Donegal see off Tribesmen to set up Mayo clash
They haven't gone away you know.
They haven't gone away you know.
After the draw for the Ulster Championship was made, ex-Donegal ace Martin McHugh said that if his former side were going to win the All-Ireland this year, then it would be easier for them to do it through the back door.
Donegal manager Rory Gallagher has warned his players to ensure that they have their shooting boots packed for Croke Park this evening.
Rory Gallagher rejected all suggestions that Donegal might have been tired from the three games it took to reach this final, pointing instead to the serious effort his players made in the second half that with a little more composure would have been enough to bring home another Anglo-Celt title, instead of conceding it to Monaghan.
Donegal quartet Paddy McGrath, Paul Durcan, Martin Reilly and Declan Walsh have long since absorbed the belief that the road to success can be particularly hard.
Donegal skipper Michael Murphy has received the perfect pre-Ulster Final boost with confirmation that he is the winner of the Ulster GAA Writers' Association June monthly merit award.
It was never going to be the kind of display that broke out in the sunshine and the heat of the Athletic Grounds, but in the end Donegal could lean on the ropes, pick their moments and rely on an experienced jab to keep Derry at bay.
An Ulster final place would mean so much to so many counties, but for Donegal it has become an annual event.
Derry manager Brian McIver watched Donegal bring Armagh to their knees in last Sunday's Ulster Championship quarter-final with a mixture of anticipation tinged with forboding.
The quiet smile of satisfaction on the face of Donegal manager Rory Gallagher told its own story at the end of yesterday's gripping Ulster Championship showdown at MacCumhaill Park, Ballybofey.
NHL Division 2 Play-off: It's not often that the Donegal hurlers steal the limelight from their football brethren.
Saracens have tapped into the motivational powers of Gaelic football guru Jim McGuinness during their preparations for Saturday's European Champions Cup semi-final showdown against Clermont Auvergne.
Just as Brendan Devenney warned on these pages on Saturday, Donegal came for an honourable defeat. Given their formation, the intensity of their tackling and their indifference, Rory Gallagher was not going to let the National League distort his focus on Tyrone, May 17 and the Ulster Championship.
Heaven knows how Tyrone pulled this one off in injury time, but the outpouring of emotion that greeted Danny McNulty's last-gasp free and the final whistle shows how their fans have hungered for an Ulster title.
It was a game that probably shouldn't have gone ahead, but Donegal booked their place in the Ulster U21 final for the third year in a row at Healy Park, Omagh last night after a late pitch inspection.
Monaghan enhanced their chances of surviving in Division One of the Allianz Football League when they showed tremendous staying power to squeeze out Donegal by 0-9 to 1-4 yesterday.
Not many teams get the chance to prepare for the second phase of the Allianz Football League in the opulent surroundings of Dubai but that's precisely where Donegal have been limbering up.
Rory Gallagher will step out of the comparative shadows of the Bank of Ireland Dr McKenna Cup and into the full glare of the national spotlight when the Allianz Football League swings into action on Saturday.
Ryan McHugh, the 2014 Young Player of the Year, is poised to participate in what he feels are three "massive matches" within a 10-day period.
Rory Gallagher got his first win as Donegal manager yesterday as they soared to victory over Queen's.