Colm O'Rourke: Both managers have followed similar blueprints for success but McGuinness' project is more advanced
A strong start is essential for Mayo but Donegal look better equipped this time, says Colm O'Rourke
When Benjamin Disraeli became prime minister of Britain in 1868, he said that "he had climbed to the top of a greasy pole". Mayo and especially Donegal know exactly what he meant by that remark.
Donegal have already beaten all the great powers of the last decade, Tyrone, Kerry and Cork, and apart from having to face Dublin, have climbed the greasy pole the hard way. It would be particularly galling if they fell off at this stage.
Mayo have, of course, had the easier route. Beating Sligo, Down and even Dublin does not compare with the road travelled by Donegal but if you climb Mount Everest nobody will ask you whether you went up the hard or the easy way. Indeed you could be dropped on the top by a helicopter and still claim to have got there. So all that has happened in the past counts for nothing today.