The Sporting Diary

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The Sporting Diary

Donegal have plenty to ponder

Donegal were not expected to defeat Dublin on Sunday, but the manner of the defeat has left many question marks over where Donegal are at.

Only the management and players will have the real answer to that. At times it was almost a repeat of the semi-final defeat to Cork twelve months earlier. Not many players looked up for the fight. Perhaps only the McGees, and for them, maybe it was personal. They might have wanted another tilt at Kerry after the game in Tralee at the beginning of March.

Donegal have a clean slate now in the run up to the meeting with Fermanagh or Antrim. It seems a long time but with a round of the club championship as well as up to five club league games, there will be plenty of action for the players.

There will be plenty of debate also about the prolonged drawn-out structure of the Ulster Championship, but all of that as well as the five defeats in-a-row at the end of the league will be forgotten if we can make it to Clones in July.

For a good number of this bunch of players it could be their last throw of the dice and they will want to give it everything they have.

The twists of sport

Anyone with an interest in golf was probably watching their television set on Sunday night last as the first major of the season provided a great climax in the Masters at Augusta.

Leading by five shots with nine holes to go, it was almost time to have an early night, and find out about the crowning of Jordan Spieth the following morning.

But it all went wrong for a player who looked like a machine up to then. Three holes later and his five shot lead was overturned and he was three behind.

Two Englishmen, playing together, Danny Willett and Lee Westwood, were at the top of the leaderboard; Willett on -4 and Westwood on -3. They had three holes to play and Willett went on to birdie the 16th and par the last two to become Masters champion.

He was a popular winner. But then for many, anyone other than Spieth would have been popular. The young American has burst onto the golf scene, winning two majors last year, but there is something missing from his game, personality. He is like a computer, programmed to play the game. He had a right to be disappointed after his meltdown, but he could have been a bit more gracious when presenting Willett with his green jacket.

But overall, it was great television, with four holes-in-one at the 16th, one of them from our own Shane Lowry. Spieth could learn a little from Lowry’s reaction to success and failure.

Big game for Harps

As I mentioned here a few weeks ago, there are games which Finn Harps have to target to make sure that they maintain their Premier League place.

They have lost out by the odd goal in their last two games, which proves that they are already competitive in the top league, but it is the games against the teams in the bottom half of the league which will define their season.

This Friday night they entertain Bray Wanderers and they can put some daylight between themselves and the bottom clubs if they take three points from this fixture.

Time for them to eke out a win, by any means, and also time for the supporters to give them all the help they can. Remember, this is Finn Park, and it should be a fortress.