Sport

Gaoth Dobhair get access to county men

DOBHAIR OPENED: Michael Carroll can now line out with his club tomorrow
Padraig Kelly

A POTENITAL controversy surrounding tomorrow’s Creggan Ulster U21 Club Championship semi-finals has been averted after Rory Gallagher released Gaoth Dobhair trio Michael Carroll, Kieran Gillespie and Cian Mulligan to their club.

The players, it is believed, were expected to report for Donegal’s challenge match with Mayo tomorrow, but they will be at the Antrim venue instead.

It’s a boost, albeit not as big as it could have been, for the Gaeltacht side as they plot the downfall of the recent kingpins of Ulster underage football, Glen, Watty Graham’s (2pm).

The reason why it’s not as big of a boost as it could have been is down to the fact that Mulligan is ruled out of the match while Gillespie is in a race against time to be fit.

A superb second half allowed Gaoth Dobhair to see off Antrim’s Aghagallon in the quarter-final but their Derry opponents had a much tougher time against Ramor United.

Rather than being viewed as a sign of fading powers though, it should be remembered that it was an extremely strong Cavan side that they defeated with goals from Paul Gunning, Tairnan Flanagan and Cathal Mulholland ultimately proving the difference in the 3-8 to 2-7 victory.

The curtain-raiser tomorrow features a real David and Goliath clash as the might of Crossmaglen are expected to account for Stewartstown (12.30pm).

Both these sides can point to stunning individual displays in their respective quarter-finals with Dan Lowe hitting 1-7 in Stewartstown’s win over Donaghmoyne while Oisin O’Neill managed an incredible 1-11 as the Rangers impressed against Mayobridge.

As you’d expect from Crossmaglen, they are not a one-band show and Oisin’s younger brother Rian, Stephen Morris, Aidan Rushe and Miceal McCabe all play key roles too.

It’s that strength across the field that leaves them in the better position to qualify for the final, and they should achieve that goal at the expense of Gerard Donnelly’s men.

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