Wednesday 26 October 2016

Donegal send out another ominous message

Published 18/06/2015 | 02:30

Donegal's Patrick McBrearty
Donegal's Patrick McBrearty

In Ulster and Connacht we saw two genuine All-Ireland contenders in impressive form.

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Up north, Donegal proved once again what fantastic footballers they possess. They have an incredible system that they clearly believe in and has been proven to work, but above all of that they have fantastic footballers.

Paddy McBrearty was exceptional against Armagh and if he had been in the form he showed on Sunday and started last year's All-Ireland final, there's no doubt in my mind that they'd have beaten Kerry.

When they lose the ball, the half-forwards and midfielders simply turn and make those lung-busting runs to ensure that they are back in position to stop their opponents.

And when they turn that ball back over again they always seem to know which three fellas are going to go into attack and who is going to stay. That takes incredible co-ordination.

They have gained a couple of players, with Mark McHugh back in the team and young lads like Martin McElhinney and Odhran Mac Niallais a year older and more experienced. They are also varying their attack a little bit more, getting the ball into the full-forward line much quicker at times.

In the west, Mayo proved that they still have the appetite, and they have varied their play by putting Aidan O'Shea to full-forward. They have composure, intensity and pace and if they can overcome their two obvious problems, they can get over the line and lift Sam Maguire.

They continue to struggle at full-back and up front, where they need another forward to chip in with two or three points every game so they aren't so reliant on Cillian O'Connor and O'Shea.

Irish Independent

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