SPORTS COLUMN

Natives becoming restless as Donegal fail to sparkle yet again

THE SPORTING DIARY with Sports Ed Peter Campbell

Peter Campbell

Reporter:

Peter Campbell

Natives becoming restless as Donegal fail to sparkle yet again

Natives becoming restless

It always happens when there are a couple of poor performances in the championship. There is a feeling that the supporters are restless about the team and management.

The old adage ' you are only as good as your last result' is always a factor, but it is probably down to the quality of the performances by Donegal over the last two games, which is understandable.

There was a remarkably big support in MacCumhaill Park, Ballybofey on Saturday evening last, just shy of 10,000. They were expecting 5,000-6,000 but this was an exceptional turnout. However, there weren't many who left the ground with a smile on the face. It was a game for enduring rather than enjoying.

The Donegal supporters went home wondering where Donegal are in the grand overall scheme of things. Had Longford not lost their centre half-forward to a very debatable black card with over 20 minutes remaining, would the result have been the same?

That restlessness that was evident among supporters after Saturday evening can be wiped away by one good performance. Donegal need to get their mojo back. Maybe being drawn away will help them. They have had their blow-out now against Longford and must push on next Saturday evening or else their summer will be over.

Not once on Saturday evening last did we create a sniff of a goal chance. For much of the game Patrick McBrearty was a lone attacker. Are we going to trouble teams at this stage of the championship with the type of laboured play on show last Saturday? We just have to come out of our shell and have a go. I don't think our supporters will be too sore on this young team if they give it a lash.

What is making them restless is suffering the pain of watching what was on view in the first half on Saturday evening, lateral hand passing with no penetration. Thank God for Paddy McGrath and Martin McElhinney, who showed the way. But we have others who can do a lot more. Let's hope it happens for them this Saturday in Pairc Tailteann.

Now is the time for cool heads and the supporters will have to remain patient because basically this is a young team, who need nurturing. That nurturing has to come from management and supporters.

A missing link

Twelve months to the day on Saturday last, Séamus Mac Géidigh gave his last commentary for Raidio na Gaeltachta on the Donegal v Monaghan Ulster semi-final replay. The final moments of the commentary were relayed at the end of his first anniversary Mass in Gortahork on Saturday morning last.

The homily by Fr. Seán Ó Gallchoir, paid tribute to Séamus's life in the family home, his community, the GAA and his work in Raidio na Gaeltachta. It was delivered in his own inimitable way by Fr. Seán, verses as Gaeilge, which was a moving and fitting tribute to one that was taken so young.

It was a privilege to be there even if I couldn't fully translate all the verses. Included are a couple of verses, as bearla, which Fr Seán kindly allowed me to use.

Crossing Foyle and Bann on the road to the McShanes with feigned and roguish reluctance

At the Auld Lammas Fair in Ballycastle O

In the Mountains of Pomeroy.

We remember you

In Edendork amidst the bushes, in Enniskillen on Erne, in enigmatic Esler in the Marshes

In fields that honour Casement and Healy, McCumhaill and Brewster,

In the history-battered bowl of Clones Town

We remember you

Haloed with headphones - mike at mouth - pen in hand - glint in eye

With Democrat men, Derry People ones, Highlanders, in bonds of journalistic camaraderie

We remember you

In our glory days in fields of dreams

When McGuinness and Murphy bestrode the world like Colossi

Long before Jim took China in his hand

We remember you

A year on Tuesday last Séamus was taken from us so suddenly. We remember him but we also miss him sorely.