BY CHRIS MCNULTY
THEIRS were the last two balls left in the pots and there were surely audible sighs in Kilcar and Glenswilly as their teams were paired together in the quarter-final draw for the RTE Raidio na Gaeltachta Donegal Senior Football Championship.
Two of the county’s heavyweights will meet again, having crossed swords in the group stage.
In a real war of attrition in Towney, Patrick McBrearty kicked eight points that were the difference in a game of 15 yellow cards and two reds, one for Glenswilly’s Ciaran Bonner and another for Kilcar’s Michael Hegarty.
It was a rugged and intense battle of wits in which Glenswilly staged a spirited comeback that stopped just short of reeling in the south-west men.
These two sides played a semi-final in 2011 and will now meet again in a do-or-die last eight contest.
“Nil me abalta dul abhaile, (I won’t be able to go home!)” was the verdict of the Competitions Controls Committee (CCC) secretary, Sean McGinley, a native of Kilcar who helped make the draw.
It is without doubt the tie of the round, but it is one of two ‘repeats’ from the group stages. This year is the first year of the round robin system and there have been no provisions made to avoid teams meeting again in the knockout phase.
Defending Dr Maguire holders St Eunan’s have been drawn against Malin.
Elsewhere, record winners Gaoth Dobhair have been paired with Ardara, while both Sean MacCumhaills and Killybegs are likely to be satisfied with their lot having drawn one another and avoided the so-called ‘big guns’.
With big hitters in the shape of Naomh Conaill, Dungloe and Four Masters gone, three of last year’s semi-finalists have already fallen, while another proposed big hitter in the shape of St Michael’s have also departed the sttage.
Could there now emerge a dark horse from the shadows with another ‘big gun’, Kilcar or Glenswilly, to exit?
In the relegation play-offs, Glenfin will play Bundoran with Cloughaneely taking on Dungloe. The two losers here will meet in another play-off, the loser of which will drop to the Intermediate Championship for 2014.
The draws for the reserve championship quarter-finals also took place.
The games are provisionally set for the weekend of August 11 and will be played at neutral venues.
Donegal SFC quarter-finals
Gaoth Dobhair v Ardara
MacCumhaills v Killybegs
St Eunan’s v Malin
Kilcar v Glenswilly
Donegal Senior Reserve quarter-finals
Gaoth Dobhair v Kilcar
Naomh Conaill v St Eunan’s
Ardara v Dungloe
St Michael’s v Four Masters
Donegal SFC relegation play-offs
Cloughaneely v Dungloe
Glenfin v Bundoran
DECLAN BONNER will look to collect the first piece of silverware from his second tenure in charge of Donegal.