GAA Football

Dominic Corrigan: a 'soft Donegal' could come unstuck against Cavan

St Michael's College, Enniskillen coach Dominic Corrigan pictured during the 2019 Hogan Cup final. Picture by Philip Walsh.
Gerry McLaughlin

Former Fermanagh manager and big Cavan fan Dominic Corrigan has good reason to be in the Breffni corner as they face Donegal in this Sunday's Ulster Senior Football Championship final.

Corrigan hails from Kinawley, which borders Cavan, his sister Jacinta Corrigan is the mother of Cavan's 6ft 5ins Gearoid McKiernan.

But he frankly admits that although his heart says Cavan, Donegal’s greater experience and exceptional scoring power should see them through.

“Michael Murphy, what a man. I heard there was an argument with Joe Brolly and Colm O’Rourke on the Sunday Game that this man was not the best footballer in Ireland over the past number of years,'' stated Corrigan.

“For me Michael Murphy has been consistently one of the very best players that we have witnessed in Ireland over this last six or eight years.

“For us watching him at that level, it has been a privilege and this year especially he has been a revelation.

“In the last two games of the National Football League he dragged Donegal back into Division One and he is the stand-out man in this year’s Championship.

“His leadership and the quality that is around him will be called on because if Donegal have gone in any way soft or any way below par they are going to be caught out.

“But I just feel that the experience they have and the quality they have in the group, they are not going to let this one pass them by.”

Corrigan praised the great re-energising work of Donegal team manager Declan Bonner and his team of Stephen Rochford and Karl Lacey.

He stressed that he felt that Bonner: ''does not get the credit he deserves for what he has done for his county in the past few years.

''You never hear anyone saying that Declan has done a marvellous job. You are never a hero in your own land.

“I am saying well done Declan and I would hope the people of Donegal would say thanks Declan for taking on the job that maybe not too many wanted.''

Corrigan added: “The heart would like it to be Cavan, but Donegal are definitely Top Four material in the country.

“Cavan will give it a great battle and I think it is going to be a fantastic game of football as Cavan have forwards like Darren McVeety, Gearoid, Martin Reilly and Oisin Pierson.

“Mickey Graham is not afraid to throw in these young players who have the potential to make their mark at this level.

“Cavan are going to go for it because they will feel that the Donegal defence is gettable.

“It will be a clinker, but I just feel that Donegal’s experience, leadership and the way they go about their work will see them over the line.”

So where is Donegal’s main weakness?

“ I looked at Donegal against Fermanagh and I would say that No 6 is a position that would concern them,'' said Corrigan.

“They haven’t really nailed down the number six.

''While I would be confident that Donegal will go into the Super 8’s, they need to nail down that number six slot.

“So, who is going to hold that position because they cannot afford to be leaking scores coming down the middle against Kerry, Dublin or Mayo?

“If they nail that one, they will be very close.''

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