BY CHRIS MCNULTY IN BALLYSHANNON
CHRISTY Toye rolled back the years yesterday when he returned to partner Rory Kavanagh in the Donegal midfield.
The veteran St Michael’s man was stationed in the engine room after club-mate Martin McElhinney was forced to withdraw, after feeling unwell overnight and again in the dressing room beforehand.
Toye was well at home in his natural habitat, adding three points to cap off another fine outing.
“I was in midfield – it’s been a while – but it’s where I started out and enjoyed it there today,” said Toye, who has continued his consistent return to the Donegal jersey this year.
“We did well in the first half and dominated the game but let Louth back into it then in the second. We lost our intensity a bit but it’s all about getting the two points and pushing for promotion at this time of the year.
“First half we were well on top and kept Louth hemmed in. In the second they got their tails up although we responded well after their third goal when David Walsh grabbed one for us fairly quick. We might’ve had a couple of hairy moments there but we didn’t let them back into it.”
Toye has won two National Leagues with Donegal – Division 1 in 2007 and Division 2 in 2011, although he was injured for much of the 2011 season – and has eyes on another Division 2 title now.
However, to avoid a need for mathematics on the final day Donegal must beat Armagh, although the Tir Chonaill men are in pole position in the standings as the League enters its final weekend.
Toye said: “We’re going to Armagh and we know if we win we are up and we’re not going to have to be relying on other scores. We want to get the performance right as well.”
Toye was captain of the Donegal team in 2006 that lost a Division 2 replay to Louth in Breffni Park.
An experienced campaigner, Toye knows what’s important and the Creeslough man has May 26th firmly in his mind. That said, a League final in Croke Park would be a useful way to prepare for their Ulster Championship clash with Derry, who’ve shown impressive form this spring.
Toye said: “It was a game of two halves against Louth.
“For the championship we will want to keep the level of the first half going for the whole game. Hopefully we’ve a game, maybe two, to work on ahead of Derry in the Ulster championship.
“Derry’s league form is very good in a very competitive Division 1. We can only concentrate on our own performances at the minute and we’re edging towards championship pace. It’s all about getting the result and performance right and the results right before then.”
DECLAN BONNER will look to collect the first piece of silverware from his second tenure in charge of Donegal.