Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 December 2014

McHugh a headache for Donegal

Mark McHugh
Mark McHugh

If Gaelic football is indeed warfare, then the first casualty indeed is the truth.

This week, an incident in a game which did not merit any further discussion at the time has been turned into a subject of national debate.

When Monaghan's Stephen Gollogly and Donegal's Mark McHugh spotted that a break ball was within their proximity, both men went for it. McHugh may have got there a split second before Gollogly but to call it a tackle is a stretch of the imagination.

It was a loose ball and unfortunately, McHugh came off badly from the collision.

But let's face facts. At the time of the incident, Monaghan were already four points to nothing up on the All-Ireland champions. Gollogly is a massive part of Monaghan's gameplan and he also had to be taken off with his eye closed and, according to Malachy O'Rourke this week, concussion.

On any other day, both men may have got up off the ground and continued on, but the impact of McHugh's head on the ground inflicted concussion.

But why was McHugh allowed to walk around, hours after the game in the Abbey Hotel in Donegal town? He had been seen to by a doctor on the pitch and surely the medical priority at that stage should have been a hospital visit?

In the past, Jim McGuinness has always put great store in controlling the controllables. Now, he is complaining about outside factors. Not ideal when Croke Park looms.

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