St. Catherine's on the brink of promotion back to Premier Division

St. Catherine's on the brink of promotion back to Premier Division
Peter Campbell sport@donegaldemocrat.com @dgldemocrat

St. Catherine's just need to win at home this Sunday against Ballybofey United to ensure promotion to the Premier Division of the Donegal League next season.

Indeed, they could be champions on Sunday evening if Keadue Rovers fail to take all three points at Convoy Arsenal, who are desperate for points to avoid the drop.

The Saints are lying four points clear at the top of the Temple Domestic Appliances Division One. Bonagee United are second but have a game more played, while Keadue Rovers lie third a further point back. Their defeat at the hands of Gweedore Celtic last weekend was a mortal blow to their hopes. Now it seems that promotion will be their main target, with Bonagee as their big rivals.

It has been a good season for St. Catherine's. Under a shared management of the four seniors in the squad - Daniel Breslin, David Conwell, Christopher Murrin and Michael Mullin - they have suffered just two defeats.

Their aim was always to get back to the top flight. Speaking to the Democrat this week, Daniel Breslin said that they had introduced a lot of young players. "We have four, five, six young players with two young players from last year, Ryan Carr and Niall Campbell, as mainstays," said Breslin, who also added that Conor Doherty of Kilcar had given them greate energy this year.

But it wasn't plain sailing, suffering an early setback to Erne Wanderers and then losing to arch rivals, neighbours Dunkineely.

"In fairness, if Dunkineely could have fielded the side they fielded that day for the full season, they would have been contenders for promotion too.

WAKE UP CALL

"It was a wake up call for us, as was tThe Saints haven't lost since the Dunkineely setback at the end of January. "We knuckled down after thathe defeat earlier in the season to Erne Wanderers," said Breslin.

Having a shared management is not ideal, but Breslin said they were forced into it this year as they just couldn't get someone to commit. "Ideally, you would want someone on the sideline full-time."

But for now, it is a matter of seeing out the job and Breslin acknowledged that Gweedore Celtic had done them a massive favour last weekend when defeating Keadue Rovers.

"We have to concentrate on Sunday and getting three points," said Breslin, who acknowledged that is now in the difficult season with the Gaelic back up running.

"There will be a couple of weeks' pain, but it will be worth it," he said.

At the bottom of Division One, there is a battle between Convoy Arsenal and Raphoe Town to see who will join Dunkineely Celtic making the drop. Raphoe hold a four points advantage with three games left.

With Cappry Rovers and Kildrum Tigers involved in cup action this weekend, there is little at stake in the games in the Premier League.

In the Saturday leagues, the two in contention at the top of League One - Glencar Celtic and Strand Rovers - are not in action.

In Saturday League Two - St. Catherine's Reserve side have the chance to close the gap on Dunlewey Celtic to just one point when they travel to play Drumbar FC, while Gweedore Celtic Reserves can keep their faint hopes of a runner-up position intact if they can defeat Kildrum Tigers Reserves at home.