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Gallagher looking forward to semi-final with Dublin

13 March 2016; Donegal manager Rory Gallagher, right, with selector Jack Cooney. Allianz Football League, Division 1, Round 5, Donegal v Roscommon. O'Donnell Park, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal. Picture credit: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE

13 March 2016; Donegal manager Rory Gallagher, right, with selector Jack Cooney. Allianz Football League, Division 1, Round 5, Donegal v Roscommon. O’Donnell Park, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal. Picture credit: Oliver McVeigh / SPORTSFILE

A LEAGUE semi-final spot was an unwanted reward for Donegal in 2015, but it is much more welcome this season.

That’s the view of Donegal manager Rory Gallagher, who is relishing the opportunity to face Dublin again on Sunday.

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Last year, Stephen Griffin’s last-ditch point secured a draw for Donegal against Mayo in their final regulation league match, and sent them into the last four.

However, with their crucial championship opener with Tyrone on the horizon, Donegal were not overly concerned with their semi-final with Cork and were beaten by 4-11 to 0-19.

This season, the championship is still a long way off, so Donegal will travel to the Capital with their eyes on a place in the final.

“We’re very much looking forward to it,” said Gallagher, ahead of this weekend’s game.

“When we were leaving Castlebar last year after getting a point, we were informed that we were playing in the league semi-finals against Cork the next week.

“The reality was that four weeks after that we were playing Tyrone in the championship, and we were preparing for a big, big test in that game.

“This year, we are out almost a month later. It will be eight weeks on Sunday to when we play Fermanagh or Antrim, so it suits us better.

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“This has been a bit of a down week for the team. We had planned for a long time out that we would give the lads a week off.

“But we would really love to make the league final. We have known after the first few games that we were in with a good chance of making the semi-finals and now we want to push on and make the final.”

TO READ RORY’S FULL INTERVIEW, DON’T MISS TOMORROW’S DONEGAL NEWS

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