Dungloe braced for derby day battle

By Shaun Casey

TWO weeks after their last meeting with Naomh Muire, Dungloe will once again have to see off their neighbours to continue their Intermediate Championship journey. Dungloe were the victors the last day out, with two goals the difference, but it came at a cost.

Star man Mark Curran was carried off the field during the opening minutes through injury and his availability is still unknown. Dungloe head into this one in great form however, having won all four of their championship outings so far.

“We won by six the last time. It was a tough, tight game,” said boss Dessie Gallagher. “We got goals, one at the end of the first half and one at the end of the second, so that’s what won it for us. It’ll be the same the next day.

“Burt had won the Division Three league and we were at the low end of Division Two, that was the first game and we won that, we put a lot of emphasis into that game to try and get the first win.

“We had Gaeil Fhánada at home and we beat them then we had a good win away to Malin after them topping Division Two, that was a good win up there. Then we beat Naomh Muire the last day. Four from four and that’s all you can do.”

Dungloe are hoping to go one step further in the championship this season, having reached the 2021 decider in Gallagher’s first year in charge. They led Cloughaneely 9-2 heading into the final quarter but couldn’t see the game out and lost after a replay.

Gallagher insists his side are enjoying their football at the minute and they’ve taking on board the lessons of last season.

“After last year, we got a good run in the championship and the mood was great after the league and it’s the same this year.

“We had a lot of injuries during the league, and we’ve blooded a lot of new young lads and in fairness three of those came up from minor this year and are all on the team. It’s good for competition for places, there’s a bit of a buzz going now in training with the players and it’s good to have it.

“The first day out we should have been Cloughaneely, we should have won the game but the second day in fairness they were better than us. Physically they bullied us all over the field and they deserved to win that day.

“The first day they got three sloppy goals and two of them were penalties. On another day they mightn’t have got them but on that day they did.

“It was disappointing but our boys, they were relegated from the senior championship and they were fighting relegation for five years so they loved last year and they’re going into this year now with that thing of, we can compete, rather than being down in relegation battles.

“They’ve taken the learnings on board and they’re more seeing out games this year than last year. This year they’re settled, once we get ahead, they settle themselves more than they would have last year. It’s a good experience for all of us because it was my first year at senior managing as well.”

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