DONEGAL'S STAR MAN . . . LEO MCLOONE
Donegal were a shade lucky to escape with both league points in Fr. Tierney Park, Ballyshannon today. It was not their best display, but they showed determination to get the result, with Leo McLoone really stepping up to the plate.
Here are our Player Ratingt . . .
SHAUN PATTON: Was left exposed for the goals and couldn’t be blamed. Otherwise did well on his NFL debut. 7
EOGHAN BAN GALLAGHER: Probably Donegal’s best defender, he was very tight and also got forward to kick a good point. 7.5
CAOLAN WARD: Unlucky to be substituted, Ward is being asked to play full-back, although a more natural wing-back. 7
STEPHEN MCMENAMIN: A very solid display from the Red Hugh’s man, who seems to be growing into the county defence game by game. 7
EAMONN DOHERTY: Was unlucky not to get a free which led to the disallowed Kildare goal. Got forward a lot. 6
PAUL BRENNAN: A slow start, but Brennan had a storming second half, mainly cutting out Kildare attacks with strong tackling. 7
TONY MCCLENAGHAN: Found it hard to get into the game in the opening half and was replaced at half-time. 5.5
HUGH MCFADDEN: Another strong performance from the Killybegs man which included two very important points when Donegal needed them. His workrate is an example to all. 7.5
ODHRAN MAC NIALLAIS: Sublime on the ball and gave some good passes inside, but still needs to improve on workrate. 6.5
RYAN McHUGH: The recipient of some rough tackling which curtailed him in the opening half, the Kilcar man made a big contribution in the second half with 1-2. 7.5
LEO MCLOONE: The one Donegal player who made inroads through the Kildare defence. One of his best displays in a Donegal jersey and he was a leader when Donegal needed one. 8
MARK MCHUGH: Had a good opening half, getting on the ball and involved in a few scores. 6.5
PATRICK MCBREARTY: Three fisted points must be a record, McBrearty was a little rusty in the opening half, but nearly always had two for company. 7
MICHAEL MURPHY: Was back as captain. Missed an early free but worked really hard in the second half when Donegal responded after each Kildare goal. 7
JAMIE BRENNAN: Showed well in opening half and hit good second half point before shipping a very heavy challenge which seemed to be led by an elbow. Was replaced soon after. 6.5
NIALL O’DONNELL: In at half-time, he hit an early point, but thereafter got caught in possession a few times. 6
NEIL MCGEE: In for Caolan Ward in an effort to shore up the middle, McGee didn’t see much action. 6
STEPHEN MCBREARTY: In for last 19 minutes, McBrearty looked lively and looks to be fully recovered from the hamstring strain which curtailed him in McKenna Cup final. 7
CAOLAN MCGONAGLE: In for final 14 minutes, McGonagle showed well with a couple of good runs.
CIARAN THOMPSON and NATHAN MULLINS: Not on long enough to rate.