Clubs from south and west Donegal currently occupy bottom spot in four of the five divisions of the Donegal Junior League.
And, as has often been the case in the past, the lure of Gaelic football means that many soccer teams are understrength at this time of the year.
One such example is Letterbarrow Celtic, who last year finished second in Division Two of the Sunday League.
So far this season, they have found the going tougher in Division One, having been beaten 6-1 away to Kerrykeel in their opening game and last Sunday losing out 6-2 away to Ballybofey United.
They are second bottom, above pointless, St. Catherine’s who have conceded 22 goals in three outings and below Gweedore Celtic (on goal difference), who like Letterbarrow have played just twice.
However, there is no sign of any panic and undue cause for worry at the Tymeen home of Letterbarrow just yet.
Club chairman James McGroary knows that this is part of life in an area where Gaelic football is so strong.
And with St. Naul’s going so well (both their first team and reserves are in the intermediate and intermediate B championship semi-finals) there is a knock-on consequence for Letterbarrow.
The club also has players with Four Masters and Aodh Ruadh.
But a string of injury problems and work commitments have also impacted on Letterbarrow so far this season.
This weekend they take on Lifford. “We will be short again this Sunday,” McGroary said. “We have a different team out each week. But it is early days yet, there are lots of matches to be played and we are not overly concerned.”
He continued: “Lifford are always very strong. The last time we played them was three years ago and we won 2-1 in a great game.”
This time around, in what is Letterbarrow’s first home league game, one suspects they would probably settle for a point.
And he is hopeful that once they get their players back, they can then kick on and avoid any relegation worries.
Indeed, they could well spring up the table in the week ahead.
As he recalls, “last year we got 23 points out of 27 at home and ended up on 37 points.”
Indeed, they scored an average of almost three goals a game.
So while the table may not look for happy reading at the moment, Letterbarrow will surely rise up the rungs on the league ladder as the season progress.
The other basement occupiers will be hoping for a change in fortunes too. In the Sunday leagues, Keadue Rovers prop up the Premier Division, while as already mentioned St Catherine’s are bottom of Division One.
In the Saturday League Division One, the unwanted distinction is presently held by Fintown Harps while in Division Two, staring up at everyone else is Copany Rovers.
Deele Harps from Lifford are the bottom club in Division Two of the Sunday League.
Donegal League fixtures
Saturday 5th October
Glencar Inn Saturday Division One 2p.m.
Arranmore United v Oldtown Celtic (1.00)
Fintown Harps AFC v Glenea United Res
Kildrum Tigers Res v Keadue Rovers Res
Glencar Celtic v Donegal Town Res
Milford United Res v Strand Rovers
Old Orchard Saturday Division Two
Cranford United Res v Ballybofey United Res
Drumkeen United Res v Kilmacrennan Celtic Res
Dunlewey Celtic v Copany Rovers Res
Drumbar F.C. v Drumoghill F.C. Res
Castlefin Celtic Res v Cappry Rovers Res
Sunday 6th October
Brian Mc Cormick Sports Premier Division 2p.m.
Milford United v Drumkeen United
Cappry Rovers v Donegal Town
Castlefin Celtic v Cranford United
Bonagee United v Kilmacrennan Celtic
Kildrum Tigers v Keadue Rovers
Temple Domestic Appliances Division One
Kerrykeel ’71 F.C. v Rathmullan Celtic
Letterbarrow Celtic v Lifford Celtic
Drumoghill F.C. v Ballybofey United
Glenea United v Convoy Arsenal
Gweedore Celtic v St. Catherines
Donegal Physiotherapy & Performance Centre Division Two
Dunkineely Celtic v Glenree United
Lagan Harps v Gweedore United
Curragh Athletic v Swilly Rovers
Whitestrand United v Raphoe Town
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