MAC'S VIEW: Donegal draw with Monaghan felt like a defeat

SIXTEEN WIDES A BIG FACTOR

MAC'S VIEW: Donegal draw with Monaghan felt like a defeat

I know we drew with Monaghan, but given that we were much the better team, a draw is a bitter pill to swallow. It feels like if we had lost.

Donegal were the better team over the 70 minutes. But we have no one to blame but ourselves.

I didn’t see the foul for the penalty but Martin McElhinney got a black card so it must have been a tug on the jersey or something.

But the bottom line is we kicked too many wides, 16 in all; seven in the first half and nine in the second half. And that is simply not on and I’m sure it is something that will disappoint Rory Gallagher too.

It was typical Monaghan. They were dogged and in our faces from the off and I feel they targeted Ryan McHugh from the off. They were constantly in his face.

We also paid the price for not putting them away in the second half when we were on top. We never got four points up and we always left ourselves open to be caught with a sucker goal.

Michael Murphy was in fine form again and kicked seven points. Neil McGee struggled on Jack McCarron, who kicked six points.

Kieran Gillespie replaced Neil and snuffed McCarron out for the rest of the game. Paddy McGrath kept Conor McManus scoreless from play, though in fairness to McManus, there did not go a lot of ball go into his corner.

Eamonn Doherty had a fine game and Eoghan ‘Ban’ had a brilliant game at centre half-back. Michael Carroll scored a good goal. He took it well.

Patrick McBrearty looked a little rusty when he came on but he showed a good hunger and kicked a couple of good points. Hugh McFadden won a lot of dirty ball and the McHughs, Ryan (despite all the attention) and Eoin had fine games.

Ryan picked up a nasty looking ankle injury near the end and I’d say he is a big doubt for next Sunday against Mayo.

But overall I think we are in a good position heading to Castlebar next Sunday against Mayo.

As I see we are in pole position to qualify for the league final. It would take some strange results, even at this stage, for us to not make the league final.

I expect Dublin to beat Monaghan next Sunday in Clones and it is difficult to see Tyrone getting anything out of their trip to Kerry.

If those games pan out as expected, as I see it, we could even lose in Mayo and still qualify.

Brian McEniff was in conversation with Tom Comack.