The draw for the senior club championship in Donegal on Sunday evening last paired last year’s final, St. Eunan’s and Aodh Ruadh, in the first round. The first leg tie s are set for Sunday, 2nd July.
The pairing overshadowed all the other ties and will be seen as an incentive to other clubs in the county for the first championship of the millennium. Apart from the big two – Naomh Columba and Killybegs are also included in the same half of the draw, which provides a huge incentive to the likes of Ardara, Dungloe, Kilcar and Gweedore in the other half to reach a county final.
Apart from the clash of last year’s finalists, there will be great interest in the pairing of Gweedore and Kilcar, which took three games to separate last year. Despite the absence of Martin Coll (in Australia) the Gaeltacht club will fancy they can build on last year’s success.
The clash of newcomers Na Rossa with neighbours, Dungloe will also generate great local interest, as they were once part of the same club. The other newcomers, Glenfin face Four Masters with the first leg at home.
The other ties in the first round include- St. Nauls v Ardara; Naomh Columba v MacCumhaills; Naomh Chonaill v Naomh Mhuire; Killybegs v Cloughaneely.
When contacted by the Democrat this week, new St. Eunan’s manager, Charlie Mulgrew said the draw was probably unfortunate: “You have to take what you get”, said Mulgrew , who agreed that other clubs in the county would be happy enough with the draw. He said it was like playing a game, sometimes things go your way, sometimes they don’t.
The former county player said that he was hoping to concentrate on managing this year and would not be a player-manager, but he did not rule out playing completely. “ You can never say never.”
New manager of Aodh Ruadh, former Mayo player Eugene McHale, said that while he was ‘surprised’ by the draw, he said that they would have to accept it and prepare accordingly. “You cannot decide who you are going to play and you have to accept what comes along.” McHale said that the system in Donegal was new to him but he was happy to play the away leg in Letterkenny first.
|Senior & Reserve Club Championship Draw|
|A.||N. Columba v MacCumhaills|
|B.||Na Rossa v Dungloe|
|C.||St. Naul’s v Ardara|
|D.||St. Eunan’s v Aodh Ruadh|
|E.||N. Chonaill v N. Mhuire|
|F.||Killybegs v Cloughaneely|
|G.||Kilcar v Gweedore|
|H.||Glenfin v Four Masters|
|1.||G v B.|
|2.||C v H.|
|3.||E v F.|
|4.||D v A.|
|A.||3 v 4|
|B.||1 v 2|