Unbeaten in their last 11 games – stretching back to the middle of June – St Michael’s are the form team in Donegal.
The Creeslough-Dunfanaghy side last lost when St Eunan’s eked out a 1-12 to 0-13 League win at the Bridge on June 16th – some 15 weeks ago.
St Michael’s were in danger of getting sucked into the relegation mire at that point.
But eight wins on the bounce saw them finish fourth in Division 1.
Their Championship group phase was seamless: Termon, Four Masters and Malin were accounted for with ease.
Now, Sean MacCumhaills await on Saturday in the first of the 2018 Donegal SFC quarter-finals at O’Donnell Park.
“There’s no let up at the minute,” says manager Michael Kelly.
“We’ll just keep rolling with it.
“When you go into a Championship group – any group – your first idea is to get out of it. We did that and we played some good football along the way. We were in control most of the time, too.”
St Michael’s have been one of the most consistent and yet inconsistent teams in the Championship in recent years.
Finalists in 2011, when they lost to Glenswilly, the Bridge men have been regulars at quarter and semi-final stages – but have yet to return to the final.
“We’re just taking it game by game now,” Kelly says.
“We won’t be looking past the weekend. We played MacCumhaills last year in the Championship, but that’s over a year ago now. I know their focus was on promotion and they’re on the crest of a wave.”
St Michael’s were hampered by injury last year in the Championship. This time, with the exception of long-term victim Colm McFadden, St Michael’s have had a clean run.
“We’ve not had anything major to really knock us back,” Kelly says.
“Although we topped the group last year, we carried a lot of injuries. Unfortunately we don’t have Colm this year, but we don’t have anyone else with anything too serious.
“We have five or six men away working or at college, but we just roll with that and every team will be hit that way.”
The return of their county contingent has been vital with Michael Langan and Mark Anthony McGinley giving them the kiss of life. Martin McElhinney had been troubled by an injury and briefly featured in the League, but is back at full tilt now too.
“We were languishing well down the League coming out of the starred games,” Kelly says. “it’s been hugely important to get them back.
“We couldn’t be happier at the minute. We can depend on a lot of rock solid boys and have a couple of young boys coming along well.”Tags: