Donegal to rule Breffni

Conor McKeon


CAVAN v DONEGAL (Breffni Pk, Tom, 3.30)

YEAR two for Jim McGuinness hasn't seen the immediate or expected improvement the Donegal manager would have liked. Partly, Michael Murphy's fleeting league appearances contributed to an inconsistent league and his absence will be felt tomorrow when his team travel to Breffni Park.

Against that, there should be enough scores in the likes of Colm McFadden and Paddy McBrearty to tot up a decent tally but all neutral eyes will be trained firmly on how thoroughly the much-scorned Donegal defence assembles itself.

Kevin Meehan, Robert Maloney Derham, Niall Smith, Jack Brady and Brendan Fitzpatrick all make their senior debuts for Cavan after a tumultuous spring which saw them only narrowly avoid the ignominy of relegation to Division 4 and lose their manager, Val Andrews.

His successor, Terry Hyland, has been handed a five-year term in an attempt to initiate something resembling a renaissance and the selection of so many greenhorns is, in that regard, a positive step.

It won't however, be nearly enough to oust the Ulster champions this time.

ODDS: Cavan 15/4, Draw 8/1, Donegal 2/7

VERDICT: Donegal