Ballymachugh will have to plan without key man Mark Kiernan for Saturday's Ulster Club JFC quarter-final in Ballybofey after the attacker's appeal against a red card was rejected on Monday night.
While Padraig Galligan's red card was rescinded, Kiernan – who was sent off after the final whistle – was unsuccessful in his appeal and will miss out. Hughs manager Stephen Baxter hit out at the officials who dismissed Kiernan.
“As the ball went over the bar with the last kick of the game, Mark was tripped. He patted the player on the side of the face and got a red card,” fumed Baxter.
“Our appeal was based on the fact that one umpire was reaching for the flag and the other wasn't looking at the incident and there was nothing in it anyway. It's lousy,” Baxter told The Anglo-Celt yesterday (Tuesday).
Ballymachugh face Donegal champions Naomh Colmcille from Newtowncunningham, a village between Letterkenny and Derry. The Donegal outfit are captained by Willie Gillespie, who played in two Ulster U21 finals against Cavan in recent years, where he would have lined up against Liam Buchanan.
Both of their midfielders, Daniel Clarke and Michael Lynch, were on the Donegal U21s this year and they boast two exceptional forwards in centre-forward Ryan McErlean, who hit 1-1 in the county final, and former Finn Harps player Matt Crossan.
They lost the Donegal intermediate final in 2015, were relegated the following year and bounced back at the first time of asking. The match throws in this Saturday at 7pm at MacCumhaill Park, Ballybofey.