06 Oct 2022

Mac's View: Online match ticket change should've been introduced gradually

In his weekly column, Donegal's 1992 All-Ireland winning manager Brian McEniff believes the introduction of online ticket would've worked better on a phased basis

Mac's View: Online match ticket change should've been introduced gradually

This week I will start with an issue that is causing concern for GAA supporters who are attending games at the quarter-final and semi-final level of the championships.

Up until last weekend, patrons were able to pay at the gates for the group games, with the home clubs organising the games. Now, with the Co Board in charge of games in the knock-out stages anyone who wants to attend any game must book their tickets online.

I know it was in place last year as well and is a recommendation from Croke Park, but it has created difficulties for many people. It is something that should have been introduced gradually. I'm one of the people who are not good at this ordering online. I would like to pay in and pay cash. Revenue is being lost because of the change.

Could there be a situation where people would be able to use their cards and tap them at the gate, which would make for a cashless situation. It would give people options. We in Bundoran even do that at our Lotto sales now. It would be much easier and nearly everyone has a card.

Also, with the present tickets online, initially there was no concessions for pensioners but I'm led to believe that has been rectified. Hopefully, solutions can be found to make it easier for everybody.

The Intermediate semi-finals are down to the last four and the results went almost as expected, albeit there were many close games.

Dungloe beat neighbours Naomh Muire, but only after a great comeback by the Lower Rosses men, who just didn't have luck on their side on the day. Local derbies have the capacity to produce a shock and the final scoreline, with Dungloe getting late goals, did not reflect the game.

I expected Downings to beat Fanad, but Fanad got the goal at the right time. Big Michael Sweeney was central; I remember having his brother on the county squad.

Naomh Columba had a big win with Buncrana seemingly slipping off the Richter scale. I hear young (Aaron) Doherty played well and I remember him in a game against Bundoran when he beat us on his own.

In the final game Termon got a real shock from Red Hughs, who showed great fighting spirit to come from behind and were denied a chance of an equaliser.

The semi-final pairings see Naomh Columba take on Fanad Gaels. I would have to fancy Glen for this game as I don't expect lightning to strike twice for Fanad.

The Dungloe v Termon semi-final is a tight call. Termon have plenty of capacity with a lot of young players while Dungloe have the experience and that could take them over the line. We were lucky to beat Termon in the relegation play-off last year while Dungloe will have hurt from losing last year's final.

Kilcar v Killybegs
I feel Kilcar will have too much all round, that despite Hugh McFadden playing very well for Killybegs and they also have Eoghan Bán (Gallagher).
Because of the proximity of the two clubs, this has the makings of an exciting match. I'm expecting a good contest but Kilcar have good players and also have the experience.

Ballyshannon v Gaoth Dobhair
I'm going to surprise many with this game as I am tipping Ballyshannon. They have already beaten Gaoth Dobhair in the League and I think they will be forced to play a more expansive game on Saturday, something which they are capable of.
Ballyshannon are going well and I know it would be a shock result. I hope I'm not re-igniting Gaoth Dobhair. I tipped Ballyshannon from the early part of the year and it would be good to see them back in a county semi-final.
But then Gaoth Dobhair will be Gaoth Dobhair and will be difficult to take down.

St Eunan's v St Michael's
St Eunan's always have the capacity to defeat St Michael's and now with the two elder statesmen, Toye and McFadden gone, St Michael's are relying a lot on Michael Langan. He hasn't been playing his best and would need a big game. St Eunan's are many people's favourites to win it out at this stage, but that is not a good tag to have. But then they have so many good players.

Glenswilly v Naomh Conaill
I would have to go for Glenties. Their recent meeting was close, ending in a draw in Glenswilly. Michael Murphy, when he plays, is worth three men, and can do a lot of damage inside. But then Glenties are well coached and will place enough men to try and stop him.
Glenswilly have brought on a good number of young players while Glenties have a number of players at the latter end of their years. It will be a game to be watched with interest.

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