DONEGAL GAA - INTERMEDIATE FINAL

Aodh Ruadh manager James O'Donnell uneasy carrying the favourites' tag in final

Gerry McLaughlin

Reporter:

Gerry McLaughlin

Aodh Ruadh manager James O'Donnell uneasy carrying the favourites' tag in final

Aodh Ruadh manager James O'Donnell and the club contingent at the final launch. Photo Geraldine Diver

Uneasy lies the crown on the head of favoured.
And one of the biggest tasks for any manager is managing the weight of expectation ahead of a county final.
And Aodh Ruadh boss James O'Donnell is well aware of the weight of expectation that hangs over favourites Ballyshannon as they lock horns with Glenfin in Ballybofey on Sunday.
With the bookies and the cognoscent making his side highly fancied, this match could be ideally set up for “underdogs” Glenfin, who have a formidable record themselves in championship football.
It is the pre match presser and compere Charlie Collins is throwing in the stats and the searching questions with all the practice of a veteran.
“Aodh Ruadh scored a total of 11 goals and 59 points which is 110 points in total and they conceded 1-38 which is 41,” Charlie Collins said.
“Glenfin have scored 55 points exactly half”.
And then he quipped:
“There is no point in turning up on Sunday so”?
But O'Donnell does not buy this hype for a second.
For, while Glenfin have struggled somehat en route to the final, Aodh Ruadh, who are just down from Division One have racked up big scores.
And many neutrals are saying that Division One experience will stand to the Ballyshannon boys and get them over the line.
“Division One was a learning curve and it was disappointing as we were very close in four games and then we had to get ourselves up for the championship,” he said.
“We started against Naomh Muire and only got through which shows you the difference between League and championship and that has been shown in our own club as we have advanced in the championship”.
When told that Aodh Ruadh scored 4-5 against Naomh Columba and could have had four more goals, he replied:
“I don't know about that favourites tag, Glen gave us a very good game and we missed a few chances.
“We sat back in the last ten minutes which is not good enough and we will have to bring our A game against Glenfin who are always very hard to beat in the championship.
“They have put it up to the best over the years so we are under no illusions”.
But there is one major area that Aodh Ruadh will have to address and that is their virtual obsession wtih going for goals.
Manager O'Donnell does not reference this directly but it is a major concern.
For they spurned six easy chances of points and went for goals in the second half and almost lost to Glen.
James O'Donnell knows that they might not get as many goal chances on Sunday so points will be necessary if the fancied are to come through.