Donegal go in search of another win

By Michael McMullan

DONEGAL have won the Nickey Rackard Cup on three occasions and eye a third victory in this season’s competition.

Mickey McCann’s side welcome Monaghan to Letterkenny on Saturday on the back of wins over Armagh and Mayo.

“We are definitely eyeing up Monaghan as well. We saw last year that they were in the Lory Meagher final,” defender Jack O’Loughlin told the Donegal News after their win over Mayo.

“They had a great win there and they will want to do well now in the Nickey Rackard so we are definitely up for a tight battle next weekend.”

Donegal and Mayo were level at half-time (0-8 apiece) before McCann’s men pulled away to clinch a 0-21 to 0-13 victory over a fancied Connacht side.

Gerard Gilmore hit eight points and Declan Coulter was in action again after missing the league through injury and playing a part against Armagh.

Donegal were again without Danny Cullen and Ronan McDermott but a host of younger players have given the management options that will leave them stronger as the competition gathers momentum.

With a trip to Dr Hyde Park coming around the corner, a win this weekend would be two vital points at home.

The top two teams advance to the final and Donegal will be keen to get a trip back to Croke Park to right the wrongs of their defeat to Wicklow in the decider last season.

Also speaking to the Donegal News, manager McCann wasn’t getting carried away with their win over Mayo.

“I don’t think there’s much between the two teams,” he said.

“I thought we played the best hurling in the first half but we didn’t keep the scoreboard ticking.

“They had one or two wides whereas we had eight and four from placed balls.

“I thought we should have been going in at half-time three or four up but in the second half we just stayed patient.

“The defence was well on top against some of the good forwards they were up against. Keeping them quiet was key.”

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