Michael Murphy and Michael Langan were the stand-out players for Donegal as they eased past a disappointing Cavan in Ballybofey.
Captain Murphy scored six points, three of them from play, in one of the big Glenswilly man's best displays in a Donegal jersey in a long time.
Michael Langan kicked three points and made a number of brilliant old fashioned high fetches, reminiscent of big Neil Gallagher in his heyday. He was named man of the match afterwards; it must have been a close call with Michael Murphy.
Ciaran Thompson, Frank McGlynn, Jamie Brennan, Neil McGee and Leo McLoone all turned in big performances on a day when Donegal won all key battles.
Shaun Patton: A good solid championship debut for the St Eunan’s man. He could do little to stop Caoimhin O’Reilly’s early goal.Otherwise he had no real saves to make and after a couple of dodgy deliveries early on, he got good length and variation to his kick-outs. 7
Eoghan Ban Gallagher: Confined to more defensive duties which he carried out efficiently Eoghan still managed to make a number of his penetrating runs into Cavan territory. 7
Neil McGee: It was as if time stood still for the rock from Gaoth Dobhair. After initial jitters he settled into the game and was rock-solid without making any mad dashes up the field. 7.5
Caolan Ward: He mopped up well at the back and was ready to punch holes in the Cavan rearguard at every opportunity. He kicked a good point in the first half. 7.5
Stephen McMenamin: He was handed the task of marking Gearoid McKiernan, the big Cavan full forward, on his championship debut and struggled a little. But once McKiernan moved out the field he was assigned to Conor Bradley and fared better. 7
Paul Brennan: He was named at centre half-back but took up duty on the right wing and was very involved in the first half, and was eager to press forward. 7.5
Ryan McHugh: Ryan was named at left half-back but played most of the game on the right side of midfield. He wasn’t his usual energetic self in what was his first game in over two months. But he still showed great awareness to flick a poorly struck Michael Murphy '45 to the net for Donegal’s first goal. 7
Hugh McFadden: It was a strange game for Hugh who took up a defensive midfield role and ended up doing a man-marking job Gearoid McKiernan for long spells. 7
Leo McLoone: Leo had a good solid game and played most of the match on the left side of midfield with a detail to both defend and attack. He kicked a good point. 7.5
Ciaran Thompson: Ciaran kicked two brilliant early points from midfield where he lined up alongside Michael Murphy - scored three in all - and was one of Donegal’s stand-out players in the first half. 8
Michael Langan: Michael turned in a man of the match performance and not only for his three brilliant long range points, but for his high fielding, winning vital possession and making good use of the ball. 9.5
Frank McGlynn: The standing ovation Frank received from the attendance in the stand as he came off late on was testament to another top drawer performance from the Glenfin who played in his old sweeping role from centre half back. 8
Patrick McBrearty: Patrick struggled to get into the game for a long spell and had a good chance for a goal saved by Raymond Galligan in the first half. He raised his first flag on 53 minutes and ended up with four in all, and all from play. 7
Michael Murphy: Michael, though named on the edge of the square, played the entire game in the middle of the field from where he was in awesome form and capped a brilliant display with six points, three of them from frees. 9.5
Jamie Brennan: Jamie has been a great addition and once he got his second wind on Sunday, he was a constant threat. His searing pace really stretched the Cavan rearguard at times. He kicked two fabulous points on the run. 7.5
Ciaran McGinley: He replaced Ciaran Thompson for the last quarter as the game began to wind down. He did not get on a lot of ball but made one good block. 6
Eamonn Doherty: He replaced Stephen McMenamin for the closing 15 minutes and like Ciaran McGinley, he didn’t get on the ball much. He got one good block on Gearoid McKiernan. 6
Cian Mulligan: Cian replaced Ryan McHugh on the hour mark and went on to score a super goal and set up at least one more point. 7
Mark McHugh, Stephen McBrearty and Caolan McGonagle: Not on long enough for assessment.