Ciaran Thompson . . . Donegal's top player against Queen's
Ciaran Thompson kicked four points and also had a fine game from general play as Donegal proved far too hot for Queen’s University, Belfast, on Sunday, in Ballybofey.
The Naomh Conaill clubman was prominent in an experimental Donegal’s ten point win (0-21 to 0-11) over the Belfast Students.
The versatile 23-year-old, who is equally comfortable in midfield, half-forward and full-forward, was pleased with Sunday’s performance and victory and especially the performances of a number of young players in the squad.
“We are happy enough with the performance for a first run out of the season,” Ciaran told the Democrat after picking up his man of the match award.
“We were a little rusty at times but overall we are happy with the performance and the result.”
Donegal led by eight points at half-time, 0-13 to 0-5, against a well organised Queen’s, who lacked a cutting edge up front.
“We were in a good position at half-time and were comfortable enough and really the result was probably never in any real doubt and we did ease off a little in the second half.
“That is something we are going to have to look at now for the Down and Cavan games. They are teams that will punish us if we were to sit back against them.”
But overall Ciaran was very positive about the result and in particular the performance of a number of the younger players.
“There are a lot of the senior players missing and the young bucks are getting a chance and putting their hand up and that is what the McKenna Cup is about and we are driving the team on as best we can.
“The young bucks are hungry and they are mad to get into the panel and the team. There are only three or four games and then we are into the League in three or four weeks.
“Every man in the squad is working hard to make the squad for the league.”
In relation to the new rules the jury is very much out as far as the big Glenties man is concerned.
“The are a bit awkward at times and I suppose that is down to getting used to them, especially the three handpass rule.
“We have done very little on it to be honest and it is just a matter of shouting it out. There were probably a number of them missed and it is an awkward one. It will be interesting to see what they will do with it in review.”
Donegal are the reigning Dr McKenna Cup champions and Ciaran Thompson most definitely would like a successful defence.
“Definitely, we would like to defend our title. Every day we play we go out to win.”