Donegal could be without experienced duo for Division Two final clash with Armagh

Tir Chonaill boss McGuinness hoping injured stars will be available for Ulster SFC clash with Derry

After an injury-hit county season, Paddy McBrearty is finding top form as Kilcar chase Donegal title honours
Patrick McBrearty may not be risked for Donegal's Division Two final against Armagh on Sunday

Donegal could be missing two of their top stars for their Division Two decider against Armagh at Croke Park on Sunday.

Kilcar duo Patrick McBrearty and Ryan McHugh were forced off with injuries in their 1-18 to 1-10 win over Meath in a dead rubber in Ballybofey on Sunday/

Much will depend on the extent of the injuries sustained by the top duo.

It is believed that McHugh has a shoulder injury but the injury to McBrearty is not yet known.

The loss of these players coupled with the continued absence of Brendan McCole, Eoghan Ban Gallagher, Jason McGee, Conor O’Donnell and Caolan Ward, would be a big blow to McGuinness ahead of Sunday’s final.

But of much more importance is the Ulster Championship clash with Derry on April 20 in Celtic Park, which leaves manager Jim McGuinness in a bit of a quandary.

Even if McHugh and McBrearty are passed fit, the Donegal boss may not risk them three weeks out from the crunch Derry clash.

McGuinness said that the injury to McBrearty will be assessed over the next few days and they will be hoping that it is not too serious.

“We will not pre-empt anything but when you see a guy like that going off in that manner you are always worried, but we will just have to wait and see,” he said.

“He had the ball and he pushed off and he felt something and we will just have to hope it is not too serious.

McHugh is hopeful that his shoulder injury is not too serious, but McGuinness has other concerns about Brendan McCole who is another key player who is likely to miss Sunday’s NFL final.

“Brendan is out of the boot and is walking but we are hoping to get him ready over the next few weeks.”

Michael Langan sat out last Sunday’s match but should be fit for next Sunday but both Jason McGee and Eoghan Ban Gallagher, who have been out for a few weeks, have been described by McGuinness as “not far away”.

And there are major doubts about last year’s sharpshooter Conor O;Donnell who has a hamstring injury and might not even make the big Derry game.

Meanwhile, McGuinness admitted that Donegal are not yet at required level after Sunday’s somewhat pedestrian victory over Meath.

“We are not where we need to be but we are still beating teams and putting up big scores and that is good but we will have to continue to fine tune, but a dry pitch definitely suits us better,” he said.

“It took us time to deal with Meath who attacked the throw in and got a goal and it took us time to deal with our shot selection and decision making but when that was sorted I thought that we moved quite well and got the scores.”