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Connor set to sparkle for Donegal

 

John Campbell

By John Campbell

When Donegal wrested the Bank of Ireland Dr McKenna Cup from Tyrone early this year, it was a statement of intent that was to bear rich fruit.

Fast forward down the line a few months and Declan Bonner's side were being crowned Ulster champions and looking set fair to come to the fore in the Super 8s.

But defeats to Dublin and Tyrone in Group 2 vanquished their aspirations of further progress and left a frustrated Bonner reflecting on what might have been.

Since then Donegal have not quite re-grouped as several players are unavailable just now but when they meet Queen's in the McKenna Cup tomorrow at Ballybofey (2.00pm) Bonner will parade an array of players whose shared target is regular inclusion in the side.

"We have a number of players who maybe did not get much game time this year but now we will have a look at them," explains Bonner.

Jamie Brennan, Ciaran Diver, Jason McGee and Lorcan Connor come into this group with Connor having perhaps made the biggest impact over the course of this month.

In a challenge match against Sligo he scored a solitary point but he made up for this on Thursday when he landed 1-8 for Bonner's side in their 2-26 to 1-11 win over a 2012 Donegal Select side in a special match in memory of Downings club stalwart Paddy 'Fenny' McBride who passed away earlier this month.

With his Gaoth Dobhair contingent preparing for their forthcoming All-Ireland club semi-final against Corofin and several key players - including Paddy McBrearty - nursing injuries, Bonner is keen to ensure that he has adequate back-up in place for both the McKenna Cup and in the league.

Queen's will include a handful of inter-county players, including Fermanagh's James McMahon, and see the game as an important stepping-stone in their build-up to the forthcoming Sigerson Cup.

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