THE permutations are plentiful in the final weekend of the Donegal Senior Football Championship’s group phase.
Four Masters and Cloughaneely meet on Sunday at Tir Chonaill Park (throw-in 2pm) where the respective camps are hoping not to have to dive for the calculators at the conclusion.
A win for Cloughaneely would mean they’ll not have to go down the road of a relegation play-off while Four Masters are aiming for the quarter-finals.
For the Donegal town side, victory is the aim, too. That would seal advancement if Glenfin don’t defeat St Michael’s.
Were Glenfin and Four Masters both to win, the calculators would be needed to determine the score difference.
Four Masters trained last night and while Kevin McBrearty took part in the session, Sunday’s game is likely to come a little too soon for a player who was on the Donegal panel at the outset of 2015.
Dillon Muldoon has come back from America and will be on the bench on Sunday.
“We just have to win the game – it’s as simple as that,” Kieran Espey, who is a selector to manager Ciaran McBride, told Donegal Sport Hub.
“These groups are just so tight and we always knew that it would come down to the last day.”
Michael Doherty’s fine 2-9 haul helped them to a 3-9 to 2-9 win over Glenfin on the opening night, but last weekend they were well beaten by St Michael’s after Leo McHugh bagged an early goal for Masters.
The quarter-finals are now in touching distance.
Espey said: “We are getting players back now and we feel that we can push on and get an extra
game. We feel that a strong game would be in us if we can reach the quarter-finals for another fixture.”
Cloughaneely are missing Shaun Maguire (pictured above), who broke his hand two weeks ago in a League game against Sean MacCumhaills, while Darren McGeever will miss out as his return from a holiday in San Francisco won’t come in time to line out.
Cloughaneely were pipped by Glenfin last weekend, John Paul Gallagher’s team losing out 1-12 to 1-11 at Pairc Naomh Fionnan.
“When we reflect back on the game, we lost it in the first half,” Gallagher said.
“Glenfin came at us very strong from half-back and we didn’t track enough.
“If we look at the game honestly, Glenfin could have got another goal or two. We did come back into it well, but we didn’t do ourselves justice at all.
“We didn’t have the quality to finish it out, but it was a game that we could have won.
“We lost Denis Boyle to a black card and we missed a couple of tap overs after he was off.
“In the Championship, small things like that can win you or lose you Championship games. Denis would’ve been a big asset in the closing stages for his experience.”
Cloughaneely have lost both their games so far and will hope to avoid a whitewash when they line out on Sunday.
Gallagher said: “The different permutations have all been reported in different outlets, but all we’re worried about is getting a win. Four Masters will be the same. Really, the permutations don’t matter – it’s about getting a win and then we can worry about the permutations.”Tags: