Donegal on the road for Ulster clash

By Michael McMullan

DONEGAL put down a marker in the Division Two promotion race with victory over Cork.

Jim McGuinness will take his side to Kingspan Breffni on Sunday for an all-Ulster clash with Cavan which should draw a sizeable following

The Breffni blues also got off to a winning start under new manager Raymond Galligan and with Ulster teams all having a positive start; it should make for an interesting afternoon.

Donegal’s efficiency in front of goal was a factor on Sunday in a windy Ballybofey. What made it all the more notable was their 1-20 tally despite the absence of talisman Oisín Gallen who sustained a hamstring strain in recent weeks.

“He played last weekend (against) Derry and it was alright but it just tightened again so we didn’t take a chance on him,” McGuinness told the assembled media after Sunday’s win.

“Any day you can put 1-20 on the scoreboard and get your points, you have to be happy,” McGuinness added.

“It is good to be going back with things to work on during the week.”

Looking ahead to Cavan, the minutes in Eoghan Bán Gallagher’s legs will be promising on his way back from injury.

With Shaun Patton available again after suspension, there will be a decision to be made between the posts after Gavin Mulreaney getting two positive performances back to back.

Michael Langan, Hugh McFadden and Gallen are deemed very close to being considered for the this weekend, while Jason McGee – who was troubled with injury last season – is still a few weeks away.

Donegal have banked a block of work in pre-season and had a positive McKenna Cup in that their performance against Derry in the final was a reality check of sorts.

For McGuinness, success in the league comes in the form of beefing up the squad and he has emphasised the Ulster Championship opener with Derry as the main focus.

Now in his second stint as manager, the 2012 All-Ireland winning boss continues to hail the efforts of the panel in buying into improvement and putting in performances for the fans to embrace.

“They know where we want to get to eventually and that is to compete with the best teams in Ulster,” McGuinness said. “Once you start doing that, then you can go to the national level.”

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