DONEGAL GAA

Frank McGlynn and Martin McElhinney back for Donegal for Dr McKenna final

Tom Comack

Reporter:

Tom Comack

Frank McGlynn and Martin McElhinney back for Donegal for Dr McKenna final

Frank McGlynn . . . to return for Donegal on Saturday

Frank McGlynn and Martin McElhinney are set to make their first starts of the new season against Tyrone in Saturday’s Bank of Ireland Dr McKenna Cup final in Armagh. (Throw-in 6 pm)

McGlynn and McElhinney returned to training in recent weeks having not featured in any of Donegal’s games in the Dr McKenna Cup or Allianz National League.

They had both been nursing injuries but they are now fit to play again and their return is a timely boost ahead of the second half of the Allianz League.

“Frank and Martin are back in training and it was always planned to get them back into action around this time,” Donegal boss, Declan Bonner, told the Democrat.

Meanwhile, the Donegal boss is planning for the clash with Tyrone without Michael Murphy, Michael Langan, Jason McGee, Darach O’Connor and Michael Carroll.

They are all featuring for Letterkenny IT in the Trench Cup finals which are on Friday and Saturday in Dublin.

LYIT play Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, in the semi-final tomorrow (Friday), in Dublin.  And if they come through the semi-final successfully they will play the final on Saturday.

Michael Murphy is the LYIT  manager and McGee, Langan, Carroll and Jigger O’Connor are all key members of the team.

“The lads are not available but it gives other lads that may have not got any game time or much game time so far a chance.

“Lads like Frank (McGlynn) and Martin (McElhinney) and Conor Morrison is another who has been carrying an injury but is fit again.

“These lads all need game time and Saturday evening’s game is the ideal opportunity ahead of the return to league action the following weekend.”

Tyrone are also expected to field a number of players who have seen little game time or none at all in their four Dr McKenna Cup and their three games in the league.

Mickey Harte is also resting a number of players this weekend especially those players who have played in all seven games so far in the season.

“I don’t think that would be fair, number one, to ask the players to give of their best right through January, right through February and on into March without some kind of a break,” said Harte.

Despite fielding weakened teams both Declan Bonner and Mickey Harte have pledged to be competitive and they were going to Armagh to win.

In the case of Donegal it would be a first Dr McKenna since 2010.

Tyrone are bidding for a 16th Dr McKenna Cup championship and a seventh in-a-row.

See Page 86 for more.