BY CHRIS MCNULTY
KILCAR are expected to become the latest team to withdraw from the Ulster Under 21 Football Champions Tournament.
The Towney side, the Donegal Under 21 champions following their final win over Naomh Conaill, were due to be in action this weekend against Erne Gaels, Belleek (Fermanagh). However, Erne Gaels have withdrawn and notified the Creggan Kickhams club – who host the tournament – of their decision.
There is no Under 21 Championship in Fermanagh, with Erne Gaels nominated as the minor champions of three years ago.
Their decision to withdraw meant Kilcar were handed a bye – and a passage into a quarter-final against Tyrone side Clonoe.
With that game pencilled in for Sunday February 9th, however, it now looks like Kilcar will decline their entry.
The game is in direct clash with Donegal’s National Football League game against Galway in Salthill, meaning Kilcar would be without Ryan McHugh and Patrick McBrearty. They were dealt a further blow last weekend when another one of their brightest sparks, Eoin McHugh, suffered a leg fracture while playing with the Donegal Under-21s in a challenge game with Galway at Ballyhaunis.
Manager John McNulty called his players together last Saturday evening for a team meeting and it is understood that the consensus was that they were reluctant to make the journey without their leading lights.
McBrearty returned to action on Saturday having been missing in action as a result of a groin injury. The player had minor surgery in December, but returned to training and playing action last weekend. That development comes as a boost to both Jim McGuinness and the Donegal seniors, ahead of the National League, and to NUI Maynooth ahead of next month’s Sigerson Cup.