NAOMH Ultan have had a dream campaign so far and will aim to preserve their unbeaten record when they face Robert Emmets in the Junior A Championship on Saturday evening.
Hot on the heels of winning the All-County League Division 4 crown last weekend, they can seal a place in the knockout stage of the Championship with a victory.
Brendan McGready, now in his third year at the helm, has turned the fortunes around Dunkineely way.
Naomh Ultan were beaten by Urris in the Junior A decider last year (last year’s squad is pictured above) but, spurred by the pain of that loss, they’re back with a bang this time around.
Last week, a brace of goals by James Byrne and a 2-10 to 1-5 win over Naomh Padraig saw them clinch the Division 4 title – and, with it, automatic promotion into Division 3.
They haven’t tasted defeat yet this year despite Aaron Kyles now being based in Dallas, Paul Gallier transferring to Dublin and the now English-based duo Patrick White and Joe Alvey unavailable for the most part.
Young Daniel Gallagher was a call-up to the Donegal minor panel having impressed Declan Bonner during the spring and he’s one of the new stars with Byrne and Peter Alvey other youngsters to take up the baton.
Robert Emmets, for their part, have been struggling of late and are likely to find the test too stern at Pairc Naomh Ultan with Cian Kennedy, Alan Lyons and Aiden Duddy expected to be also at the forefront.
Oliver Prunty’s Convoy side have had a mixed campaign to date, but they’ll fancy their chances of advancing out of the group ahead of a meeting with Moville at home.
Convoy scored a 0-13 to 1-6 win over Robert Emmets in the first game while Moville were well beaten by Naomh Ultan.
Simon McGlynn has had a busy week of action in the Foyle Cup with Finn Harps Under-19s and the Raphoe man has little time for recovery as he is a likely inclusion for Convoy.
McGlynn, Paul O’Leary, Sean Brown and James Kee have had solid campaigns and it is to that quartet that Prunty will turn for the inspiration.
Naomh Padraig, Muff belied their lowly League position in Division 4 when they trounced Division 3 outfit Letterkenny Gaels 1-17 to 1-7 in their first fixture. Aiden McLaughlin’s goal set the border men on their way.
Bar a major surprise the Inishowen club will make their way through the group. They make the long journey to take on Pettigo on Saturday evening.
Despite seven points from Paul Robinson, they were beaten 3-14 to 0-9 by Red Hughs and another difficult evening appears in store against a Muff side who will call upon Aidan Lynch, Colm McColgan and Damian Diver.
In Group 3, Naomh Padraig, Lifford travel to face Downings, who operate a Division above them in the League. The border club lost their opening game by two points against Na Rossa and will be up against it in Downings with Lorcan Connor, Gary McClafferty, Colin Gallagher, Shae Coyle and Aaron McClafferty the main protagonists for the natives.
Reigning Junior B champions Ardara travel to Robert Emmets this evening where they’ll look to build on their win over Convoy three weeks ago. The Convoy v Lifford game in the Junior B Championship won’t now go ahead as planned on Saturday evening.
Last year’s beaten Junior B finalists, Glenswilly, host Letterkenny Gaels at Pairc Naomh Columba on Saturday evening. Both won their opening fixtures which sets up a big clash in Foxhall.
WEEKEND CHAMPIONSHIP FIXTURES
Friday July 24, 8pm
Junior B Championship Group 3
Robert Emmets v Ardara
Saturday July 25, 7.30pm
Junior A Championship Group 1
Pettigo v Naomh Padraig, Muff
Junior A Championship Group 2
Naomh Ultan v Robert Emmets; St Mary’s, Convoy v Moville
Junior A Championship Group 3
Downings v Naomh Padraig, Lifford
Junior B Championship Group 1
Glenswilly v Letterkenny Gaels
Junior B Championship Group 2
Naomh Conaill v Glenfin (7.30pm); Downings v St Eunan’s (6pm)
Sunday July 26, 3pm
Junior B Championship Group 1
Naomh Ultan v Naomh Padraig, Muff
Junior B Championship Group 4
Red Hughs v MovilleTags: