HOPES are growing that Karl Lacey will be fit to face Laois alongside captain Michael Murphy in the National League Division 2 decider against at Croke Park on Sunday (throw-in 2pm), donegaldaily can confirm.
Forward Murphy has been suffering from a dead leg since playing with his club, Glenswilly, last weekend, and he has now told manager Jim McGuinness he is fit to start.
We understand that Murphy believes he has recovered enough to take his place in the squad and may now start the game.
Boss McGuinness will now decide between that option and putting Murphy on the bench, but we understand starting the game is an option.
Donegal already had an extended list of injury including Neil McGee, Paddy McGrath, Kevin Cassidy, Adrian Hanlon and Mark McHugh.
However we now understand Kary Lacey, Kevin Cassidy and Mark McHugh are also now fit enough to start. And Adrian Hanlon has recovered sufficiently to earn a place on the bench.
All of Saturday’s newspapers are tipping Laois to win – another great incentive for our boys to prove them wrong.
Laois have confirmed Colm Begley as team captain for Sunday’s game. The former Australia Rules player has rediscovered his best form this season, playing mostly at wing forward, and has started in every league to date.
Manager Justin McNulty has been rotating the team captaincy so far, with veteran midfielder Pauric Clancy wearing the armband when Laois beat Donegal in the last round just under two weeks ago.
And McNulty admits that beating Donegal last time out has given the Tir Chonaill lads another incentive for Sunday.
He said: “Donegal will be coming to Croke Park with a point to prove. They probably feel that they didn’t perform to the level that they’re capable of. They missed several good changes. The result probably could have gone the other way given a few breaks of the ball, literally.”
Donegal: P Durkan; P McGrath, N McGee, K Lacey; A Thompson, F McFlynn, K Cassidy; R Kavanagh, M McElhinney; M Hegarty, M McHugh, D Molloy; R Bradley, M Murphy, C McFadden.
Laois: E Culliton; D Booth, K Meaney, M Timmons; D Strong, S Julian, P O’Leary; P Clancy, B Quigley; C Begley, J O’Loughlin, D Donoher; R Munnelly, B Sheehan, MJ Tierney.
Verdict: Donegal (by four points)