05/08/2021

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Declan Bonner says Odhran MacNiallais injury is a worry ahead of Ulster SFC

Declan Bonner and Michael Murphy

Michael Murphy, left, and Donegal manager Declan Bonner before the Allianz Football League Division 1 semi-final match between Donegal and Dublin

Declan Bonner admitted the fitness of Odhran MacNiallais "is a worry" with the Gaoth Dobhair playmaker forced off in the first half of Donegal's 1-18 to 1-14 loss against Dublin this evening.

MacNiallais, on his first start of the year, had kicked a fine point on 23 minutes to edge Donegal 0-6 to 0-5 ahead but six minutes later was trundling towards the sidelines. Donegal open their Ulster SFC with a preliminary round fixture against Down on Sunday, June 27.

"Odhran came off with what looked like a soft tissue injury and we’ll see what damage has been done," Bonner admitted after the Allianz League Division One semi-final. Two weeks out from championship, that’s a worry."

Stephen McMenamin didn't appear for the second half at Breffni Park and Patrick McBrearty was said to have experienced late discomfort in kicking a free - something that his manager hadn't heard any news on in the immediate aftermath of the contest.

"Stephen got a dead leg and we don't think its anything too serious," Bonner said of McMenamin.

Donegal made six changes to the starting team and were without Michael Murphy again after the captain suffered a hamstring strain in the fifth minute of the 1-20 to 4-11 draw with Monaghan last month. 

Bonner added:" Michael is coming on well and he will be back with us and if he gets a clear run he will be back with us against Down. We were without possibly six or seven lads there that we just didn’t want to risk and some of those lads wouldn’t even have been playing anyways - others would had it been championship but we just didn’t want to risk it two weeks out from a tough match in Newry.

"We had to be careful and not risk anyone but it also gave lads a chance to play against Dublin, quality opposition, and see where they’re at. Tonight's match probably didn’t have that real edge. It is what it is. We had to take stock of where we are at and what’s priority."

 

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