DONEGAL V TYRONE NATIONAL LEAGUE

Rory Gallagher would do things differently if Donegal and Tyrone were to replay Ulster final

Gerry McLaughlin

Reporter:

Gerry McLaughlin

Rory Gallagher would do things differently if Donegal and Tyrone were to replay Ulster final

Donegal manager, Rory Gallagher

Donegal manager, Rory Gallagher, in recalling last year's Ulster final, told journalists at a press call this week that "there is a thin line between being a hero and a fool."

Gallagher admitted that if he had another chance he might do some things differently.
Donegal were four points ahead just after half -time and were ahead on 71 minutes.
But two stupendous points from Sean Cavanagh and Peter Harte turned their world upside down.
Next Saturday, a young Donegal side confronts their conquerors in Ballybofey with loads at stake.
Gallagher is certainly not a prisoner of the past, and he does not shun the painful memory of last July.
“It was a sore place to be a few days afterwards you don’t feel too good about yourself.
“Every single one of our players and back room team would have felt like that.
“Rightly Tyrone got all the plaudits, they won the game”.
But Gallagher does not see this “hurt” as a motivation for next week’s crunch clash.
“We just want to win for ourselves”.
Donegal shipped a lot of criticism in the aftermath of that defeat, but this is not something that bothers the Fermanagh native.
“You have to look at what is the best chance that we have of getting results and we just did not attack enough in last year’s Ulster final.
“And we did not attack with enough conviction but Tyrone defended very well and we can’t hide from the age profile of our team.
“We have more legs in the team this year which allows us to have more energy but those were the lads that I went with last year and it is a thin line between victory and defeat.
“I probably would have done a few things defensively different, I am not going to say what they are.
“There is no doubt you look at it and say to yourself is there a few things you could have done differently.
“We were very close and were 0-11 to 0-10 up and we won a kick out and we lost a ball at the end of the field and if we had went two up it was probably game over”.
Gallagher added that the two marvelous points scored by Cavanagh and Harte was “probably a sore point”.
“Were we marking them tight enough when they kicked them over the bar.
“Peter Harte is well capable of drilling balls over the bar from 55-58 yards.
“And if we had defended those situations better we would have won the game”.
“We can only look at ourselves and ask did we ultimately do enough to win it and you can’t say we did and I would not for one minute say we did.
“If the game had ended after 40 minutes, I would have said that we deserved to win it, but we did not do enough to win it over the 70 minutes”.
Gallagher said Tyrone were now developing players who can score from long distances out.
“If you look at their final point from Ciaran McGeary, that was quite a distance out as well.
“They have developed players like Tiernan McCann and Niall Sludden to kick those type of points and in tight competitive games you need players for that”
So would Gallagher have done anything differently on a different day?
“I probably would have done a few things defensively different, I am not going to say what they are.
“There is no doubt you look at it and say to yourself is there a few things you could have done differently.
“But that is the same thing for every single game you play and every game you lose”.
Meanwhile Gallagher is expecting Patrick McBrearty to be fully fit for Saturday week’s big encounter in Ballybofey.
The talismanic forward was named in the team given to the press but played no part in a facile victory over Cavan.
His physique and scoring power are very important to this young team.
But Kieran Gillespie, Cian Mulligan, Martin McElhinney and Karl Lacey are still a distance from starting.
Donegal, come into this match buoyed by a big win over Cavan and their U-21s collide with Tyrone in Healy Park next Wednesday.
15 of that squad are also training with Gallagher so there will be quite a bit of pressure on as Donegal meet Monaghan eight days after their senior clash with Tyrone.
“If they win, those who we feel are capable enough will be in our squad and in our team.
“It would be massive if they could beat Tyrone in that Under 21 competition”.
And, even though he did not say it, a victory over last year’s late late conquerors would be even more massive.