THE NEW JACKIE Crossan Premier Division season gets underway in Inishowen this afternoon with champions Glengad beginning the defence of their crown at Castle Park against Buncrana Hearts.
Shane Byrne’s team, who have been League champions in each of the last two seasons, are up against a currently-managerless Buncrana, under the temporary charge of Gary Duffy.
Glengad lost 1-0 to Clonmany Shamrocks last Sunday in the Clubman Shirts League Cup, but advances from their group to the quarter-finals after the withdrawal of Clonmany Reserves.
Glengad’s game against Clonmany Reserves at The Crua on Friday night was called off, meaning Byrne will be without Paul Anthony McDermott for today’s game in Buncrana after his sending off last Sunday.[adrotate group=”37″]
Matthew Byrne, Michael Byrne, Adam Byrne and Stephen Fildara are on Championship duty with Malin and will be unavailable, while Seamus Doherty is nursing an injury.
Byrne has added Shane Canning from Moville Celtic to his squad. While Ryan Greene has gone back to Culdaff, but with Nigel McMonagle, Terence Doherty, John Gerard McLaughlin and Paddy McDermott still in town, Glengad remain formidable opponents and the team to beat.
Buncrana threatened to halt Glengad’s march last season when they held them to a scoreless draw at Castle Park. Buncrana have recruited Robbie Fullerton and Declan Fullerton, but are still in search of a manager.
Clonmany pushed Glengad all the way last season and it was only when Michael Byrne fired home in the 63rd minute of the final game of the season between the two at Shamrock Park that Glengad could cork the champagne.[adrotate group=”38″]
Sean Tolley quit as the Shamrocks manager last week and Kevin Harkin took over before last Sunday’s game against Glengad.
Steve Harkin is out injured at the moment but they’ve been boosted by the fact that Feargal Harkin turned down a move to Glengad, although the upheaval that comes with a change of manager will hardly have helped.
An interesting meeting with Culdaff awaits today at Shamrock Park.[adrotate group=”46″]
Culdaff were Ulster Junior Cup finalists last season and have seen Derek Doherty take over as manager from John McFeely, who remains in the playing squad, which has welcomed Greene in from Glengad.
Brendan Fildara and Conor Keddy are the two big players at Caratra Park and they’ll look to upset the odds in Clonmany.
Greencastle have been busy this summer. Pat McLaughlin is manager again and he has added Kevin McLaughlin as coach with relegated Moville seeing Joe Doherty, Mark Henry, Josh Lafferty and Sean Doherty all head for Chapel Lane.
Newly-promoted Dunree are the visitors to Greencastle today. James Hegarty has stayed on as Dunree boss, but has lost Henry Connolly and a difficult season looks in store.[adrotate group=”70″]
The other newly-promoted side, Carn FC, are at home to Aileach this afternoon.
Paul Browne is now manager at Carn, having taken over last season’s First Division winners from Niall McGuinness. Ronan ‘Newman’ Doherty is back in from Cockhill there.
Mickey Barr has added the likes of Adam Barr, Conor Gallagher, Conor Bradley and Ciaran McGrory to Aileach’s squad and they started well winning two from three in the League Cup.Tags: