By Shaun Casey
IT’S all to play for in the Donegal Senior Football Championship as the quarter-finalists will be determined after this weekend’s round four contests. A number of teams have already entered their name into the last eight hat given their unbeaten run through the group stages.
Reigning champions St Eunan’s have won all three of their outings and they face Sean MacCumhaills on Sunday, who must win to be in with a chance of qualifying for the next round of the competition.
Mark O’Sullivan’s men are coming off the back of an 11-point defeat to Gaoth Dobhair, who advanced to the quarter-finals following their 1-15 to 0-7 victory. Gaoth Dobhair will be primed for a much tougher examination this weekend as they take on fellow championship contenders Naomh Conaill in a repeat of the 2019 championship final.
Glenties eventually won the title that year, and completed the double the next season, after three nail-biting encounters, with one point finally separating the sides. Gaoth Dobhair have already booked their spot in the next round while Naomh Conaill aren’t there just yet, they’ll be keeping an eye on how St Michael’s, Four Masters and Killybegs fair out.
Martin Regan’s side are high on confidence after their eight-point win over St Michael’s, who must see off St Naul’s to offer any chance of remaining in the competition. St Naul’s are one of five teams currently pointless, so they will have nothing to play for.
Glenfin, Realt na Mara, Ardara and Milford are the others that have picked up zero points in the opening three rounds so can’t qualify for the last eight, while Cloughneely are in the same situation having only one point on the board.
Killybegs will face Cloughneely and know they must win to solidify their place within the top eight. They currently sit on four points, just one ahead of St Michael’s, Four Masters and Sean MacCumhaills.
2017 winners Kilcar and Aodh Ruadh are others that have collected maximum points with three wins from three and are guaranteed to be competing for the Dr Maguire Cup for at least another round.
Glenswilly are leading the chasing pack as they fall just slightly behind with five points in total, dropping one point with a first-round draw against Naomh Conaill.
Pauric Bonner’s men last won the championship in 2016 and will have to overcome Ardara to cement their place in the last eight.