Friday 15 December 2017

Fingal wary of Donegal threat

Rory Kerr

IT was probably the one game that Fingal wanted to avoid but this weekend sees them renew rivalries with Donegal in a fixture which manager Mick Kennedy has classed as their 'last get out of jail card'

Donegal defeated Roscommon at Markievicz Park on Sunday to claim the Division 3A final with Lee Henderson hitting two late points to secure the title for the Ulster men.

Fingal beat Donegal by five points in last year's decider to earn their Division 2B status, but in a change to the league structures this season, the two now play off in a promotion relegation play-off.

Donegal hit Roscommon with three quick goals en-route to securing a 4-12 to 2-14 win and Kennedy believes that Donegal will be keen to settle a few scores at the weekend.

'They will be gunning for us alright,' said Kennedy. 'Donegal are a tough, strong, physical side and they will hit hard, but we will hit back but without being dirty of course.

'They played an overlapping game last year, but I don't know if they will this year.'

It's been a bruising campaign for Fingal so far which had seen them concede 16-99 in the league prior to the game with Armagh when a heavy limbed Fingal team conceded four goals against the Orchard County in Iniskeen last Sunday week.

Kennedy is adamant though that his team is far better than the stats suggest.

'The scorelines didn't do us justice in a lot of those games. With the exception of the Meath match when we just didn't get off the bus, we have performed well.

'And remember I had eleven guys injured for the Armagh game and that was even before they had played for their clubs on Sunday morning.'

'David Hattie has been a huge loss for us. He's the heartbeat for us in midfield and Paddy Sheridan is another player we would miss a lot this year.'

Having lost three games on the trot, Fingal know that Sunday is of huge importance for them particularly ahead of next month's championship opener in Lawless Park.

Nonetheless Kennedy believes this year's campaign will stand to the team over the coming months.

'This year's league has been very beneficial. We have got the experience of playing at a higher level. And while its one division up, its three grades higher at the same time.

'And Sunday could a blessing for us especially given it's an extra game for us before we play Louth in the Nicky Rackard Cup.'

Fingal Independent

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