The Donegal League are chasing a place in the last four of the Oscar Traynor Cup when they host the Limerick League on Saturday night in Ballyare. (8pm)
Donegal manager Raymond Shields is keeping a close eye on the weather forecast these days and it is fingers crossed for the Kilmacrennan Celtic clubman that Saturday night’s quarter-final goes ahead.
“I think we will be okay; rain is forecast for Friday night and the expectation is the cold snap will be over by Saturday evening,” said the Donegal boss.
“But to accommodate Limerick we will have to make a call on Saturday morning and we have to have a standby pitch in place, which we will. The league officials are dealing with that.”
Donegal topped their group with a 2-1 win over the Inishowen League in Ballyare and they followed that up with a 2-2 draw with the Sligo/Leitrim League in McSharry Park, Sligo.
Kevin McHugh, the team captain and former Derry City, Linfield and Finn Harps striker, is the team’s top scorer with three of the goals while Ryan Shields scored the other.
“Kevin has been class. He is a great leader both on the field and in the dressing room and is a class finisher. But we have a lot of leaders in the team and overall we have a very good squad of players.”
The Inishowen League and the Sligo/Leitrim League games were played before Christmas. But Raymond Shields has kept his squad busy since and they have played a number of friendly games.
“We played the Letterkenny IT a couple of times. We played Harps U-19s and Glengad, all good sides and they were very good outings. The players have really put in a big effort and we have been coming together once a week since we started out.”
Raymond Shields has also been doing some homework on the Limerick League.
“They have a Shane Clarke at centre-forward; he is a good player, in the mould of our own Kevin McHugh. He is a former Irish underage international and they have Keith Mawdsley up front too. He also has a number of underage caps and is a good player.
“We have a good squad and a fully fit squad and they are all looking forward to the game. But like all teams it is a matter of performing in the game and if they do click I feel we have a good chance.”
The snow has hampered preparations this week. Last night’s training session was cancelled due to the snow but they will, regardless of the weather, meet up on Friday evening for a light session.
The full Donegal squad is as follows: Michael Mullin, Christopher O’Donnell, James Doherty, Matthew Crossan, Ryan Shields, Kieran Gorman, Raymond Foy, Seami Friel, Damien Crossan, Cory Gallagher, Kevin McHugh, Daire McDaid, Benny Bonner, Gareth Colhoun, Darren McGowan, Paddy McNulty, Dean O’Donnell, William Lynch, Christopher Dillon, Brian Breslin, Johnny Robb, Ronan McHugh, Gary Whoriskey, Mark Friel, Shaun McGowan, Corrle Lee Bogan.