Donegal’s so near yet so far episodes in the Ulster Championship spanning more recent years have served to breed caution within the side.
While Derry’s recent scintillating form has found favour with the bookmakers, Declan Bonner’s side prefer to step cautiously as they enter what is viewed as a titanic showdown with their north west neighbours.
The form of dynamic forward Jamie Brennan is one of the reasons why Donegal now hope to renew acquaintance with the Anglo-Celt Cup and Brennan, man of the match in the Semi-Final win over Cavan, is keen to see the silverware recaptured.
“We are certainly taking nothing for granted, that’s for sure,” raps the ebullient Brennan. “We were well extended by Cavan in our Semi-Final, don’t forget. We got a couple of what you might term fortuitous goals but you take whatever bit of luck you can.
“When we see the way in which Derry have beaten Tyrone and Monaghan, we know that we are going to have our hands full.
“Derry will bring a terrific hunger for the title to the table, we know that.
“But we are also hungry following that defeat to Cavan in the Final a couple of years ago.”
While Donegal’s form in the League was indifferent, Brennan admits that the fact they held onto their place in Division One sharpened their competitive edge coming into the Ulster Championship.
“There is no doubt that the two games we have played to date against Armagh and Cavan will stand to us going in against Derry. This is another high-profile game at an elevated level and this can only benefit us hugely as a team,” points out Brennan, whose four points against Cavan in the Semi-Final underpinned his side’s victory.
But he is quick to point out that Derry could be a different proposition this afternoon.
“Derry will have gained in confidence and that’s no bad thing going into an Ulster Final. From our perspective, we feel we have more in the tank and we will be up for battle. When you reach a Final you want to win,” adds Brennan.