BY CHRIS MCNULTY
THE Donegal Competitions Controls Committee (CCC) will meet tonight to make a decision on whether or not the quarter-finals of the Donegal Senior Football Championship will go ahead this weekend.
The fixtures have been the source of much toing and froing over the last week and clubs have been left in the dark, just five days before the first two quarter finals of had been pencilled in.
The latest fixtures farce leaves club management and players’ plans in the air as it will be late tonight before a definitive answer is forthcoming on the dates for the quarter-final ties in Donegal GAA’s flagship competition.
Last Tuesday evening, a CCC meeting voted to schedule the games for this coming weekend, but there has been nothing but chaos since.
Venues and times were allocated to the respective games, but clubs caused a stir having been told on two separate occasions that the Championship would not go ahead until the weekend of September 15th.
The most recent of those was last Monday night when a circular informed clubs of the September plan.
While there was no request or motion to have the fixtures brought forward, it is understood that the Donegal senior football team management – in the wake of the All-Ireland quarter-final loss to Mayo last Sunday – expressed the wish to get the fixtures run off as quickly as possible and this resulted in the altering of the plan last Tuesday night.
Irate clubs, however, hit out at the decision, claiming that key players had booked holidays around the dates originally given with St Eunan’s Donegal ace Rory Kavanagh among those to have made other plans.
The Donegal News understands that seven of the eight clubs in the quarter-finals have voiced their displeasure on the subject, with Sean MacCumhaills being the exception.
Last night, the secretary of the Donegal CCC, Sean McGinley, would not be drawn on the possibilities. The official confirmed that a decision would not be forthcoming until the CCC meeting in Ballybofey tonight.
It seems certain, though, that last week’s decision will be reversed, given the revolt against it from clubs – and, at this late stage, it would appear unfair to confirm the fixtures with mere days’ notice. The likely scenario appears to be a return to the original plan of mid-September quarter-finals, but there could also be a suggestion for the games to be played at an alternative date.
DECLAN BONNER will look to collect the first piece of silverware from his second tenure in charge of Donegal.