Last roll of the dice against Cork


Last roll of the dice against Cork

It is the last roll of the dice for Donegal when they face Cork in the All-Ireland Qualifier in Croke Park on Saturday.

We are at the business end of the championship and there are no second chances after Saturday’s game. The draw has been favourable enough for us as I prefer playing Cork rather than Mayo, the other county we could have drawn.

Even though they are still in the championship they aren’t having a good season. Relegated in the league from the top flight to the second division, they suffered a surprise defeat by Tipperary in the Munster championship and they struggled to beat Limerick, a Division Four team, in the first round of the Qualifiers.

They beat Longford, whose only claim to fame in recent times was their Qualifier win over Monaghan.

From what I hear there may also be some disquiet in the squad with the recall of hurlers Aidan Walsh and Alan Cadogan.

We have a decent enough record against them of late, though anytime they did get the better of us they have done so by big margins.

While they have good forwards by and large they have always struggled against our defensive system.

And as we saw last weekend the defensive system is still sound. On the topic of systems we are going to have to do something about our attack.

We scored only 11 points against Tyrone and no goals and really didn’t even get a whiff of a goal.

We are not getting the ball forward quickly enough nor are we breaking from the back like we had been doing in recent years.

The bottom line is that 11 points isn’t good enough and we are going to have to up our strike rate and score more goals.

I would play Michael Murphy up front alongside Patrick McBrearty. A Murphy/McBrearty combination would put the fear of God in the Cork full-back line.

The Cork game is a big game for the senior players and for some of them it may well be the last roll of the championship dice.

The minors are playing Cork too, in the All-Ireland quarter final. We have a very good minor team. But as I mentioned after the Ulster final they are going to have to play with more intensity than they had done against Derry. Good luck to all.

Brian McEniff was in conversation with Tom Comack.