The Donegal team before the game Picture: Thomas Gallagher
In the sweltering heat of Ballybofey we felt that Ryan McHugh, Patrick McBrearty and Michael Murphy were the three top performers for Donegal as they defeated Meath.
Here are our ratings:
SHAUN PATTON: Another top class display from the Donegal No. 1. Really sound under high ball now and his kick-outs are excellent. 8
PAUL BRENNAN: A late replacement for Paddy McGrath, Brennan got involved in plenty of moves before being replaced early in second half. 7
NEIL MCGEE: Didn't give Mickey Newman much room and will be happy with his overall display. 7
STEPHEN MCMENAMIN: Had a little trouble with the diminutive Conlon. Picked up a knock in the opening half and was replaced in the second period 6.5
RYAN MCHUGH: Was one of Donegal's top performers, breaking tackles, scoring two points and made a goal saving block near the end. 8.5
ODHRAN MCFADDEN FERRY: Given the job of marking Cillian O'Sullivan, McFadden Ferry stuck like glue to the Meath man. Left everything on the pitch. 7.5
EOGHAN BÁN GALLAGHER: Made a number of good runs in opening half but was busy with marking duties in the second. 7
HUGH MCFADDEN: Not as dominant as in some other games, but was always available at the fulcrum of Donegal moves. 7
JASON MCGEE: Put in a very good shift and also got on the scoresheet. Is learning the midfield role all the time. 7
CIARAN THOMPSON: Didn't have the same impact as normal before being withdrawn early in second half. 6.5
NIALL O'DONNELL: Was very busy early and involved in some good moves. Got bottled up on a few occasions and withdrawn in second half. 6.5
JAMIE BRENNAN: Finished with three points yet found the going tough. Got an eye injury in the warm-up which may have been a factor. 7
PATRICK MCBREARTY: Outstanding on his 100th game. Took his goal with clinical ease and was going from start to finish. Capped a great display with a point with his right! 8.5
MICHAEL MURPHY: When you are in trouble you need your leader to step up. And Michael Murphy did that in the final quarter. Also hit three points. 8.5
MICHAEL LANGAN: Not involved that much on the ball but Langan put in a very good shift shadowing the Meath midfielders. 7
DÁIRE Ó BAOILL: In for Paul Brennan Ó Baoill had a couple of chances to take points but was off target. Has more to offer. 6.5
EOIN MCHUGH: In for Ciaran Thompson, McHugh made a very big contribution, looking really lively and put his hand up to start in Croke Park. 7.5
OISIN GALLEN: His first championship outing on his home pitch, Gallen looked the part, taking his scores well, especially his goal late on. 7.5
FRANK MCGLYNN: In for final 15 minutes, McGlynn had a settling effect as usual. 7
EAMONN DOHERTY and CAOLAN WARD: Not on along enough to rate
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