IT’S a big weekend in the Ulster Club Championships, and three Donegal clubs will be aiming to keep their winning runs going.
Martin Regan’s Naomh Conaill will play in the Senior Championship semi-final on Saturday evening in Omagh when they take on Clontibret from Monaghan.
Buncrana are in action in the curtain-raiser to that match against Blackhill in the Ulster Junior Final, while St Naul’s take on Galbally in the Ulster Intermediate semi on Sunday at Celtic Park.
Regan was playing himself in 2010 when Naomh Conaill reached the provincial final, and he would love to see them get back to the same stage once again.
“It would be brilliant if we could make it through.
“It’s not something that we were even thinking about a couple of weeks ago.
“All we were thinking about then was trying to get through Donegal.
“When you get past that, you’re on a good run and you have momentum.
“I remember back in 2010 and it was brilliant for the team and the club and the community in Glenties and Fintown.
“It would be a really exciting two weeks if we could get through.”
Naomh Conaill were the first Donegal team since Killybegs in 1991 to reach the Ulster Final when they made it nine years ago.
It was seen as a huge boost at the time, but the landscape in the county has changed since then.
“I think you see at club and county that we are very much improved,” said Regan.
“We made it through in 2010 and then Glenswilly reached the final in 2013.
“Gaoth Dobhair won it last year, and Red Hugh’s won the Junior also. Gaoth Dobhair and St Eunan’s have both won at underage level in Ulster.
“At county level we are much more competitive at minors and Under 20/21 football than we were ten years ago. That might be on the back of Donegal winning the All-Ireland in 2012, I’m not sure.
“You look at St Naul’s and Buncrana playing this weekend and they will be there or thereabouts as well.
“We’re hoping to make it through to the final this week, and if it was Gaoth Dobhair, St Eunan’s or Kilcar that came out of Donegal, they would be thinking the same.
“Donegal football is in a good place and long may it continue.”