Donegal produced another good performance and recorded another good win on Sunday against Down in the Dr McKenna Cup.
Once again they produced a good all round team performance and just like the previous week against Queen’s, they were much the better team.
The win now sets up an interesting tie now on Wednesday night against Cavan in Ballybofey.
Like Donegal, Cavan have won their two games so Wednesday night’s game is a top of the table clash and will determine who claims one the automatic semi-final places.
Before we lose the run of ourselves we have to gauge the performance and result against the level of the opposition. We have to be honest while Down may have a big name it is very much in the distant past and the Mournemen are currently playing in the Division Three of the Allianz Football League.
And if you take Queen’s at best are probably Division Four standard we have beaten a third and fourth division team in the last two games.
Cavan on Wednesday night will be a stiffer test. They were promoted to Division One last season and have been hovering between Division One and Two. They are effectively a Division One team and at worst a very good second division team.
Back to last Sunday’s game, in fairness to Donegal they can only play what is in front of them and in a game like that it is much about performance as it is about the result.
On the performance front, just like against Queen’s, Declan Bonner should be happy enough with the way the boys acquitted themselves.
He will be especially pleased with Martin McElhinney in the middle of the field. Martin capped a man of the match performance with four good points.
Hugh McFadden alongside him also had a fine game especially in the second half while Michael Langan,Ciaran Thompson and Caolan McGonagle also had good outings.
Declan also took the opportunity to give young Oisin Gallen from MacCumhaill’s and Paddy Dolan from Convoy game time. I haven’t seen much of Paddy Dolan, but I’m led to believe he is a quality player and the pedigree is very good. I’m told he is a first cousin of Mayo wing-back Patrick Durcan.
It is good to see these young players being blooded.That is the good thing about the McKenna Cup, it affords management the opportunity to give young players a run and also gives players that are on the fringes of the team and the squad a chance to show what they are made of.
The one thing for certain is that we have a good crop of quality young players coming through and it is matter of taking them to the next level.
And the real trick is to mould them as a team and that is Declan Bonner and his management team’s job.
They only downside to Sunday’s game was the injury picked up by Eoin McHugh. Declan Bonner said after it was a hamstring injury which is not good news in terms of the league and the first game against Clare at the end of the month.
It all depends now on the extent and seriousness of the tear. But you are looking at anything between three to six weeks which at best would see Eoin in bother for that Clare game.
Here’s wishing Eoin a speedy recovery and fingers crossed we pick up no more injuries tomorrow night.
Brian McEniff was in conversation with Tom Comack