MICHAEL CANNING might be down his two prized assets for Sunday’s Donegal SFC game against Dungloe, but the Glenswilly manager is retaining a positive outlook.
Glenswilly are without Michael Murphy and Neil Gallagher as they welcome Dungloe to Pairc Naomh Columba for a game Canning says is ‘must win’.
Glenswilly lost their opening Championship encounter against Ardara. Gallagher didn’t play that afternoon, while Murphy played despite feeling the effects of an ankle ailment.
Picture caption: High-fielding action from the All-County League game between Glenswilly and Dungloe last month. Picture by Geraldine Diver.
Gallagher has not played for club or county since picking up an injury while playing for Donegal against Roscommon in the Allianz Football League in March.[adrotate group=”59″]
The big midfielder attempted to train on Tuesday night, but Gallagher is reporting that the former All-Star will not be in a position to play.
Glenswilly are awaiting the results of a scan on a knee injury sustained by Murphy last Saturday and the Donegal captain is a definite absentee.
“The’re two All-Stars and two of the best men in the country never mind the county – Donegal would struggle without Neil and Michael so you have to take that into consideration,” Canning says.[adrotate group=”38″]
“It’s a serious blow, there’s no doubt about that, but the thing is we’re used to playing without the two of them. It’s a huge bonus when we have them, but we are able to adapt.
“We played Dungloe a few weeks ago, we didn’t have Neil or Michael and the game was only down to a kick of a ball.
“We’re still going into it very hopeful. We know Dungloe are coming into the game with their tails up. We’ll be looking to stay in the game for as long as possible and see where that takes us.”[adrotate group=”37″]
The mathematics of these groups at times can be complex, but the equation is simple for the Glenswilly manager.
“It’s must win for us, no question,” he says.
“You need four points to go through so it’s definitely a game we need to win. It’s old school Championship football in that sense. Win and you’re in; lose and you’re out.
“Dungloe have the wee buffer of having a win under their belt, but we’re going into it positive and we’ll have a team on the field with the intent of winning the game.
“It’s about sticking together and being strong.”[adrotate group=”46″]
Glenswilly were Championship winners in 2011 and 2013, but the air of expectancy has left them, for now at least, particularly with Murphy and Gallagher ruled out.
After Murphy’s injury on Saturday night, Canning deployed Philip O’Donnell on the edge of the square and that is an option that could be available were he to play James Gallagher in goal.
Tony Boyle saw Dungloe win 1-14 to 2-9 in Foxhall last month in the League. That was a key win for the Rosses men who remain in danger, but with four more points than Glenswilly.
This weekend, though, inching towards a quarter-final spot in the Championship is the aim for Dungloe.[adrotate group=”68″]
“It’ll be a tough battle and Glenswilly have far more experience than us,” the former Donegal player says.
“We need another win and that’ll set us up well.
“In the last few weeks we’ve tried to take the pressure off the boys a bit and they’re playing now without shackles, which has been good for them.
“A win on Sunday could put us through, but we know it’ll not be easy. Winning the first day against Bundoran was huge. That gives us two bites now.
“We’re going reasonably well at the minute so hopefully we can keep that up.”
Dungloe are without Gerard Walsh, who is on holiday, while Matthew Ward, Luke Neely and Adrian Sweeney are all injury doubts and Martin Redmond is also considered doubtful.[adrotate group=”70″]
Veteran former Donegal forward Sweeney had been struggling with a hip injury of late, but Mark Curran and Ryan Connors have come back from their summer with the Donegal minors.
Boyle says: “We have gone through a few tough spells this year, but we’ve bounced back well. We’re in a battle for survival with Glenswilly in the League.
“We might have a wee bit of momentum, but that won’t count for much going to Glenswilly in the Championship.”
Senior Championship Group A
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