Na Dúnaibh and St Mary’s, Convoy in junior championship final showdown this Sunday

Na Dúnaibh and St Mary’s, Convoy in junior championship final showdown this Sunday

Na Dúnaibh and St Mary’s, Convoy will go toe to toe this Sunday when they meet in the Junior A Championship final in Sean MacCumhaill Park. (4 pm)
It will be a second final in five seasons for Na Dúnaibh, who defeated Naomh Padraig, Muff, in their last decider in 2016.
That 2016 success was a fifth junior title for Na Dúnaibh who, won their first in 1948. Their other triumphs were in 1957, 1977 and 2012.
St Mary’s won the last of their five junior crowns in 2005. They defeated Naomh Padraig, Lifford in that final. They also captured the Dr McCloskey Cup in 1941, the club’s first and they won it again in 1942, 1963 and 1995.
Both Na Dúnaibh and St Mary’s take an unbeaten run to the final including impressive semi-final wins over Mobile and Letterkenny Gaels.
Na Dúnaibh had seven points to spare at the end of their last four clash with Moville. Johnny McGroddy scored 0-5, his brother Caolan 1-1 while Ronan Gallagher, Ben McBride, Lorcan Connor and Eric Roberts hit 0-1 each in the 1-10 to 0-6 win.
Na Dúnaibh drew with Letterkenny Gaels in the first round and then went on to record big wins over Na Rossa and Robert Emmett’s.
“It is good to be back in another final,” says Shane McClafferty, who is jont manager of Na Dúnaibh with John Byrne.
“We are now looking forward to it. We know them fairly well. We met twice last year in the league. They beat us well up in Convoy and we won at home and the two of us were promoted to Division Two.
St Mary’s were equally impressive 0-13 to 0-6 winners over last year’s beaten finalists Letterkenny Gaels in their semi-final.
Corner forward Joe McGill hit 0-9 in a five star performance.
“It is great to get to the final after losing the last three semi-finals,” said St Mary’s player manager Laurence McMullan.
“We focused on getting over the semi-final and through to the final this year and we did that on Saturday night against Letterkenny Gaels.”
“And the focus now is on Downings this week.
“Downings have been up and down in recent years and probably have more experience than us. They have also won the All-Ireland Gaeltacht a number of times in recent years.”
St Mary’s were without Caolan McGill, Conor McDermott and Thomas McHugh for the semi-final. The trio were injured but Laurence McMullan expects them all to be fit for the final.
Lorcan Connor has been struggling with a groin injury right through the championship. But Shane McClafferty feels he will have benefited from the two week break and will be good to go by Sunday.
Verdict: Downings.

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