GAA Football

How the Donegal players rated against Cavan

Patrick McBrearty scored four points in the Ulster final. Picture: Seamus Loughran
Andy Watters

Shaun Patton: Obviously works hard on kick-outs with Michael Murphy and he found the Glenswilly man with a series of booming restarts in the first half that sent Donegal on the attack. Did enough to put off Conor Rehill in the first half but was beaten twice in the second half. 7.5

Paddy McGrath: Picked up Dara McVeety and didn’t give Cavan’s key forward a sniff in the first half. A top notch man marker and he got forward himself and should have bagged a goal. 7.5

Neil McGee: Started out on Oisin Pierson. He was booked early on but was rarely troubled until McGlynn replaced him midway through the second half. 7

Stephen McMenamin: Picked up the dangerous Martin Reilly and never allowed him to get into the game. Another excellent man-marking display from the determined Aodh Rua defender. 7

Ryan McHugh: A will-o’-the-wisp. The Kilcar half-back pops up wherever he is needed and knits the Donegal play together. Also formed part of the defensive screen that shut Cavan out in the first half. 7

Odhran McFadden Ferry: Impressive Championship debut from the Gweedore clubman. Covered space in the half-back line and used the ball well when it came his way. 6.5

Eoghan Ban Gallagher: Scored two points, one early and the other late in the game. Picked up Niall Murray in the first half and was comfortable but Cian Mackey gave him more problems in the second. 6.5

Hugh McFadden: Stationed as the sweeper. Reads the game well and is mobile enough to cover the ground and physical enough to cut out any aerial threat. Rarely put a foot wrong, particularly in the first half when he got forward to score a point. 8

Jason McGee: Locked horns with Conor Brady and won the battle. Finished with two points for his efforts. Quick and fit, he is every inch the modern midfielder. 7.5

Ciaran Thompson: Two excellent first half points from the Naomh Conaill clubman. The Cavan defence struggled to cope with his movement and he did his defensive job too. 7

Niall O’Donnell: Had four shots and managed one point but did his defensive job well, tracking Conor Moynagh who was rarely able to get into the game as a creative force. 7

Jamie Brennan: See Star Man

Patrick McBrearty: His movement and link play is a joy to watch at times and the Kilcar man whipped over four points in another superb display up front yesterday. 8

Michael Murphy: Perhaps not at his absolute best but still influential. Telepathic understanding with goalkeeper Patton meant he was able to get on the end of Donegal kickouts and he finished with five points, four from frees. 7

Michael Langan: Operated on the left wing and had Ciaran Brady for company but gave him the slip to score a point. Put in a good shift until he was replaced by Leo McLoone late on. 7

Substitutes:

Daire O Baoill: Replaced McFadden Ferry after 43 minutes. Slotted into Donegal half-back line. 6

Frank McGlynn: Replaced McGee and picked up McVeety who didn’t make life easy for him. 6

Paul Brennan: On for McFadden Ferry and tracked Reilly in the closing stages. 6

Oisin Gallen: Thrown on late in the piece but scored a memorable point. 6

Leo McLoone: Not on long enough to be rated.

Star Man - Jamie Brennan

THERE were shades of Down Allstar James McCartan in the way the stocky Realt na Mara forward broke from the left wing, rode tackle after tackle and then scooped in a crucial second half goal with his ‘weaker’ right foot. Quick and strong, he is improving with every game and also bagged four points from play and was the outstanding forward on show yesterday. 9

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