BRIAN MCENIFF COLUMN: A brilliant sporting weekend for Donegal

BRIAN MCENIFF COLUMN: A brilliant sporting weekend for Donegal

It was a great sporting weekend for Donegal. It was success all round. The county’s three clubs in the Ulster Club Championship, Naomh Conaill, St Nauls and Buncrana all won and Finn Harps won their play-off to hold on to their premier division status. It was a great win for Harps and congratulations all round.

Let me begin by stating the GAA fell well short on duty of care to the Naomh Conaill players by asking them to play on Sunday just three days after they had finally won Donegal after three tough hard games.

Unfortunately, I was not able to make the game but I listened to it on the radio.

Fair play to Naomh Conaill, it was a brilliant performance and was a great all-round team performance.

Anthony Thompson put in another huge performance at centre-half-back and he capped another super performance with three points. He is simply getting better with age.

His brother Ciaran had another big game in the middle of the field and also scored the crucial goal and two points.

Brendan McDyer had a very good first half and AJ Gallagher had yet another fine game at full-back. He has really settled into the position and is having a very good championship.

Kieran Gallagher and Charles McGuinness had their moments too and Kieran could have scored at least one goal.

Great credit has to go to Martin Regan and his management team. They have done a brilliant job.

They face Clontibret now in the semi-final and they don’t need me to tell them Conor McManus carries the big threat up front for the Monaghan men.

But they now have two weeks to prepare and I have no doubt Martin Regan will have them right for that game. There is no reason why they cannot follow the example of Gaoth Dobhair and qualify for the final.

St Nauls got a great result, too, in Belfast, against the Antrim champions. I saw St Nauls a few times last year and they impressed me. I thought they were a good side and except for a few slip ups in the league they would have won promotion to Division One.

Peadar Mogan, a young man I mentioned here before many times, turned in a man of the match performance. They, too, have two weeks to get ready for the Ulster semi-final. They will play Galbally from Tyrone in the their last four encounter.

Buncrana had a brillant win, too, on Saturday night in the Ulster Junior semi-final against the Rock from Tyrone. This was an amazing game and was decided on penalties. It is good to see Ryan Bradley back playing again and he still has a lot to offer.

Buncrana are a very strong junior side and I would expect them to do well in the championship and maybe give the All-Ireland a right good run.

All in all it was a great weekend and says a lot about the standard of club football in the county.

I met former Kerry All-Ireland winner Tom Prendergast on holidays a few weeks ago. Tom won a Donegal championship with MacCumhaills in 1964 and also won club championships in Kerry and Cork. He reckoned the Donegal club football was the best of the three counties and that was back in the 1960s.

Brian McEniff was in conversation with Tom Comack

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