Donegal got the better of Armagh in Saturday’s Dr McKenna Cup semi-final on a scoreline of 0-20 to 1-10 to reach the competition final where they will play Tyrone.
The weather has wreaked havoc in the pre-season tournament with Donegal having their group game with Monaghan postponed as well as this semi-final being pushed back 96 hours due to inclement conditions in Ulster on Wednesday night.
: Full Time
Dun na nGall 0-20(20)
Ard Mhacha 1-10(13)
— Official Donegal GAA (@officialdonegal) January 20, 2018
Inspired by man of the match Nathan Mullins, son former Dublin star Brian Mullins, the Tir Conaill men will be content with their seven-point success.
However, the victory has brought a problem to Declan Bonner’s side.
With the National League starting next weekend and the competition being played on such a condensed schedule, Donegal will now have to play on each of the next six weekends – which will force Bonner’s men to play eight weekends on the trot – from January 14 to March 3.
When you add in the first McKenna Cup games played on January 3 and 10, Donegal will have had ten competitive games in the first 62 days of the year.
The 2018 @BankofIrelandUK Dr McKenna Cup Final between @TyroneGAALive & @officialdonegal is scheduled for the weekend of February 17th/18th. Details to be confirmed in the coming days. #BOIMcKennaCup pic.twitter.com/BSKHXJIKxh
— Ulster GAA (@UlsterGAA) January 20, 2018
This is an unmerciful work-load on players, especially so early in the year.
Not only is there ten games by March 3, but then there is only a one-week break before playing on back-to-back weekends once again. And, should they reach the NFL final, they play again on April 1.
While nobody could have done anything about the weather causing games to be put off earlier in the competition, the schedule left no wiggle room for games to be re-arranged.
Mmm wasn't the fixture changes supposed to ease the player burn out…
— James Cunningham (@jamesaw1) January 20, 2018