After last week’s disappointing performance against Galway, Donegal put a much improved display on Saturday night against Dublin.
There was five points in it at the finish, but Dublin only pulled away in the last few minutes. Donegal were still in the game right up to the closing minutes.
This was thanks to a brilliant second half performance. If we had played anything at all in the first half we could have got a result.
As it was we had a chance. Michael Murphy came off the bench in the closing minutes and missed two frees that he would normally knock over with his eyes closed.
In fairness to Michael it is never easy to come into a game cold like that and especially in a night time game and hit the ground running. We also had a couple of goal chances.
Dublin are a quality side and that is what makes our second half performance more commendable.
We outscored the best team in the country by ten points to nine in the second half.
Again, like against Galway the weekend before, we gave Dublin too much respect in the first half.
The second half is probably the best 35 plus minutes of football we have played this year so far.
This is very encouraging to go to Croke Park and play against a team of the quality of Dublin.
While I’m happy with the performance, I’m not happy that we are pointless and at the bottom of the table after three games.
We have four games left - Kildare, Tyrone, Monaghan and Mayo - and we have to take at least six points from those games if we are to be in with a chance of remaining in Division One.
Mark McHugh had a great game at corner-back while Caolan Ward at full-back and Eoghan Bán Gallagher also played well in the full-back line.
The defence as a unit played very well. Leo McLoone is getting back to full fitness and is improving with every game. Ryan McHugh was, as always, all over the place and put in another big performance.
Hugh McFadden had a fine game in the middle of the field. It is a pity that Nathan Mullins had to go off; seemingly he went into the game carrying an injury.
Patrick McBrearty was once again in good form up front and his brother Stephen played well out around the middle of the field.
Brian McEniff was in conversation with Tom Comack.