Conclusions As Clinical Donegal Swat Aside Tyrone Challenge

Tyrone 0-15 Donegal 1-16

Donegal are through to the 2019 Ulster SFC final following a convincing win over Tyrone at Breffni Park this evening. 

In truth, four points flattered Tyrone who were second best from the get-go of this highly-anticipated encounter. Donegal, however, were brilliant throughout in particular their forward unit who ran Tyrone ragged all afternoon.

Here are our conclusions following Donegal’s defeat of Tyrone.


Yet Again It Failed To Live Up To The Hype

This game is always billed as a heavyweight clash, which it is. Was it one to watch though? It was a four-point hammering.

Donegal Reverted To Type… Kind Off

Often much-maligned as the county who introduced the blanket defence under Jim McGuinness it’s fair to say Donegal in more recent years have adopted an attack-focused style of play which actually makes them one of the best sides in the country to watch such is the quality of their forward division.

However, in the first half today they consistently dragged everyone back in order to stop Tyrone. The Red Hands’ season was flipped on its head midway through the league when they shifted Cathal McShane to full forward and adopted a long ball style of play.

Donegal’s decision to flood their defence worked a treat as it frustrated Tyrone who at times didn’t seem to have any answers.

Peter Harte’s Loss Was Huge

Whether you agree with the decision or not is irrelevant, David Gough is arguably the top referee in Ireland and had to make a split second call without replay.

However, there is no doubting Tyrone felt the loss of arguably their most important man.

Tiernan McCann In Trouble

Something was clearly said at half time because Tyrone came out as men possessed in the second half, unfortunately, they didn’t channel it correctly and it led to some ugly scenes.

Tiernan McCann will find himself lucky if he is not cited for his actions, however, that would seem unlikely.

Sean Patton Stepped Up

A League of Ireland veteran, Patton has cemented his spot as Donegal’s number one and is currently keeping arguably their best goalie of all time in Paul Durcan out for the team. (Granted ‘Papa’ was living abroad and not the player he once was).

However, Patton was excellent from start to finish. Made a couple of good saves in the first half and his kick-outs were excellent throughout.

Jamie Brennan Is The Real Deal

Man of the match against Fermanagh in the last round, the Bundoran man was our Spotlight feature following his performance scoring 0-4 from play.

Brennan repeated the feat this afternoon with 1-3 in the first half alone. His first play wielded a goal as he coolly rounded Morgan and fired low to the net before pointing again a minute later with his second touch.

One of the form players in the country at the minute.

Michael Murphy Is A Wrecking Ball 

The Donegal talisman played his usual free role popping up all over the field, but he showed exactly why he should be used as a traditional number 14. In the final act of the first half, when he claimed a high-ball in the square with ease, before hitting Donegal’s last score of the first half.

Michael Murphy Is Also Very Classy

Despite the fact this writer has consistently called for Murphy to play full-forward, there can be no doubting his quality out the field.

The link play between himself and Donegal’s inside men all afternoon was a joy to watch.

Tyrone Tired?

Mickey Harte’s men finished the league excellently with four wins in a row and were being tipped by many as the best side equipped to deal with Dublin.

However, they were second best from start to finish in this game following encounters with both Derry and Antrim. Did tiredness creep into the legs?

No-One Will Fancy Taking On Donegal

In McBrearty and Brennan, they have two of the game’s finest inside forwards. In Michael Murphy, they’ve got the best all-rounder in the country. Ryan McHugh is also one of Ireland’s finest and with his marauding runs up-field supported by Eoghan Ban Gallagher, it’ll take some team to stop Declan Bonner’s men.

Donegal A Dark Horse

Nobody will beat Dublin in 2019, however, they are going to have to play someone in the All-Ireland final. Don’t be surprised if that is the Division 2 champions, Donegal.

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