AFTER LOSSES in their opening Championship contests, there’s much more than parish rivalry at stake when Sean MacCumhaills host Glenfin on Saturday evening in Group C of the Donegal SFC.
Glenfin were beaten by Naomh Muire and MacCumhaills missed a last-minute penalty that could have got them a draw against Malin on the Championship’s first weekend in May.
Now, the two go to battle by the Finn hoping to reignite their hopes of qualifying for the quarter-finals and both are reporting no fresh injury concerns.,
MacCumhaills (pictured above) will have Martin O’Reilly back from a week’s holiday in Portugal in time to play; Andrew McCloskey will return from a hamstring injury, but MacCumhaills – already without cruciate victim Nathan Gavigan – will be without the suspended Steven O’Reilly, following his sending off in Malin.[adrotate group=”46″]
“Our form in the League has been disappointing, even if we have been really unlucky,” says Damian Devaney, the Sean MacCumhaills manager.
“We’re only losing games by a narrow margin, but it’s been frustrating. We haven’t lost by more than two points and we had the penalty in the last minute in the Championship.
“We’ve conceded four last minute goals which has been very hard to take. While we’ve been on the wrong side of luck, there is a positive there that we’re within a score of most teams.[adrotate group=”68″]
“We just need to keep our concentration for the whole game. We let in last minute goals both days against Milford and they’re away up to Division 1.”
John Lynch and James Lynch have returned to MacCumhaills this year while Padhraic Patton and Adam Lynch have gone in from last year’s minor squad.
Rory Dunleavy and Gavin Reilly are in America and not available to Devaney.[adrotate group=”37″]
The MacCumhaills manager said: “We’re glad now to be back into the Championship series again. The League form has been patchy, but we’ll look to address it this weekend.”
Glenfin, who have had to endure more survival play-offs than they’d care to remember, are heading to Ballybofey aiming to upset the odds.
Four times in recent seasons Glenfin have survived in play-offs, twice in the Championship and twice in the League.
“We were very unlucky last year,” Pat Campbell, joint manager with Liam Ward at Pairc Taobhoige, says.[adrotate group=”38″]
“Saturday evening’s game takes on a big meaning for us. It’s massive. Our goal has been to get out of the group and into the quarter-finals – and that is still the aim now.”
Gerard Ward will return this weekend while hopes are high that defender John Harkin will be available, Conor McBride is expeted back and Stephen Carr will rejoin after being away with the Donegal minors.
Campbell says: “There are a lot of good footballers in Glenfin. We’re better than what we’re showing in the League. The commitment is unquestionable. They turned around the form half-way through the League and won four-in-a-row. We have rested men in the last couple of weeks with this game in mind.
“They’ll be raring to go for Saturday. Confidence has dropped in the last couple of years, but hopefully we can get it back up where it should be again.”
Senior Championship Group C
|1||Naomh Muire, Íochtar Na Rosann||1||1||0||0||16||11||2|
|3||Sean Mac Cumhaill||1||0||1||0||12||15||0|