Saturday 16 December 2017

McHugh returns as Donegal look to tighten grip on Ulster

Mark McHugh
Mark McHugh
Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

ALL STAR Mark McHugh returns to Donegal's starting line-up for Sunday's showdown with Down in Kingspan Breffni Park as the All-Ireland football champions look to reach a third consecutive Ulster final and maintain their three-year, nine-game unbeaten streak within the province.

McHugh (right), like Karl Lacey, came off the bench in their first-round defeat of Tyrone, but the All Star centre-back has since had a knee set-back that needed micro-surgery and ruled him out.

With Neil Gallagher also out with a knee injury, Ryan Bradley moves back to partner Rory Kavanagh in midfield and that allows McHugh to slot back in at wing-forward, though he operates in a roving role, particularly in defence.

Down were actually the last team to beat Jim McGuinness' side in the Ulster championship, defeating them in an extra-time quarter-final in Ballybofey in May 2010.

Donegal – P Durcan; P McGrath, N McGee, E McGee; Declan Walsh, F McGlynn, A Thompson; R Bradley, R Kavanagh; D Walsh, L McLoone, M McHugh; P McBrearty, M Murphy, C McFadden.

Irish Independent

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