BRIAN MCENIFF COLUMN: Another great performance from Donegal in Ulster semi-final in Clones

HOW GOOD WERE DOWN?

BRIAN MCENIFF COLUMN: Another great performance from Donegal in Ulster semi-final in Clones

Donegal’s performance on Sunday against Down was right up there with as good as I have seen from a Donegal team in quite some time.

However, I have to temper that by stating Down were very poor and except for a brief period in the first half and again in the second, they were not at the races.

I know we said the same about the Cavan and Derry games. But that is the reality, and as we said after both those games, you can only beat what is in front of you.

Michael Murphy and Ryan McHugh were outstanding for Donegal with Frank McGlynn and Patrick McBrearty right up there with them too.

I was also really impressed with the goalkeeper Shaun Patton’s kick outs. They were brilliant and he certainly has been a good find and a big plus.

But let us not lose sight of the fact that we have to ask, how good was Down? Fermanagh will be a different ball game altogether but more about the final next week.

But we cannot take it away from Donegal; they are playing very well. They are moving the ball at pace and using both the short and long ball game and kicking great scores and big numbers.

All of which is great credit to Declan (Bonner) and his management team.

I thought Neil McGee’s red card was harsh when I saw it first. But after watching it again on the Sunday Game, Neil should have no complaints;

it was a red card offence.

It is unfortunate for Neil on a personal level. He will now miss the Ulster final which is a shame given his service to the county.

His absence will also be felt by the team. He is a very influential player and would seem to be tailor made for a marking job on Seamus or Sean Quigley.

Finally, on the game, I’m not at all happy with the treatment Ryan McHugh is receiving from opposition defenders. He seems to be a target of all teams and I can live with that as long as the marking is fair and not the sort of treatment he received on Sunday.

A number of the challenges on Ryan on Sunday were very high and quite dangerous and it needs to be stamped out.

Finally congratulations and well done the Donegal hurlers and the Donegal Lady footballers on their championship wins at the weekend.

Brian McEniff was in conversation with Tom Comack.