Donegal’s Mogan calls for stadium clock to avoid injury time confusion

Mogan hopes Ulster Championship win inspires next generation

Donegal's Peadar Mogan in action during the Ulster GAA Football Senior Championship Final between Armagh and Donegal at St Tiernach's  Park, Clones on 05-12-2024.Pic Philip Walsh
Donegal's Peadar Mogan in action during the Ulster Senior Football Championship Final between Armagh and Donegal at St Tiernach's Park, Clones Picture: Philip Walsh

PEADAR Mogan says a stadium clock should be introduced to every stadium to prevent the confusion that reigned over the amount of injury-time to be played in Sunday’s Ulster final.

With the game balanced on the edge of a knife, three minutes were added on but two and-a-half of them had elapsed before that was signalled to the players and spectators by the fourth official. Donegal had the ball at that stage but were unable to get a shot away in the final 30 seconds before the referee blew the full-time whistle.

A stadium clock – similar to that used in Ladies’ Football which stops for breaks in play and counts down from throw-in to final whistle – would end the confusion, suggests Mogan.

“I remember running and asking the referee: Can we get something?” explained the St Naul’s clubman after Donegal’s penalty shoot-out win.

“He says, he is telling us but there is just so much noise - you were shouting and can’t hear.

“It probably shows the need for a shot clock in every stadium. I think over the years they used to always finish out the play but it seems like this year, when time is up the ref is blowing it and that’s it.

The Donegal players celebrate after Sunday's dramatic Ulster final victory over Armagh. Picture by Philip Walsh
The Donegal players celebrate after Sunday's dramatic Ulster final victory over Armagh. Picture by Philip Walsh

“Look, we should have got a shot away. We were very lucky - there was just wasteful chances in extra-time, we were grateful we got it to penalties and it was luck then.”

A dozen years previously, Mogan had been one of the young supporters who rushed onto the field at Clones to surround his heroes – Michael Murphy, Colm McFadden, Karl Lacey, Paul Durcan... On Sunday, as he celebrated with his team-mates, a new generation of youngsters surrounded him. He’s one of the heroes now.

“I could tell you every score in every game to the (2012) final,” he says.

“The whole point of us here, yes it is to win, but see all the green and gold and wee kids coming up, it is to inspire them to play for Donegal and play football.

“I remember running on here when Donegal won their first Ulster. I was one of those kids going mental. Mental! Running hugging players, straight to Donegal town after, so that gave me a bit of a lift to go on and play.

“That is what it is all about - giving them, showing them what a wee bit of hard work does. The belief. Get people talking, get a buzz back in Donegal football.

“I think supporters want to get behind a team that runs and works hard.

“Yes they want to get behind a team who kick scores and all that but see a team that runs and runs, dogs about like, that is what a team can get behind.

“That is what the Donegal crowd were looking to get behind. For years, we maybe did them a misjustice or disservice. We are delighted and thankful that we are able to do this.”

As Donegal youngsters celebrated, there were tears in the stands as young Armagh fans came to terms with defeat. It seemed they had victory in their grasp after three-quarters of Sunday’s Ulster final but Donegal clawed their way back into it and reclaimed the Anglo-Celt after a five-year absence.

“Four points down in the second half we were thinking: Just try to get one to get the bleeding to stop,” said Mogan.

“We knew to keep going, keep going all the time. Sometimes the bounce of the ball won’t fall your way. We kept going and thankfully we got the bounce, got a few scores and ended up coming back into it.

“I think they were two up in the second half of extra-time too. We just kept going and going. Thankfully we got there. It was kind of like the Tyrone game - keep going and hope it goes your way. That is what the Ulster Championship is like.

“You kind of build momentum and a bit of confidence and resilience through the Championship. “Against Derry, no matter what happened after that the next game was going to be tight. It’s just the way it is.

“We could have easily come out on the wrong side of that today. We’re just thankful, when penalties come, it is about putting trust in your players. We put our trust in Sean and our five penalty takers.

“The five takers took brilliant penalties and then Shaun came up trumps in the end.”