DONEGAL GAA

Donegal have no injury worries ahead of Down challenge in Ulster semi-final

Neil McGee, Michael Langan and Jamie Brennan back in training

Tom Comack

Reporter:

Tom Comack

Donegal have no injury worries ahead of Down challenge in Ulster semi-final

Neil McGee . . . important that he's fit for Donegal for Sunday.

It’s all systems go for Sunday’s crunch Ulster Championship semi-final showdown with Down in Clones. (Throw-in 4 pm)

Apart from the long term injured trio of Martin McElhinney, Nathan Mullins and Marty O’Reilly, Donegal boss Declan Bonner has declared a clean bill of health for the joust with the Mourne men.

That means that Neil McGee, Michael Langan and Jamie Brennan have recovered from the kocks they picked up last time out against Derry in Celtic Park.

“They’ll be alright. They are back training and will be okay,” was the Donegal manager’s response when asked about the state of health of the trio at Tuesday pre-match press briefing in the Villa Rosa Hotel,  Ballybofey.

However, he did admit Stephen McBrearty was a slight worry with a hamstring niggle and it would be later in the week before if he knows if the young Kilcar man would be fit to play.

The Donegal boss had good news on the long term injured trio of Martin McElhinney, Nathan Mullins and Marty O’Reilly.

He reported all three they were back in training and were not far away but this weekend’s game would come too soon for the three.

Donegal, who are playing their third game in the championship, will go into the tie as firm favourites on the back of their comfortable wins over Cavan in the preliminary round in Ballybofey and Derry in the quarter-final in Celtic Park.

Down, who were well beaten by Tyrone in last year’s Ulster final, have played just the one game. They defeated Antrim in Newry. They won that game 1-18 to 0-14.

“Down, come championship time, are always a different animal. They did what they had to do against Antrim. They  kicked 1-18 against Antrim and it is basically the same Down team that got to the Ulster final last year.”

Bonner has no plans at the moment to recall  U-20 players Jason McGee and Niall O’Donnell or any of the other U-20s who were members of the squad for the Allianz League.

“They certainly won’t be back in the squad for Sunday’s game. We will see what is happening down the line and we have not spoken to them since Sunday’s defeat. We just want to give them the time and space to get over Sunday’s defeat first.”

The Donegal starting team is not expected to be announced until close to match time. However, given that Neil McGee, Michael Langan and Jamie Brennan have made good recoveries from injury, the starting 15 is expected to be along the lines of the team that started  in Celtic Park.

Donegal are bidding on Sunday for a seventh Ulster final appearance in eight years.