KILCAR manager Martin McHugh says his team’s clash with St Michael’s this Sunday is the tie of the round in the Donegal SFC, and few would disagree with him.
Two teams littered with county stars will go head-to-head, and it’s sure to draw a large crowd to Towney.
St Michael’s caused a stir when they defeated Kilcar away from home two seasons ago, and McHugh is wary of the Cresslough/Dunfanaghy men.
“It will be a good game and it’s probably the tie of the round. Both teams probably have to win,” said McHugh.
“St Michaels’ have beaten us twice this year in the league and they beat us in the championship down here a few years ago.
“They have a great record against us and we know we’re up against it.”
Kilcar need something from this week’s game after drawing their opener with St Eunan’s, but they have concerns over Eoin McHugh and Michael Hegarty after they picked up knocks against Gaoth Dobhair in the league last week.
Kilcar are tipped as one of the favourites to win the Donegal SFC this season, but they haven’t claimed the Dr Maguire Cup since 1993.
“It’s a long time since we won a championship and they have never won a championship,” said Martin McHugh.
“They (St Michael’s) think they have a good group of players and a decent chance, and they are probably the best team we have played against this season.
“We know what we’re up against and we’re looking forward to it. St Michael’s will be up for it as well because they feel they have one over on us. It’s a big game and that’s what you want.”
St Michael’s manager Eddie Harkin believes that Towney is the hardest place to visit in Donegal, and while his team have already beaten Kilcar twice this year, those victories came in starred matches.
“Towney is a hard place to go, and they are probably as strong there as any club in the county is at home.
“We have the experience of beating them down there this year in the league and that will hopefully help us.
“We have actually taken four points off them but that was in the league without the county players, so it will be a different kettle of fish this week.”
St Michael’s were well beaten by Naomh Conaill last month, but apart from that, they’re league form has been steady.
“We’re going reasonably well. We had all our county men back against Bundoran, but we didn’t perform and we were lucky to get a draw.
“We improved against Glenswilly last week alright and won that, but we’ll need to push it on again this week.
“We’re capable of putting it up to Kilcar, but we will need a big performance.”
Harkin and his backroom team have the arduous task of trying to stop a Kilcar side, who when at full flight, are very hard to stop.
The St Michael’s manager feels with Martin McElhinney and Christy Toye around the middle, they might have an edge in that sector, but he expects Kilcar to try and compensate for that.
“They have the three McHughs breaking from the half-back line, and they have (Patrick) McBrearty inside.
“They are capable of scoring from inside the ’45’ and from outside it, while they also can break through you and score goals.
“I think they will probably try to avoid the midfield battle as much as they can, because we are strong there and would probably come out on top.
“But with the way the game is now, it’s probably not too difficult to avoid it.”