Why did we doubt them? Jim McGuinness and this Donegal team mastered Tyrone with some ease in MacCumhaill Park to qualify for an Ulster Championship semi-final meeting with either Derry or Down.
For the third year in-a-row, Donegal proved too good for the Red Hands and this was the most convincing victory so far.
The bookies rarely get it wrong and there was some surprise when Donegal were odds on favourites, 8/13, for this game, but they carried the mantle with some style, especially in the second half.
The introduction of birthday boy Ross Wherity (he celebrated his 25th birthday on Saturday) was a big turning point. It was a big gamble by Jim McGuinness also as he also introduced Karl Lacey at that stage - 11 minutes into the second half. He had used his full complement, but it was to prove a master stroke.
Wherity finished the second goal after great work by man of the match Patrick McBrearty and Lacey, despite being not fully match fit, pulled the strings from the half-back line.
The crowd of 17,519 were treated to a very good contest, especially in the opening half when Tyrone dominated possession for long periods but still had to go into the dressing room two points down - 1-6 to 0-7 - thanks to a Colm McFadden special on 31 minutes. McFadden has a habit of finding the Tyrone net and he was on fire in the opening half.
The Donegal supporters, despite a downpour, were beginning to feel confident and that confidence was well founded when McBrearty set up Wherity for the second goal. McBrearty and Murphy added quick points and Donegal were on their way.
Donegal manager Jim McGuinness reiterated again that the league was not a yardstick to measure Donegal.
It was all about the championship and he also had a plan regarding having Karl Lacey on the field at the finish rather than starting his GAA/GPA Player of the Year.
“I wanted to finish with the strongest team and I wanted to finish with the quality on the pitch that could see the game out,” he said.
“We had really good decision makers on the pitch in the last 20 minutes. That took us over the line,” said McGuinness.
It was a good day also for young Patrick McBrearty, who has been through the mill in recent weeks because of the allegation after the Dublin league game but he used his skill to give all the answers against Tyrone.”
Donegal did suffer a number of injuries during the game with Frank McGlynn and Anthony Thompson leaving the field with hamstring problems they had been carrying.
With the RTE Raidio na Gaeltachta senior club championship scheduled for next weekend, McGuinness will be keeping his fingers crossed that he has a full pack back at training when they begin their preparations for the Ulster semi-final.
But for now, he will be very happy that Donegal have crossed a very big bridge on the long road back to Croke Park.
The Ulster semi-final against Derry or Down will be Sunday, June 23rd (probably at Clones) with a 2 p.m. throw-in