For Donegal’s big Neil Gallagher, it was a tough struggle in Croke Park on Saturday evening against the physical Armagh side
“It took everything. It was tight; we were two or three points up and in control of the game but then we gave away a goal to let them back into it,” was the summation of the Donegal man of the match, Gallagher.
“We had a couple of bad wides. Against all the good teams you need to be putting those over.
“We were very lucky in the end to win by just a point; those two points at the end were good ones and we needed them,” said the quiet spoken Neil, who added: “We’re delighted to be in the semi-final.”
The Glenswilly man felt the Armagh goal was a killer. “A goal is a big, big score. It gave them momentum and they went a point up. It was just good to get overe the line.
“They are a good side. Any side that gets to the quarter-final will be good.
“We knew it was going to be a tight one but Jim had us well prepared,” said Neil.
surprised by Armagh physicality
“We kinda expected that; it’s part of what they bring. But I would be a wee bit disappointed how we dealt with it but that it something we haev to look at it,” was the after-match reaction of Donegal mentor, Paul McGonigle.
“Ultimately our composure and experience got us the result.
“Even when th (Armagh) goal went in, I felt confident. I thought we controlled the game in the second half. We created a lot but we didn’t show the control that we normally do.
“Ach, it wasn’t a great performance, probably one of our poorest of the year, but we won and that’s all that matters,” said McGonigle.
“We kicked a lot of wides under pressure and maybe took wrong choices but that is the kind of pressure that Armagh put you under. It’s a big occasion, a big day and we’re just happy to get across the line.
“We would be happy that we didn’t concede too many frees, especiallly at the end. The ones they got were from distance and were difficult.”
Asked about Neil Gallagher’s performance, Paul said: “He leads the line and the players look up to him and there’s no question he delivered there today,” said McGonigle.