Donegal’s progress in this year’s Ulster Championship continued with an easier than expected ten-point victory over neighbours Derry in front of a crowd of 11,207 in MacCumhaill Park, Ballybofey yesterday.
Truth be told it was a very one-sided contest as the visitors offered very little resistance to the much sharper and more adventurous Donegal side who now advance to play Tyrone in the Ulster semi-final in Clones.
Manager Jim McGuinness wasn’t over-excited and felt while his side played well, they had more to offer.
“It’s good to get over the line and this result sets us up for a big game for us in two weeks time, that was the number one thing coming into the match. We’re happy we’ve achieved that and now we refocus the minds with another two week build up ahead.
The manager said he wasn’t overly impressed by his side’s first half performance going in five points head 1-5 to 0-3.
“I wasn’t overly impressed at half time to be honest. I felt we could have pushed on a wee bit more and asked a few more questions but that didn’t really happen for us. It did in the second half as we played with a bit more fluidity to out play, attacking anyway and we got the scores as well which made the difference. I’m just happy we’re through and especially for the boys themselves in front of their own supporters. Thankfully its over but now we’ve got a huge Tyrone test to look forward to,” he said.
In relation to the style of play McGuinness admitted his side was evolving from its more defensive style of play that was the hallmark of last year’s championship campaign.
“Everybody’s changing all the time. We have a different plan in our minds that we want to execute every day based on the opposition and based on ourselves. We try and play to our strengths on any given day. It’s no secret that we’re trying to get more scores on the scoreboard. We managed to do that today but it will be a different ball game the next day.
The manager said they decided to start Michael Murphy and rest Rory Kavanagh even though he was “very close” to being ready.
“The two of them were in doubt before the game. Michael felt he was ready so we decided to go with that. Rory was very close as well to be honest but he just felt a wee bit of a nip when he was doing twists and turns in the warm up so we decided to go against that. Thankfully we got through without him and hopefully now he can put his best foot forward in the next two weeks as well because he is an important player for us.”
McGuinness praised his players commitment and workrate over the past 18 months.
“They’ve tried their best for their county, that’s all anybody wants. They train very hard and are very focused on their training and every other part of their lifestyle as well. I am very proud of them from that point of view. Hopefully we can continue on now on this journey and get a positive result the next day,” he said.