After tensions spilled over following Saturday night’s heated town derby between Clan Na Gael and Sean O’Mahony’s, the bitter rivals are set to cross swords once again in the replay on Friday night.
A place in this year’s intermediate final awaits the victors and there’s sure to be plenty of fireworks along the way in Haggardstown once more.
O’Mahony’s managed to snatch a last gasp draw on Saturday, thanks to a Keith McLaughlin goal.
But the real drama kicked off afterwards when both sides squared up to one another as they headed for the dressing rooms.
It’s certain to add a further spice to what is sure to be an already incendiary encounter.
Clans boss Cathal O’Hanlon knows his side let it slip last time out, but he’s hoping for an improved display this Friday.
“We played poorly at the end of the second half and we felt we should have been out of sight at that stage.
“Town rivalries are always very strong encounters and over the last number of years we’ve probably been a bit behind the O’Mahony’s.”
Despite letting the Point Road men back in, O’Hanlon was happy enough to have gotten the draw in the end.
“At the end of the day we’re happy enough to take it to a replay. But we need to find a level of consistency in our performances.
“We’ve been failing to kill off teams lately. It was a similar story in the quarter finals (against Roche Emmets).”
Although Drew Duffy didn’t perform to his usual standard, O’Hanlon is not overly worried by what he sees as a blip.
“When one of your better players plays badly and we still managed to get the draw then we’re doing okay.”
Looking at Friday night, the Clans boss needs his men to believe they can reach the final if they are to be successful.
“Things happen on night’s like this, with all the tension. This is a talented bunch of players and they need to believe in themselves that little bit more.”
Relief was the overwhelming feeling in the O’Mahony’s dressing room according to boss Alan Craven.
“There was mixed feelings after the game. We performed very poorly and we were genuinely relieved just to get something out of the game in the end.
“We were second best for most of the match and we looked very flat at times,” added Craven.
With the turnaround so quick, Craven stated that a major tactical rethink will be required to get his lads ready for the second battle.
Although the O’Mahony’s boss was quick to praise the efforts of Stephen Fisher and Stephen Kilcoyne.
“I’m sure they’ll (Clans) target him after that performance. He was outstanding in the first half and him and Kilcoyne were brilliant together.”
The scuffle after the match was out of character for what was a hard fought but ultimately clean game, according to Craven.
“It soured it a little bit. It wasn’t a niggly game at all in fact. The two teams have met maybe five or six times over the last number of years and usually there’s been good spirits between them.”
A worrying factor for Craven is his growing injury list, with Conor Crawley a major doubt for Friday after he sprained his ankle in the warm up last Saturday.
Craven also revealed that doubts have been cast over the fitness of Gary Mulligan (dislocated bone in his hand) and Alan Watters, who pulled up with a strain.
But despite that gloomy outlook, Craven feels it will give some younger lads a great opportunity to shine.
“Some of the lads on the periphery have the chance now to step up and make a name for themselves.”
Subscribe or register today to discover more from DonegalLive.ie
Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.
Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.