DONEGAL JUNIOR FOOTBALL LEAGUE manager Brian Dorrian has a handful of knocks to consider as his team face the United Churches’ Football League in the last 12 of the Oscar Traynor Cup on Sunday, 1pm.
Ahead of the fixture at the Moss in Drumoghill, Dorrian will cast an eye over Rathullan Celtic’s Eoin Sheridan and Ryan Gildea, as well as Darren Doran from Lagan Harps.
Goalkeeper Joe Coll, who dislocated his shoulder in late November whilst on club action for Glenea United, will probably not feature, with Gweedore Celtic’s Christopher Sweeney and Mark Gallagher from Rathmullan competing for the No1 jersey.
Sweeney played in Donegal’s first and third outings in the group stages – a 5-0 win at Cavan-Monaghan and a 5-2 success over Sligo-Leitrim, with Coll between the sticks for the contest in-between as the reigning champions, the Inishowen League, won the derby 2-1 in Drumoghill.
Kyle Black of Milford United scored the only goal last night in a friendly against a Letterkenny Institute of Technology side preparing for next Wednesday’s CFAI Umbro Cup opener against IT Sligo and the Colleges and Universities Football League (CUFL) semi-final against Institute of Technology Carlow B the following week.
Dorrian was absent on Wednesday but was filled in by assistants Peter Doherty, Mark Curran and Tommy McFadden.
“It was a good result against a good side,” Dorrian said. “The players who had the knocks were replaced for precautionary reasons and we think they should be able to tog for Sunday. As for Joe Coll, we heard it would be eight weeks until he came back and it’s almost that now but we’ll see who he is.”
Wednesday night’s friendly on the Port Road campus got 16 of the 20 players remaining in the Donegal League squad action. Since making the knock-out stages for the first time in over a decade, Ryan Farrell from St Catherine’s and Kildrum Tigers’ Gary Crossan have left, while Christy Connaghan is no longer available having signed for Letterkenny Rovers in the Ulster Senior League.
On Wednesday, the remainder of the squad apart from Coll, Dublin-based Paul Sweeney and Benny Bonner and Philip Whyte, who had work commitments, played.
The UCFL are in the knock-out stages for the third year in succession.
Goals from Andy Lougheed and Marko Vojnovic within two minutes of each other in the last quarter of an hour were enough to see Eoin Bennis’s side off to a perfect start in this year’s competition, a 2-0 win over the Defence Forces in October.
Two draws then meant a runner’s up spot with Darren King on the mark in a 1-1 draw against the Wexford League and progression secured with a scoreless draw at the AUL.
Last year, a 1-0 loss against the Inishowen League at Maginn Park in Buncrana in the last eight with Brendan McLaughlin scoring was the end of the road for the UCFL.
“We’re confident enough but cautious about saying that,” Dorrian said. “It’s been a long time since a Donegal League side has made it this far and we’ve worked hard this season. Hopefully we can get over this and into the last eight.”
The winners of Sunday’s tie will have a home quarter-final against the North Western Football League, while the Inishowen League are already in the last eight and they’ll face a tricky away game against the Galway League.
Donegal League panel: Chris Sweeney (Gweedore Celtic), Joe Coll (Glenea United), Mark Gallagher (Rathmullan Celtic), Jamie Boyle (Gweedore Celtic), Benny Bonner (Drumoghill FC), Ryan Shields (Kilmacrennan Celtic), Ryan Gildea (Rathmullan Celtic), Brian Lafferty (Cappry Rovers), Damian Crossan (Kildrum Tigers), Joey Cullen (Milford United), Eoin Sheridan (Rathmullan Celtic), Ryan Connolly (Rathmullan Celtic), Kyle Black (Milford United), Chris Malseed (Drumoghill FC), Philip Whyte (Drumoghill FC), Glenn Gallagher (Lagan Harps), Kenny Doran (Lagan Harps), Darren McGeever (Glenea United), Paul Sweeney (Glenea United), Gary Merritt (Milford United).
Manager – Brian Dorrian; Assistants – Peter Doherty, Mark Curran, Tommy McFadden; Physio – Mickey McGlynn.Tags: