Final countdown

 

Compiled by  DAMIAN CULLEN

Donegal: Well spread

Like politics, almost everything GAA-related is local, and there is a remarkable spread of intercounty players throughout the big county of Donegal. From one Walsh in Malin to another Walsh just south of Donegal Town, there will be one hell of a tour around the county required should the Sam Maguire Cup make it to Tír Chonaill for only the second time.

While Glenswilly are the reigning county champions, having claimed their first title last year (and they also provide a potential match-winner in Michael Murphy) it is St Michaels of Dunfanaghy that provide the biggest contingent to the cause on the pitch.

The strongholds of Gaelic football in the county – particularly since the turn of this century – such as Gweedores Gaoth Dobhair, Letterkennys St Eunans, Ardara, Four Masters from Donegal Town and Naomh Conaill from Glenties have all been well represented on the pitch this summer.

The credit, should Donegal win, will have to be spread far and wide.

Mayo: More champions

Two years ago Ballintubber caused a major shock by not just reaching the Mayo senior football final, but defeating the powerhouse of Ballina.

Wearing the bainisteoir jersey that day for the inaugural winners – who would retain the title last season – was James Horan, current manager of the county side. And the main stars of the 2010 final were Alan Dillon, midfielders Jason Gibbons and Danny Geraghty, and the then county minor captain Cillian O’Connor.

Those four (and Horan of course) have contributed in no small part to the march to another final – this time with their county, and Ballintubber have had more representatives on the field of play for Mayo this summer than any other club side.

The county hasn’t claimed the football title of course since back-to-back wins in 1950-51. The year before also heralded the arrival of a new kid on the block at club level – when Crossmolina claimed their first county senior football crown.

Perhaps it’s an omen for Sunday.

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