BRIAN MCENIFF COLUMN: Happy with result of Donegal over Meath, not with performance

BRIAN MCENIFF COLUMN: Happy with result of Donegal over Meath, not with performance

I’m happy with the result against Meath on Sunday. But I’m not at all happy with the performance.

I think with the exception of the last quarter our game lacked intensity and work rate. Apart from Michael Murphy, Ryan McHugh, Patrick McBrearty and Shaun Patton few others played up to the level they are capable of. However, I have to say Neil McGee did a good marking job on Meath dangerman Michael Newman.

But the reality is Michael Murphy, Ryan McHugh, Patrick McBrearty and Shaun Patton carried us. Patton was brilliant again on Sunday and he is getting better with every game. He is now a serious cog in the team and the system.

There is far too much old chat about Dublin and Donegal being the only team capable of beating Dublin. Declan and his management team may be playing down such old chat but it is very much the chat among supporters.

There are too many people listening to Joe Brolly and Tomás O Sé on the Sunday Game. As far as I’m concerned it is rubbish talk. We still have a good bit of ground to make up on the Dubs.

Just a reminder Meath scored four points against Dublin in the Leinster final and they hit 1-13 against us and were a little unlucky not to score another goal.

Dublin won the Leinster final 1-17 to 0-4 without leaving third gear.

We struggled around midfield for long periods in the game on Sunday and when Meath ran at us in the second half they really opened us up and they scored one goal and could have scored at least one more.

But it was good to win and heading next Sunday to play Kerry with a win under our belts. We often played well in the past and lost and in fairness we did respond well when Meath went ahead.

That was the big positive to come out of the game. We had the wherewithal to go up a level. But again it was our main men Shaun Patton from his kickouts, Michael Murphy, Ryan McHugh and Patrick McBreaty that led the charge.

I describe Sunday’s performance like driving a car with dirty petrol.

We are facing Kerry on Sunday in Croke Park and after the drubbing they gave Mayo on Sunday in Killarney, they are going to be a stiff challenge.

They really sent out a big signal against Mayo. They had ten points to spare over Mayo on a 1-22 to 0-15 scoreline. They made Mayo look very ordinary.

Hopefully, our performance against Meath and Kerry’s hammering of Mayo is a wake up call for all of Donegal, players and supporters.

We are going to have to up our intensity and work rate against Kerry on the wide open spaces of Croke Park, otherwise we will be in big bother.

Kerry looked awesome at times against Mayo.They play with great pace and they have a number of tasty forwards. In David Clifford, Sean O’Shea and Paul Geaney they have three classy forwards. David Moran had a fine game against Mayo in the middle of the field. Their defence is thought to be their Achilles heel. There was not much sign of that against Mayo.

Sunday next is a big game for Donegal as are all the games in the Super 8s. But the great thing is we are in the Super 8s and playing this time of the year. Enjoy it!


Good luck to the Ladies also next week as they play Tyrone on Saturday in Mullingar

Brian McEniff was in conversation with Tom Comack

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