the Ulster U-16 football competition.
Donegal, Monaghan, Tyrone and Cavan have qualified for the last four.
Donegal will face Monaghan in Hibernian Park, Burt and Tyrone will meet Cavan in Ture, Muff, on Saturday. Both games throw-in at 11 am.
The final is in Buncrana on Saturday afternoon with a throw-in time of 3 pm with the third and fourth place play-off timed for 4 pm.
Donegal defeated Armagh, Fermanagh and Derry to qualify for the last four.
Monaghan are going for a four in-a-row of Buncrana Cup triumphs. They defeated Derry in a replay last year to complete.
“Monaghan have been the dominant team in the competition in the last few years. Donegal haven’t won the Buncrana Cup since 2013,” said Donegal manager Gary Duffy, who is in his first year as U-16 manager.
“They are very strong at underage level and right up there with Tyrone in recent years.
“I haven’t seen them this season, but by all accounts they are a big strong and physical team with good pace all over the field.”
Donegal qualified for the semi-finals at the beginning of last month but have played a number of challenge games in recent weeks.
“We played Meath and Roscommon. They were both good workouts; we beat Meath and lost to Roscommon. But there were only a couple of points in the games.
“We played the challenge games because Monaghan, Tyrone and Cavan all play in two tournaments but we only play in one.
“It is something we need to look at again and maybe even consider reapplying to play in the Ted Webb Cup in Connacht again,” added the Donegal boss.
Donegal played for a number of years in the Ted Webb Cup and won it on twice in 1991 and 1999. Denis Ellis was manager in 1991 with Sean McEwen as captain and Martin McHugh was in charge in 1999 when Barry Dunnion was captain.
Donegal were excluded from the competition shortly after.
The Donegal squad have been in training since the beginning of March with specialist training from Karl Lacey.
Gary Duffy has a number of injury concerns this week as he puts the final touches to his preparations.
Seamus Og Byrne (Killybegs), Caolan Gallagher, (Termon), both ankle injuries and Eoin Duffy (Aodh Ruadh), hamstring, are rated extremely doubtful by the manager.
But he insisted that he would not be making a final decision on their fitness close to match time.
Donegal, with current county senior panelists Michael Carroll and Ethan O’Donnell, defeated Tyrone 3-6 to 0-3, in the 2013 final. The 2013 team was managed by Shaun Paul Barrett.
DONEGAL SQUAD
Donegal squad: Corey Byrne (Killybegs), Aaron Gilhooley (Sean MacCumhaill’s), Seamus Og Byrne (Killybegs); Cillian Gildea (Killybegs), Anthony Doherty (Carndonagh), Caolan Gallagher (Termon), Eoin Doherty (Aodh Ruadh), Shane Gillespie (Aodh Ruadh), Padraig McGettigan (St Eunan's), Leo Dunphy (Naomh Conaill), Shane O'Donnell (St Eunan's), Josh Conlon (Malin), Jonathan Toye (Muff), Alex McGeehan (Sean MacCumhaill’s), Cian Callan (Sean MacCumhaill’s), Matthew Mulholland (Buncrana), Charlie Breslin (Killybegs), Conor McFadden (Termon), Stephen McFadden (Gaoth Dobhair), Odhran McGlynn (Glenfin), Darragh McMenamin (Red Hugh’s), Ryan Hegarty (Buncrana), Oisin Kelly (Burt), Michael Coughlan (St Nauls), Eoin Gorrell (Four Masters), Karl Gallagher (Killybegs), Ronan Gallagher (Downings). Ryan O'Donnell (Milford), Cathal Gillespie (Gaoth Dobhair), Joseph McGrenra (Buncrana).