Mac’s View - Armagh to provide Donegal with real test

Mac’s View - Armagh to provide Donegal with real test
Congratulations to the minor panel, Declan and the backroom team on a win over Roscommon and we are now looking forward to meeting Dublin or Cork in the All-Ireland semi-final.

Congratulations to the minor panel, Declan and the backroom team on a win over Roscommon and we are now looking forward to meeting Dublin or Cork in the All-Ireland semi-final.

But it was not pretty, as Roscommon set up very defensively, but we did what we have been doing for many years, and that is taking the ball into traffic.

That is a big concern and I also thought we slackened off about fifteen minutes from time and that is a big concern.

Gaoth Dobhair half-back Cian Mulligan did very well and hit some great long range points but we have forwards who are capable of that and I would like to see them do likewise.

But conditions were not good but we should remember that it took a great block from Mulligan to save a certain goal.

Hopefully this will be a wake up call for the lads against a side who played very stubbornly and defensively.

If we meet Dublin and we lose concentration, then we would be just blown away.

I thought we should have kicked on when we went 0-10 to 0-4 ahead but that just did not happen and I think the lads should not be afraid to shoot from distance.

But it is great to be in an All-Ireland semi-final and well done to all concerned and we have four more weeks to prepare.

Armagh in quarters

Before I talk about Armagh in the senior quarter-final, I want to nail some “loose talk” about Donegal meeting Dublin in the All-Ireland semi-final.

That is very silly and dangerous talk and there is just too much of about, as we will face a fairly searching test against Armagh.

I saw them when they played us in the League and in the drawn match against Monaghan, and they are a side that is growing in confidence, and they beat Meath at the weekend without too many scores coming from Jamie Clarke.

I am impressed by full-forward Stefan Campbell, and they have a good spread of scorers and did not have Ciaran McKeever either.

Kieran McGeeney will have them superbly prepared, but I think Donegal can beat them.

And I don’t think that those defeats in the last decade will have any “hodoo” effect on this team under Jim McGuinness.

I know that Colm McFadden, Christy Toye, Rory Kavanagh, Paul Durcan, Karl Lacey and the McGees will remember some of those earlier defeats but this is a completely different Donegal team, physically and mentally.

We probably owe them for 2010 in Crossmaglen, but Jim McGuinness has created a completely different team and mentality, even though some of the same players remain.

Also this Armagh side bears no relation to the team of the last decade apart from their defensive set-up.

That team should have won at least two All-Irelands and only for Conor Gormley’s block they would have taken two in-a-row in 2003.

We almost nailed them that year but had a man sent off but that is all water well under the bridge.

The current Armagh side has progressed rapidly and while I think we can beat them, they should not be underestimated.

Good luck to the Donegal boys on Saturday next.

SYMPATHY

My sympathies to the Malaniff family in Ballyshannon on the death of Pat, whom I have known for so many years.

He was truly a great Gael who did not mind doing the simple but necessary tasks and always had a smile for everyone in Father Tierney Park which will not be the same without him

He was a real gentleman.

I played a county final along with the late Gerry Gallagher of Ballyshannon in 1969 and he was fairly handy.

Aptly named Gerry Singer, he had a real heart of gold and he was taken from us far too suddenly and too soon.

Finally deepest sympathies to the Cheevers family from Letterkenny on the death of Lena Cheevers, mother of Anraoi Cheevers from Cumann na mBunscoil.

Ar dheis De go raibh siad.

Brian McEniff was in conversation with Gerry McLaughlin