NAOMH CONAILL MANAGER Martin Regan believes whoever takes the Dr Maguire home next month will be deserving champions.
Regan’s side face into a last four tie against Kilcar at MacCumhaill Park tomorrow afternoon aiming for a fifth appearance in the showpiece since their breakthrough year of 2005.
Margins are thin between the two sides, with Regan of the opinion that there’s no need to over-complicate the previews, it’ll merely come down to who’s the better team on the day, if even that.
“There’s nothing in it in this championship,” he says. “You might try and make a case for one team or another, but you can even see in the predictions this week in the lead-up to the semi-finals that there’s very little to choose between the teams left.
“It’ll just come down to small margins on the day, or even a bounce of the ball or a piece of luck.”
Naomh Conaill’s 2-12 to 0-8 win at St Eunan’s in their second outing in Group 2 meant any chances they might’ve had of coming in under the radar were gone. That resounding success came either side of a 2-14 to 1-8 success in Dungloe and a dead rubber 2-13 to 1-9 defeat of neighbours Ardara.
Then, in the quarter-finals, Naomh Conaill weren’t at their best but got over the line against Termon when the temperature gauge began to rise, 0-11 to 1-5.
“We were just delighted to get past Termon,” Regan adds. “You can never expect to get anything easy off Termon in the championship and we certainly didn’t. We were just glad to seal a place in the semi-finals and then with it being Kilcar, St Eunan’s and St Michael’s, it doesn’t really matter who you have to play.”
Regan is content to have a full panel to choose from bar the long-term injured Brendan McDyer, who will be a big loss having been in such fine form. But besides that, Naomh Conaill have built up a considerable panel.
“We’d be happy enough with who we have here and we would’ve always maintain that we feel that on our day we’re a match for anyone but we have to make sure that we can reach that level,” he says. “We didn’t against Termon and there was a lot to look at after that game but we got through.”
Last year, Naomh Conaill were beaten semi-finalists as they went down 0-10 to 0-8 to Glenswilly.
“That day, we missed a couple of frees and then, at the other end, Michael Murphy pops up at the other end with two monster scored. You have to take the chance when it comes your way and it will be the same against Kilcar. They’re a very good side and as I said, there’s nothing between the teams.
“We’ve not been in a final since 2012 and with all the work being done at the club, we’d love to get there this year. But the way this championship is, whoever gets to the final or even wins it will certainly deserve it.”