Kevin Cassidy

KEVIN CASSIDY: It’s heating up in Donegal

I touched a few weeks back on the different club championship models each county has and what may be the best.

You just had to look at the drama in last weekend’s Tyrone Senior Football Championship to get a feeling of the excitement that surrounds that particular championship.

Yes, a once off knockout game may be a lot to stomach for some counties but one thing that it guarantees is drama and excitement from the off.

If we compare that to what we have in my own county. We have been playing club championship for over six weeks now and this weekend is the first time we will see any real bite and any real meaningful games.

Like I said before, I get the concept of trying to give more games to club players, so we will let things run its course and perhaps come back to this topic and a later date.

We are now at the quarter-final stage of the Donegal senior championship and things are hotting up a little.

The tie of the round is the clash between Glenties and Kilcar with both of these teams being considered among the favourites to lift the title.

Both of these teams know each other inside out and there is also a little bit of bad blood there between them given the controversy in the final a few years back.

I have seen Glenties up close and personal on a number of occasions this year but I have only seen Kilcar once.

The main thing that sticks out to me about this Glenties team is that the structure remains the same no matter what personnel comes in or out of the team.

They stick to the process and grind teams down, and they never throw in the towel which makes them extremely dangerous.

Looking at the championship as a whole, there is no doubt that the loss of Eoghan McGettigan is a massive blow considering the form he was in earlier in the year.

Kilcar on the other hand are a little bit of the unknown this year because they have struggled to field a settled team given the number of lads that have been away or injured.

On their day they are a match for anyone, but on this particular occasion, having seen Glenties over the course of the year I just think that they will have too much and I’ll go for a Glenties win.

The other big clash is the meeting of old rivals St Eunan’s and Aodh Ruadh Ballyshannon. I’ve watched St Eunan’s on a number of occasions this year, the most recent one being when we covered the game for TG4 against Glenties. I have to admit that was extremely impressed by them on the day. They are extremely fit, powerful and fast and they seem like a team on a mission this year.

They will have a real test this weekend because this Ballyshannon team are on the way back. I spoke about this young Ballyshannon team last year and at the start of this year and they have been proved me right ever since. They beat our own boys, Gaoth Dobhair, up there in Ballyshannon in the group stages and I think that they will really fancy their chances this weekend of causing a major upset. They have been shown promise over the last number of years, but this is the time now to make a real statement of intent and show the whole of the county they’re back among the best.

Elsewhere Gaoth Dobhair take on Ardara and Glenswilly take on MacCumhaill’s. Without being disrespectful, I expect Gaoth Dobhair to get the job done because if you have any serious ambitions of winning the Donegal championship, you must start to impose yourself on the competition so I expect our lads to do just that this weekend.

In the last game, it’s a really shootout between perhaps the most exciting young forward in the county in Oisin Gallen and the old warrior Michael Murphy for Glenswilly.

Both of these teams all fancy their chances of making it into the semi-final, and this may just turn out to be the best game of the weekend.

Come six o’clock on Sunday evening, I expect Glenties, St Eunan’s, Gaoth Dobhair and Glenswilly to be preparing for a county semi-final.

However, there is always an upset at this stage of the competition so the question is who will seize that opportunity?

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