2009 U-21A Championship
Naomh Conaill favourites to reach final
Naomh Conaill and Kilcar take to the starting blocks on Saturday in Fintra to decide who will play defending champions St. Michaels in the delayed 2009 U-21 Championship final.
For Naomh Conaill, they are chasing a place in their fifth final in-a-row and an opportunity to get a crack at St. Michaels, who denied them a fourth title in-a-row this time last year.
Naomh Conaill manager Leo McLoone senior has nine of last year's side available to him with a good number of them having senior experience.
Stephen McGrath, Ciaran Boyle, Leo McLoone, and Dermot Molloy were all first choice seniors over the last couple of seasons with McLoone and Molloy current members of Jim McGuinness's county senior squad. Cathal Ellis, Stephen Molloy and Seamus Corcoran all saw regular action coming off the bench in the course of the championship run all the way to the Ulster final.
Seventeen year-old John O'Malley, who was too young for last year's U-21s, made the step-up to senior in the course of 2010.
County senior Mark McHugh, county U-21 Ciaran McGinley and minors Patrick McBrearty and Pauric Carr are the big name players in the Kilcar squad that is made up of many of the minor team that suffered defeat on Sunday last in the Ulster semi-final.
David Gillespie, Conal Gilmore and Dermot McGinley along with Carr and McBrearty all played in the 1-10 to 1-7 victory over Cloughaneely in the quarter-final. Kilcar defeated Malin 2-7 to 2-5 in the first round.
Naomh Conaill received a walk-over in their quarter-final when Sean MacCumhaill's failed to field having earlier defeated Four Masters 1-8 to 0-7 in the first round.
It has been a hectic number of weeks for Kilcar manager John McNulty and his players between the Ulster minor championship, county schools championships and the U-21 championship while Patrick McBrearty also saw action with the Donegal Vocational Schools.
Naomh Conaill with Leo McLoone and Dermot Molloy leading their charge will go into the tie as favourites. But as Naomh Conaill senior found earlier in the season you write off Kilcar at your peril.