GAA Football

Donegal SFC: Naomh Conaill: county champions and with good reason

Donegal and Glenfin star and motivator Frank McGlynn. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin
Gerry Maguire

Donegal Senior Club Football Championship

Naomh Conaill v Glenfin

It is hard to write off Glenties and they are county champions for a reason

There is just a serious professionalism about Glenties, and that was seen last year after they had lost the two previous finals and were written off completely.

And even after drawing the first two games in the county final, everyone was tipping Gaoth Dobhair in the third game and Naomh Conaill were deserving winners and were unlucky not to go on and win Ulster as well.

The intensity caught up with them by the time they got to the Kilcoo game as they had not got a proper break.

Nobody has done back to back in Donegal for a long time, since Eunan’s did three-in-a-row.

Naomh Conaill are most people’s favourites for the championship, although Glenfin, apart from the Kilcar game, have been one of the surprises of the championship.

They have a good young team with Karl McGlynn having a welcome return for them and Frank McGlynn is a great leader and motivator.

Glenties have a serious bench and a serious ability to hold on to players.

In other clubs you would see them having great underage teams and they might only hold on to one or two players.

But Naomh Conaill are able to hold on to them and should win this one fairly easily.

Gaoth Dobhair v Sean MacCumhaill’s

Gaoth Dobhair have had a choppy enough campaign and the same was said of them last year as well.

But they can really turn it on and there are not too many club teams in the country who could live with them at their best never mind Donegal.

When it comes to the knock-out stages they will up it a few notches and they have not played with quite a full team just yet.

MacCumhaill’s are on the up with Luke Gavigan and Oisin Gallen, two very good young players.

They are very important and Oisin is fighting for a starting place on the Donegal senior side and he is just 20 years old.

He has serious ability and has bulked up as well and he was very impressive against us when we played them in the League.

If they are to beat Gaoth Dobhair they will need a big game from Oisin.

MacCumhaills are very good defensively and are very good at getting the hands on when you are inside their 45 and that was something that was lacking in their game up to now.

They will be no pushover and gave Gaoth Dobhair a good game in Magheragallon and they will be going up there with nothing to fear.

That game will be of benefit to them.

But you would have to put your money on Gaoth Dobhair.

Kilcar v St Michael’s

Much will depend on the availability of the injured Colm McFadden and Michael Langan as they face a tough task in Towney.

No club team can afford to miss either player and especially Michael Langan around the middle of the field and he is a serious player.

He will probably be one of Donegal’s main men over the next few years, the way he is looking, and he has bulked up as well.

But Kilcar have so many scoring threats and apart from their potent forwards they also have Ryan McHugh, Mark McHugh and Ciaran McGinley coming from deep as extra threats.

They have just so many men that need to be stopped.

Their perceived weakness is at full-back and young Brian O’Donnell has been playing there this year.

He might not be that tall, but he is very good in the air and if they can mould him into a regular full-back it might eliminate that supposed weakness.

But St Michael’s will have to go at them, and they can’t afford to allow Kilcar to come on to them and nobody is going to be able to keep them out for 60 minutes.

St Eunan’s v Bundoran

Bundoran were very disappointed with their showing against St Eunan’s in the first game in Bundoran.

Many feel that Bundoran sat off off them too much from early on and were missing Gary Clancy and he is a huge player for them

Powerful St Eunan’s kicked a lot of very good points in the first half.

They also have Ciaran McGettigan up front gives them an extra advantage and he is very good at getting a mark.

Apart from Glenties I don’t think there is a club in the county with better strength in depth as Eunan’s as they have had so many good underage teams over the past few years.

They have that winning mentality and Conor Morrison is a big loss to them, but they can replace him.

Aaron Deeney, Conor Parke and Caolan Ward are all very versatile players and Peter McEniff is going very well too and he has a great attitude and he was captain of the Freshers in DCU this year and it shows what a good attitude he has.

Eunan’s should win this one comfortably.

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