Sport Gaelic Football

Saturday 18 November 2017

McGuinness urges Donegal to grasp place in history 'with both hands'

Jim McGuinness
Jim McGuinness
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

Jim McGuinness has challenged the Donegal squad to write their names even larger into the county's folklore by completing an Ulster championship treble for the first time when they play Monaghan in the final in Clones tomorrow.

A place in the history books is also the ambition for London footballers as they pursue a first Connacht title against defending champions Mayo in the final in Castlebar. Mayo are aiming at a special target too as victory would see them win the Connacht three-in-a-row for the first time since 1950, a season in which they later won the All-Ireland title.

McGuinness' crew have already created Donegal history by winning the Ulster title in two successive seasons and by extending their winning run to 10 provincial games. "We have to grasp this opportunity with both hands. We have to continually move forward, grow and develop," said McGuinness.

Donegal's prospects have been greatly enhanced by the return of Karl Lacey for his first start of the year after recovering from a long-term hip injury.

London's appearance in the Connacht final for the first time has given the west's big day a novel look, even if their 33/1 odds suggest that they have little chance of unseating Mayo.

While the beaten provincial finalists have the All-Ireland qualifier safety net, there will be no such comforts for the losers of this evening's Round 3 back door games. The glamour tie will attract a full house to St Conleth's Park (7.0) for the Kildare v Tyrone clash, which will be screened live on RTE.

A Kildare defeat would end their season at the earliest point since 2007. Galway v Armagh in Pearse Stadium (5.0), Derry v Cavan in Celtic Park (5.0) and Wexford v Laois in Wexford Park (7.0) complete the Round 3 line-up.

Irish Independent

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