Aaron Deeney of St Eunan's and Andrew McClean from Kilcar clash in the 2020 Donegal SFC and, inset, Glenswilly manager Pauric Bonner
Kilcar in the eyes of many observers pulled the short straw when the draw for this year’s Donegal SFC semi-final pairings was made on Sunday night.
Already the All-County Football League Division 1 holders, Kilcar now face reigning champions St Eunan’s, in their pursuit of the Dr Maguire Cup, on Saturday night.
Naomh Conaill, last year’s beaten finalists, and Gaoth Dobhair meet in the other top four clash the following afternoon. Up until last Sunday evening and well into their quarter-final clash with Naomh Conaill, Glenswilly were in the hunt for one of those top four finishes. Naomh Conaill thanks to second half goals from Eunan Doherty and Leo McLoone clinched their place in the semi-final on a 2-10 to 0-10 scoreline after being pushed all the way.
“It’s clear we left it behind us in the first half,” said Glenswilly manager Pauric Bonner. “But fair play to Naomh Conaill, they took their chances and that is something we will take from the game. You simply have to take the bulk of the chances when they present themselves. But given how the championship went we have something to build on now for next season.”
Bonner, a former Dungloe player, feels St Eunans and Kilcar are the top two sides in the county right now.
“Opinions will differ on the order between St Eunans and Kilcar for the top two and on Naomh Conaill and Gaoth Dobhair, on who is third and who is fourth.
“The only downside for the two, St Eunans and Kilcar, is that they are going into the semi-final without being tested. And I am aware that Bundoran ran Kilcar close in the final of their group games but Kilcar were without Ciaran McGinley and Patrick McBrearty for that game and they are two huge players for them.
“No questions at all have been asked of St Eunan’s in the championship so far and they are really flying and playing really well all over the field. I watched their game against St Michaels on Saturday evening and they just cruised through that game.
Conor O’Donnell was brilliant in the half-back line and they were on top in all positions.
“Then you look at the subs bench and they had Peter Devine, Conor Morrision, Kieran Tobin, Pádraig McGettigan and James Kelly, with Darragh Mulgrew also to come back.
“Kilcar are a very good side too and they seem to have kicked onto another level this year. Ryan McShane has been brilliant for them at corner-back and is not afraid to venture forward and take a score.
“Conor Doherty has played at wing back and centre-forward and is playing really well. Ciaran McGinley constantly turns in big performances for them in the middle of the field and Patrick McBrearty is having a brilliant season for them in the full-forward line.
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