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Kilcar and Glenswilly ready for battle

Glenswilly captain Gary McFadden and Kilcar skipper Ciaran McGinley, with the Dr Maguire Cup

Glenswilly captain Gary McFadden and Kilcar skipper Ciaran McGinley, with the Dr Maguire Cup

KILCAR and Glenswilly will meet for the first time in the Donegal SFC Final when they face off in MacCumhaill Park on Sunday.

The sides have enjoyed contrasting runs to the final, but have their eyes firmly set on championship glory.

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Martin McHugh’s Kilcar have impressed with some excellent performances, while Glenswilly have struggled through 2016.

However, the Pairc Naomh Columba outfit have recent championship pedigree, and are hoping to win their third title in six seasons.

Kilcar last claimed the Dr Maguire Cup in 1993, and they haven’t reached the decider since then.

The Towney men go into the final as overwhelming 1/5 favourites, but James McHugh, who is part of his brother’s Martin’s backroom team, is expecting a tough challenge in MacCumhaill Park.

“I don’t think we’re under any illusions. The last two times they won the championship, Glenswilly beat us in the semi-final and quarter-final,” said McHugh.

“This team was in the Ulster club final three years ago, and any team that possesses players of the quality of Michael Murphy, Neil Gallagher, ‘Copper’ (Gary McFadden), Ciaran Bonner, and Caolan Kelly, are a strong team.

“This is their fifth county final and you don’t get to that level without being a quality team.

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“Luck may take you a certain distance, but it doesn’t take you to Ulster Club Finals.

“Glenswilly have proven to be a very successful team down through the years, and they have a lot of experience now. They’ve been there before, and they are a real championship team.

“Themselves, ‘Eunan’s, and Glenties have set the benchmark high in recent years, and that’s the level that we have been trying to get to.”

The men from the Glen are not accustomed to being underdogs for county finals, but their manager Michael Canning is happy to accept that tag.

Canning admits that his team will be up against it, but they will have a plan in place to try and defeat Kilcar.

“They were very impressive in the semi-final, as they have been all year. I don’t think they’ve lost all year bar two star games,” said Canning.

“They are the form team and justified favourites going into the weekend.

“But we’re not going up to make up the numbers – we want to compete.

“It’s funny because out of the four finals we have played over the last six years, this is the one where we are going in with the least amount of pressure.

“We’re not expected to win which is fantastic from our point of view. We want to win and we’ll try to make ourselves hard to beat.”

FOR 11 PAGES OF COVERAGE ON THE BIG MATCH, DON’T MISS TODAY’S DONEGAL NEWS

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