For the third week in a row Donegal champions Naomh Conaill are greaing up for their date with destiny and their Ulster final meeting with Armagh champions Crossmaglen Rangers.
It has been a frustrating couple of weeks for all involved in sport but it has been a particularly frustrating couple of weeks for Naomh Conaill. On Friday night week last Naomh Conaill had what they thought was their final work out and team meeting ahead of their eagerly awaited clash with the Orchard County Kingpins the following Sunday in Clones. The walls of the clubrooms were heaving, the mood was positive and a quiet confidence filled the air.
But the following day around lunchtime the first snow of winter pulled the rug on the big game in Clones as St. Tiernach's Park and the whole of the North West was under a blanket of snow. As the snow and the cold snap extended into last week and with training confined to working out in the gym it was a frustrating one for Cathal Corey and Naomh Conaill. By Friday, it got even worse when the game fell foul of the weather for the second time.
"It's frustrating alright. But it is the same for Crossmaglen as it is for us and to be honest there is little we can do about it only just get on with. But looking on the bright side, we are still in the championship," insisted Naomh Conaill midfielder Martin Regan.
"We are geared up and ready to play the game whenever that is. Hopefully, it will be played this weekend and that is the way we are treating it. As far as we are concerned the game is on this Sunday and we are focusing on it going ahead on Sunday."
"Last week was a tough week, the snow and frost meant that all our training was in the gym but thankfully we gout out on Sunday and had a right good session in Dooey. We trained for over two hours and had fully fledged game among ourselves and really blew away the cobwebs and everybody was in great form afterwards and the mood coming out of Dooey on Sunday evening was very positive and everybody was chomping at the bit once again."
"We were disappointed over the last two weekends and especially the first day, but last Sunday's brought us back on track and into focus again and we are ready now to take on Crossmaglen and really nothing has changed on that front from the first day. We are still as determined as ever to go out and give it our best shot."
"If things don't go right for us on the day we certainly will not be using the weather and the postponements as an excuse. It is the same for Crossmaglen as it is for us. We have everybody and we will be at full strength. The only difference is that the game is being played two weeks later than was intended."
Martin Regan, is one of the unsung heroes of Naomh Conaill and their great run through Donegal and then Ulster. Up to this season, Martin was in and out of the team and was struggling to hold a permanent position. And any game-time he got over the last seven years, since he made the step up to senior team, were in the fullbackline mostly at fullback.
But that has all changed in 2010. Since the season's opening day he has been ever present in the midfield and has grown into the position and has now made it his own and himself and Johnny McLoone have forged a good partnership and are real team players.
And with his unselfish attitude and his willingness for the hard graft, he has become a vital cog in the Naomh Conaill armoury and if Naomh Conaill get out of the blocks this weekend Martin Regan will play his part and is most definitely up for the challenge of Crossmaglen Rangers.