MICHAEL MURPHY DONEGAL SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIP

St. Michael's to give Kilcar close game in Donegal semi-final - Adrian Brennan

St. Michael's to give Kilcar close game in Donegal semi-final - Adrian Brennan

Tom Comack sport@donegaldemocrat.com @dgldemocrat

Kilcar may be the favourites but one club manager that faced them in the championship believes that St Michael’s will give them a run for their money in Saturday’s semi-final.

Adrian Brennan is the Ardara manager. Ardara were in the same group as Kilcar and were well beaten by last year’s beaten finalists.

On Saturday next in MacCumhaill Park, Kilcar take on St. Michael’s in the first of the Michael Murphy Sports & Leisure Championship semi-finals.

“Kilcar are a good side and rightly are the favourites but I think St Michael’s will be a lot closer to them than most people think,” said the Ardara boss.

“I was talking to Leo McLoone only yesterday and he was saying that St Michael’s would like to have the three boys - Stephen Doak, Peter Witherow and Antoin McFadden - who won the New York Championship with Donegal the weekend before last.

“Leo played with them during the summer in New York and he was telling me they are playing well and if St Michael’s had them they would be a formidable outfit.

“But apparently they are not eligible and are a huge loss though when you look at St Michael’s they are still a seasoned and experienced bunch.

“They have Colm McFadden who seems to be playing as well as ever and you have Christy Toye, Daniel McLaughlin also playing well and Andrew Kelly, all in the forward line.

“They have Martin McElhinney in the middle of the field and if Michael Langan is able to join him in the middle they will be a formidable club midfield.

“I think Michael Langan is a fabulous player and I rate him very highly. If he is fit to play he could make a awful difference.

“The general feeling is that the Kilcar defence is not that strong and St Michael’s forward line is their strongest unit.

“Midfield is going to be crucial and whether or Langan is fit to start.

“Ciaran McGinley is playing very well for Kilcar all season and Mark McHugh was alongside him in their last game against Bundoran and they have Michael Hegarty hoovering up around midfield too.

“Kilcar are strongest, to,o in attack with Ryan and Eoin McHugh, Patrick and Stephen McBrearty and Conor Doherty. These players can hurt St Michael’s.

“No more than Kilcar, the St Michael’s defence is seen as their Achilles heel and that is why Michael Kelly would love to have the three boys in their rearguard.

“Imagine the difference Stephen Doak, Peter Witherow and Antoin McFadden would make to St Michael’s.

“The game is in MacCumhaill Park which could be a factor too and it might suit St Michael’s more than Kilcar.

“A fast dry sod like O’Donnell Park might suit Kilcar more than the slightly heavier sod in MacCumhaill Park.

“St Michael’s are a big physical side. Colm McFadden, Christy Toye, Martin McElhinney are big men and if they impose themselves on the game, it could also be a factor.

“Form, however, suggests Kilcar and it is hard to look past a team with Ryan, Mark and Eoin McHugh, Patrick and Stephen McBrearty, Michael Hegarty and Ciaran McGinley in their team.

“But I still feel if Michael Langan is fit he could have a big bearing on the outcome and it might not be as straight forward as some are suggesting. If Langan plays I would give St Michael’s a chance. But no more than Mayo last weekend they are going to have to play very well and get big games out of Colm McFadden, Christy Toye and company.

“If Colm McFadden plays as well as he did the last day against Burt, Kilcar may be favourites but it may not be as straight forward as most people think.”

Verdict: Kilcar.

Michael Hegarty's
impressive championship record for Kilcar

Michael Hegarty - Age 38

Club: 22 years playing in the Donegal Senior Football Championship, 1996 – 2017.

Total Games available . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86

Total games played . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83

Not played: 2003 v Fanad Gaels

2007 v Buncrana

2017 v Ardara

Scored in games . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64

Not scored in games . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

Total scored . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-192

Club Honours

Democrat Cup -Senior League Champions 2014, 2016

Comórtas Peile na Gaeltachta, Sinsir na hEireann 2008, 2014