It was vintage Donegal in the first half against Tyrone on Saturday evening in the big game in Cavan.
It was most enjoyable though we did slacken off a bit in the second half and allowed them back into the game and at one stage only a kick of a ball separated the two teams.
This would be a slight worry because; the reality was that Donegal were much better than Tyrone in the first half. We were seven points up at half-time and if Jamie Brennan had scored the second goal, the one that went off the bottom of the post, the game would have been over.
I watched Tyrone before the game in the warm up and they looked big and strong and confident.
But once the game started and Donegal started to run at them they didn’t seem to know what hit them.
They could not cope with the pace of Ryan McHugh, Eoghan Bán Gallagher, Eoin McHugh and Jamie Brennan. Jamie had scored a great goal, was unlucky to see another go off the post and he kicked a couple of great points.
We had a number of outstanding performances. The corner-backs Stephen McMenamin and Paddy McGrath had great games; as I mentioned already Ryan and Eoghan Bán really opened them up with their pace.
Hugh McFadden anchored the midfield well and as I have often said here before Michael Murphy was simply Michael Murphy, he was simply awesome. He just controlled the game in the middle of the field and helped out at the back too when the need arose.
We lost Jason McGee to injury and I wish him a speedy recovery and from what I gather he suffered a dead leg which can be slow enough to heal.
Ciaran Thompson replaced Jason and made a big impression and made a number of big fetches and had a real good game. But Jason has two weeks to the final so he should be fine.
They had no handle at all on Jamie Brennan who had a big game up front. It was good to see Patrick McBrearty come more into the game as it progressed. We have to remember Patrick is just back after being the best part of a year out and is still a little rusty. But he finished well and the game will have brought him on really well.
Niall O’Donnell had a fine game too and Shaun Patton made a number of brilliant saves and was first class with his kickouts.
Overall it was an all round first class performance. If I have a concern it is the way Tyrone ran through us a couple of times in the first half and only for the brilliance of Shaun Patton they would have scored goals. They also had a goal chance near the end and also they klcked seven wides to our three in the second half.
It is something the management should take note of and I’m sure they will have noted. But otherwise it was a good performance and it is great to be looking forward to an Ulster final, our eight in nine years.
CONGRATS TO LADIES
The ladies also had a good win over Tyrone and are looking forward to an Ulster final.
Finally, this week sympathies to Annamay Bonner in Burtonport and all the Bonner family on the death of Mickey Bonner (Forker) last week. Mickey was a great Donegal supporter. Ar dheis Dé ar a ainm.
Brian McEniff was in conversation with Tom Comack