It is that time of the year again. County final day, the big day in the club calendar, is upon us. On Sunday next two of the county’s top teams, Gaoth Dobhair and Naomh Conaill, meet in the final.
It is the second year in-a-row we have the same pairing. In the case of Naomh Conaill it will be a third final in-a-row. And having lost the last two, the last thing they will want to become is the Mayo of Donegal football and lose a third.
I have a slight fancy for Gaoth Dobhair, but only just, because I think Naomh Conaill will really put it up to them.
Naomh Conaill are a better team than last year. I was very impressed with their midfield against Eunans in the semi-final. Ciaran Thompson had a great game and I haven’t seen Leo McLoone looking as lean and he is in as good a shape as I have seen him for a long time.
Eoghan McGettigan has really come on in leaps and bounds and they have good pace and size in their team and the young lads do give them something extra.
But they are coming up against a very good Gaoth Dobhair side. They are the reigning Donegal and Ulster champions.
There was a lot of chat about Gaoth Dobhair in the earlier rounds that they were not going well. And that was the case but after watching them put Kilcar to the sword in the semi-final that is far from the case.
They were awesome in that game.
Remember Kilcar had won the league without losing a game and had breezed into the semi-final without breaking sweat.
It appears to me they were only pawing with teams in the earlier rounds and only got back on the bike for the first time against Kilcar.
They are a quality side and have a strong bench and after watching Neil McGee against Kilcar on Patrick McBrearty, he is like a good wine, he is getting better with age.
Gaoth Dobhair are a serious side and if Naomh Conaill are to beat them Martin Regan and his backroom team are going to have to come up with something new if they are to have a chance.
Naomh Conaill will be driven by the heartbreak of losing the last two finals. If they have an exceptionally good day and Gaoth Dobhair are below par Naomh Conaill could pull it off. But I still see it as an outside chance.
I’m really looking forward to it. We’ve had a very high standard in the championship so far. We had two exceptionally good semi-finals and I’m expecting the same on Sunday, another quality game.
Congratulations to Malachy McCann and Buncrana on winning the Junior A championship.
By all accounts it was a very good game and Letterkenny Gaels gave them a good run for it.
It is good to see Letterkenny Gaels in the final and going on reports Sean McBrearty and his management team have much to be positive about.
Congratulations to St Nauls on winning the intermediate championship. They are another club going in the right direction. But it was also hard luck on Cloughaneely, the midweek replay made it a little more difficult for them.
Well done to all the other weekend winners, Urris in the Junior B, Cloughaneely in the Intermediate B, St Eunans in the Senior C and Termon and Naomh Muire ladies on their big wins in Ulster.
Brian McEniff was in conversation with Tom Comack
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