BRIAN MCENIFF COLUMN:Disappointing exit for our U-20s in Omagh

WE MUST BE WARY OF DOWN

BRIAN MCENIFF COLUMN:Disappointing exit for our U-20s in Omagh

I was as disappointed as ever I was at a Donegal game watching the U-20s go down to Derry on Sunday. We had good expectations, based on our game against Cavan, but maybe we were given a false sense of security.

Derry were in the All-Ireland minor final last year and they had a good minor team the year before that too. They were well coached.

It just didn't happen for Donegal. We missed frees early on and had a few wides. We were not getting the ball to the inside men. Derry's defence was very sharp although we did hit them for two very good goals, but each time they were able to peg us back. Commiserations to the management.

I felt the start of the second half was the big turning point. That was when the game turned against Donegal.

However, I also have to say that decisions did not go Donegal's way in the second half.

Overall, it was a big disappointment. Looking forward, I would expect Peadar Mogan, Jason McGee, Niall O'Donnell (although it was not his day on Sunday) and Paddy Dolan, the lad from Convoy, could all make it at senior level. Enda McCormick also came on and did well.

Derry had their homework done and it was no more than Monaghan against Fermanagh in the second game, Donegal were strong favourites but were also sitting ducks.

SHADES OF MCGUINNESS

There were shades of Jim McGuinness as Rory Gallagher packed the defence for Fermanagh and they got a great result.

Congratulations to Rory Gallagher on the win.

It is a warning to us for next Sunday when we face Down. It will not be like Cavan and Derry, Down will come to Clones expecting to win. They always have that self belief and arrogance and can always get a goal.

They did it in 1991 when we beat them in the McKenna Cup and league, but they got the run on us in the Ulster final.

We have the potential but we must get stuck in. It won't be easy.

Finally, best of luck also to our hurlers and ladies, who are also in action this coming weekend.

Brian McEniff was in conversation with Peter Campbell