For many, the iconic moment of last year’s Ulster championship was Frank McGlynn’s expertly taken goal in the final win over Down.
The Donegal wing-back ghosted onto a pass from Michael Murphy and finished like a master, firing low into the bottom corner past Brendan McVeigh.
The score shredded the last piece of resistance from the team managed by James McCartan and Donegal ran on to become comfortable 3-18 to 0-13 winners - it was the biggest Ulster final winning margin since 1971.
McGlynn was a nomination for Footballer of the Year last October and was one of eight Donegal All-Stars, with much of those accolades coming from the fact he was arguably the best player in the Ulster championship.
This year has been more frustrating for the 27-year-old, who has yet to even make the start of the second half of a match in the championship.
A hamstrung McGlynn was replaced by Mark McHugh on 21 minutes in the 2-10 to 0-10 win over Tyrone in May’s quarter-final and then picked up concussion in the 0-12 to 0-9 success over Down in the semi-final. Ryan McHugh stepped in.
“It was just a bang to the head in the first half,” McGlynn said. “I can only remember bits and pieces - well, I remember the bits I want to remember!
“Everything since then has been perfect. Things are going well. I’m not too bad when I’m out of football and can usually get back up to speed.
“I’m lucky too that at this time of year I’m playing plenty of football at training. That’s helpful.
“I had a good run in the league and then we had a tough couple of weeks at training so I got that under my belt before the injury. That gave a good fitness base.”
Jim McGuinness has made constant reference to the fact Donegal must match Monaghan’s hunger.
Having not won an Ulster championship since 1988, the Donegal manager has likened the stance of Malachy O’Rourke’s side to that of his own in 2011.
“We were a bit nervous going into the Ulster final against Derry and that was probably the case in the first half last year against Down,” McGlynn added.
“We’ll learn from those two finals not to take the eye off the ball and get distracted by other things. Monaghan will bring plenty of intensity and physicality to it so we will have to be on our game.”
Donegal and Monaghan have not met in the Ulster championship in 18 years but McGlynn was part of the panel that were defeated by Monaghan twice in the qualifiers - 2-12 to 1-7 when Donegal were league champions at Healy Park in 2007 and 0-16 to 0-15 at MacCumhaill Park.
“In 2007, we had a disappointing defeat to Tyrone and didn’t perhaps lift the training enough going into Monaghan,” he said. “That showed in Omagh that day.
“There’s no real history bar the two qualifier games five or six years ago. This is our third final and like the last two, there’s a good freshness.”