Downings among the intermediate favourites

THERE have been eight different winners in as many years in the Donegal Intermediate Championship so it’s hard to pick a potential champion at the outset.

Teams to watch out include Downings, Realt Na Mara and Malin, all of whom played Division One football this year.

Then you have Naomh Columba, who lost the Division Two league final, while Buncrana and Termon will also be hopeful of a productive championship.

There’s a fair scattering of Donegal intercounty players who line out at intermediate level in Donegal. Downings can call upon talented forward Johnny McGroddy while Bundoran have Paul Brennan in their ranks, albeit he has had his injury problems. Buncrana have Caolan McGonagle in midfield, a big asset. Tenacious defender Stephen McMemanin plays for Red Hughs, a team that will be doing well to feature when the big stuff comes round.

Naomh Columba reached last year’s intermediate final but were a distinct second best on the day. They lot a recent Division Two final against Glenswilly to seven points – no big shame given Glenswilly are a Senior Championship side.

Downings could be in for a good campaign. It was only two years ago that they won the Donegal Junior Championship but they played in Division One and did well to avoid the drop.

Bundoran side Realt Na Mara are a young but dogged side that had some very good outings in Division One of the league, for instance losing by only three points to last year’s senior champions St Eunan’s.

Termon could be dark horses but aren’t in great form at present. They came down from senior ranks a couple of years ago and lost to last year’s intermediate champions Dungloe in the semi-finals of the championship.

They hadn’t a great league campaign but they do have Ryan McFadden back which is a big plus. They had some off the field issues – their manager was handed a hefty suspension recently – so the background to their championship campaign isn’t particularly positive.

There’s two group stages which commence this weekend and after four rounds of fixtures we’ll move into the quarter-finals.

In Group A this weekend is games between Naomh Brid v Termon, Naomh Columba v Gaeil Fhánadá and Downings v Bundoran.

In Group B, Burt take on Buncrana, Naomh Mhure face Red Hughs and Malin take on Letterkenny Gaels.

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