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Ulster Club JFC – Buncrana making Gaelic glamourous

Accoring to Paul McGonagle, who is part of the Buncrana management, being a Gaelic Footballer in the Donegal town has, historically, not gained young men much praise.

Soccer, as everyone knows, is hugely popular in the county.

Gaelic in Buncrana has not enjoyed the attention that it deserves but times are changing.

This weekend the club are playing for an Ulster club junior title and a win in Healy Park will further boost the credentials of the club and the GAA.

McGonagle said: “Gaelic has not been the glamour game in Buncrana.

That is changing. We have county players and we have had some success. To say that we are in an Ulster final and to even win it would add to the club.

The Parish is quite large and there is a big pick. There are a lot of schools. But our underage structures have improved.

There is great potential here.

To win an Ulster final would be a big lift. It would show the younger members that this could be their future.”

Buncrana beat Collegeland in the quarter-final, 1-14 to 0-9, and the Rock took them to extra time in the semi-final. Eventually Malachy McCann’s team emerged victorious winning on penalties a fortnight ago.

We were not at our best. They made life very difficult for us. We felt that we could have had it won in normal time. But they could have won it in extra time. We stuck at it.

I think that we could have played better.”

Darach O’Connor, their county star, scored 0-3. John Campbell scored a massive 1-7, while Caolan McGonagle and Ryan Bradley chipped in with 0-1 apiece.

The players were ecstatic about the win. And are now looking forward to an Ulster final.

It means a lot for the club. It is a relatively young club. We have competed at intermediate level in the past. The structures are there for the club to improve. This is a big shot in the arm for the club.

We are trying to encourage more people to get involved. Being in the final is a great boost.

It would be a great lift for the lads. It will give the boys more experience.”

McGonagle said that they have picked up a couple of niggly injuries from that game, though nothing that will concern them majorly.

Their main concern is the absence of their first choice goalkeeper, Harry Doherty who is suspended. Doherty was sent off in the semi-final, yet Buncrana were still able to win the penalty shoot out without him, as Sean Parker stepped between the posts.

McGonagle said that it is not perfect to be without Doherty, but they are in a good place.

We actually have had three goalkeepers all season,” McGonagle said.

The other two lads have played a lot for us. They have been training all season.

They can step up. Sean came in and did well the last day.”

r.scott@gaeliclife.com

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