Donegal’s fate in their own hands

By Michael McMullan

SUNDAY’S trip to Dr Hyde Park is a vital game for Donegal hurlers for two reasons.

They are level on three points with Roscommon and neighbours Tyrone.

With the top three teams booking their spot in the new-look Division Two next season, Sunday’s game will tell a lot.

Donegal’s final game of the campaign is at home to London so their fate is in their own hands.

The second reason is keeping their hopes of a league title alive with the second and third placed teams lining up in a semi-final with the top dogs booking their final spot.

In a new look league for 2025, the model will see 35 teams divided into five sections of seven and Donegal will be targeting the middle tier, Division Two.

Mickey McCann’s side began with a facile win in Wicklow before being on the wrong end of a 2-20 to 0-19 scoreline at home to top of the table Derry.

Their mixed season continued with a pulsating draw with neighbours Tyrone. In the absence of Declan Coulter, it was Gerard Gilmore who hit half of their tally in a 0-20 to 1-17 stalemate.

Tyrone’s Seamus Sweeney’s goal levelled matters with 10 minutes to go and when Stephen Gillespie looked to have won it for Donegal, up stepped Aidy Kelly with the late equaliser.

Stephen McBride and Bernard Laverty, both named alongside Gilmore in the Gaelic Life hurling All-Star team, are key players in their defence.

Up front, Sean McVeigh, Gerard Gilmore, Josh Cronolly McGee and Brian McIntyre – also named on the All-Star team – are important cogs.

If Donegal can play to their potential, an away win is very much on the cards as the season heads into the business end.

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