BY HARRY WALSH
The highlight of the evening will be a match between recently crowned All Ireland Football champions Donegal and the best players from Ulster. The match is part of a major fundraising event which the Ulster GAA are organising in partnership with the Michaela Foundation.
TG4’s live coverage will be presented by Micheál Ó Domhnaill with commentary and analysis by Brian Tyers and Jarlath Burns. The live coverage will also include interviews with Mickey Harte, Joe Kernan, Jim McGuinness and various players and GAA personalities who will be in attendance on the night. GAA Beo will be broadcast in high definition (HD) on channel 137 on UPC.
After landing eight GAA/GPA All-Stars in the past week, Donegal will be bringing as strong a squad as possible for the match, to be played under floodlights.
However, two of those All-Star recipients – Mark McHugh and Neil McGee – are believed to be injury doubts, while Karl Lacey might not play as he sustained a hamstring in club action for Four Masters last weekend.
Speaking at the announcement of the teams, Donegal manager Jim McGuinness said they will be fielding the strongest team possible.
“I anticipate that this will be a tremendous occasion and gauging from the interest within our county, our supporters will be there in force too”.
The Ulster team to start the match contains at least one player from each Ulster county with Tyrone leading the way in representation with four, Red Hands supremo Mickey Harte releasing Sean and Colm Cavanagh, Joe McMahon and Martin Penrose.
The Donegal final, between St Eunan’s and Naomh Conaill, takes place the day after the ‘Match for Michaela’ weakening the hand of McGuinness as St Eunan’s players Kevin Rafferty and Rory Kavanagh will be absent, along with his own Naomh Conaill clubmates Anthony Thompson, Dermot Molloy, Leo McLoone and Marty Boyle.
The first round proper of the Ulster club campaign is also played on November 4, denying Joe Kernan the opportunity of inviting Peter and Davy Harte, along with John Devine of Errigal Ciaran.
They face Ballinderry, whom Conleith Gilligan would have come into contention for an Ulster place, after winning the interprovincial series as a player for Kernan in 2012.
Other entertainment has been lined up on the night and that will be provided by Master of Ceremonies Hector ÓhEochagáin, with music by Janet Devlin and ‘More Power to your Elbow’.
Tickets for the game are available through the usual sources, including www.tickets.gaa.ie, county offices and participating Supervalu and Centra stores nationwide, at £10/€10 per adult and £5/€5 per child. Those arriving to the ground on the night will be able to pay at the gate.
TG4’s Ronan Ó Coisdealbha said: “We are pleased to be broadcasting this match live on TG4 which see’s funds being raised for such a good cause as the Michaela Foundation. It will also give viewers the opportunity to see the best players from Ulster taking on the newly crowned All Ireland Champions.”
Ulster team: Brendan McVeigh [Down], Ryan McCluskey [Fermanagh], Dan Gordon [Down], Chrissy McKaigue [Derry], Ciaran McKeever [Armagh], Darren Hughes [Monaghan], James Loughrey [Antrim], Sean Cavanagh [Tyrone], David Givney [Cavan], Colm Cavanagh [Tyrone], Mark Poland [Down], Joe McMahon [Tyrone], Martin Penrose [Tyrone], Michael McCann [Antrim], Conor McManus [Monaghan]
Subs: Niall Morgan [Tyrone], Conor Gormley [Tyrone], Vinnie Corey [Monaghan], Brendan Donaghy [Armagh], Ambrose Rogers [Down], Gearoid McKiernan [Cavan], Benny Coulter [Down]
Donegal team: Paul Durcan, Paddy McGrath, Eamonn McGee, Thomas McKinley, Frank McGlynn, Karl Lacey, Declan Walsh, Christy Toye, Neil Gallagher, Daniel McLaughlin, Adrian Hanlon, Ryan Bradley, Patrick McBrearty, Michael Murphy, David Walsh
Subs: Michael Boyle, Antoin McFadden, Mark McHugh, Peter Withrow, Martin McElhinney, Stephen Griffin, Barry Dunnion, Martin O’Reilly, Gary McFadden, Peter McGee
Posted: 1:48 pm October 25, 2012