Benny McLaughlin pictured in action for Cappry Rovers in the FAI Junior Cup last weekend. The midfielder will return to the Donegal League side for Saturday's game against the Inishowen League.
The Donegal League aim to over-turn a 2-0 first leg deficit when they meet the Inishowen League in the second leg of their Oscar Traynor Cup tie at the Curragh grounds in Killygordon on Saturday evening (kick off 6.30pm).
The change in format of the competition this season has seen the neighbouring leagues meet in a two-legged play-off with the winner going through to the national stages.
Inishowen were beaten in a one-off game by Cavan/Monaghan earlier in the season and it has since emerged that Cavan/Monaghan have withdrawn from the competition.
Frustratingly however, for the two Donegal sides, it’s not clear whether the team that loses out this weekend will be allowed to take the place of Cavan/Monaghan.
Peter Doherty, the assistant manager of the Donegal League team, said it’s a situation that’s far from idea.
“It doesn’t make sense to be honest,” he said.
“Neither ourselves nor the Inishowen League are too happy about this and while we’ve been doing our best, we’re not getting much joy from the organisers.
“They said they will review the situation after this weekend.”
Cavan/Monaghan have been drawn to play the Carlow League in the next round while the winners from the Donegal League/Inishowen League match will play the Defence Forces.
Donegal lost out 2-0 when the sides met in their first leg in Culdaff on a bitterly cold Saturday evening in December. It was a night when due to the road conditions, the Donegal League arrived at the ground five minutes before kick-off.
“We couldn’t do a proper warm-up or prepare for the game the way we normally would,” Peter Doherty said.
“We were 2-0 down after ten minutes. But at least that won’t happen this weekend. We struggled to get going in the first match and we know we have to be much better on Saturday.”
Donegal League manager Brian Dorrian will welcome Damien Crossan (Kildrum Tigers), Benny McLaughlin (Cappry Rovers) and Eoin Ferry (Milford United) back into the squad this weekend after all three missed the first match. Ferry was in London for his graduation while Crossan and McLaughlin were both on holidays.
Joe Coll, one of the two goalkeepers in the squad, might well replace Michael Mullin of St. Catherine’s in goal as part of a rotation process while Aidan McLaughlin of Bonagee United who did well as a substitute in the first game, is also pushing for a start.
JP Malley of Castlefinn Celtic, who plays in attack, is a doubt for the game because of flu.
“Otherwise we have no injury concerns which is good,” Doherty added.
“We know we need a big performance. Our preparations haven’t really been helped by the bad weather, but we’re looking forward to the game. We know what we have to do and we know we’re up against a side that compete with the best in this competition.”