A BIT of the usual heat that’s involved in the derbies between Ardara and Naomh Conaill will probably be defused for their meeting at Pearse Park this afternoon (throw-in 2pm).
With the Glenties based side having already sealed top spot in the RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta SFC Group 2 and Ardara rooted to the bottom of the table, there’s nothing but pride to play for today.
Ardara’s predicament was confirmed last Sunday with the two results in the group. Their 2-7 to 0-12 loss at Dungloe last Sunday was galling having led by eight points in the first half and then were three up with a minute to go.
“We just collapsed,” said manager John McConnell. “It’s very frustrating to be playing Naomh Conaill at home now with nothing to play for. Dungloe just got some momentum on us and came out with the win. It was very frustrating.”
Ardara must plan today without Brendan McNelis, who is working in Denmark and Kevin Breslin is in the UK. No matter what, they will be fighting for their survival in the relegation play-off in two weeks time, with the draw for those this evening.
On the other hand, Naomh Conaill have done their spadework. A useful 2-14 to 1-8 win over Dungloe was followed up by an excellent victory over St Eunan’s in Letterkenny, 2-12 to 0-8.
“We were very happy with the performance,” manager Martin Regan said. “The early goal from Leon Thompson made a difference and then Brendan McDyer’s goal at the start of the second half was also a big help.
“St Eunan’s was a game we prepared for, for a few weeks. We knew a win there would take the heat of playing Ardara away. We didn’t want to go to Ardara desperate for the points.”
McDyer will not feature today due to a knee medial ligament injury and Johnnoy Bonner, Eoin Waide and Jason Campbell all have hamstring injuries.
“We’ll stick to what we’re doing yet at the same time are not going to chance any players who aren’t 100 per cent fit, ” Regan said. “We’d like to keep the momentum going at the same time.”Tags: