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McGrath woe for Donegal

DONEGAL corner-back, Paddy McGrath, has emerged as an injury concern ahead of Sunday's sell-out All-Ireland SFC semi-final clash with Dublin.

The Ardara man tweaked a hamstring in training last Thursday night and was on the treatment table over the weekend in a bid to shake off the injury that threatens his participation in Sunday's contest.

McGrath, who played in last year's All-Ireland under-21 final, has nailed down a spot in Jimmy McGuinness' defence this year, starting all five games in their championship run to date.

He was, however, replaced by Eamonn McGee in their quarter-final victory over Kildare but was a certainty to face Pat Gilroy's men.

The nature of the injury means McGrath has been resting the afflicted muscle since incurring the knock and McGuinness will wait until the last possible minute before making a final call on the young defender.

Veteran Michael Hegarty is the only other injury doubt for the Tír Chonaill men after suffering a knee injury during the pulsating win over the Lilywhites.

Hegarty has since played a club match but suffered a subsequent reaction and has only taken a bit part in training over the past week.


Meanwhile, former Donegal boss, Brian McEniff predicts the much-vaunted Dublin attack will meet their match on Sunday when they come up against the ferocity of the meanest defence in the game.

Donegal have conceded an average of just under ten points per match in their five championship outings to date (v Antrim, Cavan, Tyrone, Derry and Kildare) and McEniff insisted: "We are not going to give as much space to the two Brogans and Connolly and I speculate that they won't score more than 14 points against us."

McEniff also dismissed Dublin's performance against Tyrone in the All-Ireland quarter-final as proof that they have the firepower to take out top Ulster opposition, stating that Tyrone's legs were "all but gone".

The only man to manage Donegal to an All-Ireland title back in 1992 also insisted the real Dublin lies "somewhere in between the performances against Wexford, Kildare and Tyrone".

"The pressure is on Dublin," he added. "It's partly to do with their performance the last day which was fantastic.

"Everything Dublin did turned to gold.," added McEniff.

"They could find themselves quite frustrated this time because that's what these defensive systems cause, frustration.

"We have a defensive system that Dublin will not have encountered," added the Donegal man with confidence.