Kilcar manager, Barry Doherty
Gaoth Dobhair go into this weekend’s Donegal Senior Championship semi-finals as the raging hot favourites.
The men from the Gaeltacht have already taken possession of the Democrat Cup after winning Division One, and they are also hotly tipped to add the Dr Maguire Cup this year.
Barry Doherty, who guided Kilcar to a first championship triumph in 23 years in 2017, feels Gaoth Dobhair are the best team in the county.
“It’s Gaoth Dobhair’s to lose as long as they don’t lose their way,” said Doherty.
“They had a good run in the league. They won Division One and they have carried that form into the championship.
“They have a seriously strong squad of players and as long they don’t lose their focus, they should win the championship.”
The Kilcar boss feels Gaoth Dobhair will simply pack too much bunch for Sean MacCumhaill’s in Sunday’s semi-final in O’Donnell Park. It’s a game he has likened to a Leinster championship tie involving Dublin.
Action from last weekend's quarter-final in Donegal Town where Barry Doherty's Kilcar lost out against Naomh Conaill. Picture: Brian McDaid
Naomh Conaill, who knocked the champions Kilcar out last weekend, face Glenswilly in the other of this weekend’s last four ties.
The Kilcar boss feels this tie will be a lot closer. He is also predicting that it won't be pretty and certainly not a game for the purist.
Doherty said it will all come down to how Naomh Conaill deal with the Glenswilly kick-outs to Neil Gallagher and then the long punt into Michael Murphy.
“And of course there is the Gary McDaid factor,” he said.
“ I see Gary is on the line too and we are all aware of his ability to come with a winning game-plan.”
Glenswilly v Naomh Conaill - the Doherty verdict
This really is a difficult game to call. It’s going to be a tight contest with packed defences and about 2,000 handpasses.
In my opinion Naomh Conaill are a better team than last year, although I don’t think their forwards are fit. The ‘Brick’ Molloy is carrying an injury and I thought he wasn’t himself against us on Sunday. They seem to have one or two others carrying knocks as well.
Glenswilly have been typical of the Glenswilly of recent years. They have eased themselves into the championship after losing the first day against Ardara. It will all come down to how Naomh Conaill deal with the Glenswilly kick-outs to Neil Gallagher and then the long punt into Murphy.
The two teams will employ packed defences so a goal will be big score in this game. Of the two, with Michael Murphy, you would have to feel Glenswilly have the greater potential to score a goal.
Gaoth Doherty v MacCumhaill's
This is a bit like a Leinster Championship game where Dublin are playing and you just know they are going to win. Gaoth Dobhair are the Dublin in this case and that is no disrespect to Sean MacCumhaill’s.
They are a fine young side and Bernard McGeehan has done a brilliant job. They have had a great season.
They had a fine win over St Michael’s last weekend in the quarter-final and they play a good open brand of football.
We played them in the championship and they have a number of very good forwards.
But they are young and inexperienced and they face a different animal on Sunday in Gaoth Dobhair.
Gaoth Dobhair had a good run in the league. They won Division One and they have carried that form into the championship. They have a serious squad of players and a great mix of experienced and younger players. They lost the semi-final last year and probably were a little unlucky to do so. This will no doubt drive them on this year.
Verdict: Gaoth Dobhair
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