We lived to fight another day with Saturday’s draw against Monaghan in Cavan. It was a tough, hard, uncompromising Ulster championship match and just the kind of game I was expecting.
And the replay will be no different. I fancied Donegal to beat Monaghan and I’m still of the view that we will beat them. I saw nothing on Saturday evening to change my mind. The bottom line is Donegal are the better footballers.
It was no surprise either that Monaghan went man to man on on us. Vinny Corey, as he always does, took up Michael Murphy and tried to intimidate him from the start.
Thankfully Michael did not get involved and though he was off from the frees he still managed to kick three points. Michael seems to be still carrying that ankle injury.
Michael and Patrick McBrearty kicked eight of our points and if we are to get the better of them in the replay we are going to have to get more out of the half forward line.
The one thing that stood out on Saturday evening is that Monaghan are vulnerable up the middle of their defence. Vinny Corey and Drew Wylie lack pace and it is something we need to work on for the next day.
Any time we ran up the middle of their defence we opened them and we were unlucky we did not score a couple of goals. Ciaran Gillespie was very unlucky not to score a goal and there were a couple of other times, too, they were opened up.
Ciaran, for a man starting his first championship game, did well at full-back. Paddy McGrath did an outstanding marking job on Conor McManus and held him to one point from play.
Eamon McGee did well until he picked up the yellow card and was not as effective afterwards.
This is something we are going to have to work on too, our discipline. We lost Martin McElhinney to a black card on Saturday evening and we lost Neil McGee against Fermanagh. It is something we are going to have to tighten up on. We got away with it on Saturday evening but down the road it could prove costly.
In the overall scheme of things I was pleased with the performance and I still think we will win the replay because we have the better footballers.
Finally, congratulations to the minors and their management on a great win over Monaghan.
Brian McEniff was in conversation with Tom Comack