Donegal player ratings v Derry: Tir Chonaill stars shine at Celtic Park

McGuinness gets it right as Tir Chonaill stun Oak Leafs

Ryan McHugh tormented Derry at times on Saturday night. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin
Ryan McHugh tormented Derry at times on Saturday night. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin

Shaun Patton: With opposite number Lynch pushing out to midfield, Patton’s lethal right boot was the key to Donegal destroying the press. Despite struggling with injury at different points, before eventually being replaced, dealt well with several shots that dropped short in the square. 8.5

Mark Curran: Gave Loughlin nothing to work with, but found Toner harder to handle when he was brought on before the break. 7.5

Brendan McCole: Brought back into the starting side after injury and, although aided by the weight of bodies around, once more largely nullified the threat of McGuigan. 8.5

Ciaran Moore: Kept Murray quiet then moved onto Derry’s most dangerous first half player, Ethan Doherty, after the break. Largely kept the Glen man to the fringes. Also popped up with his first score of the year to cap a memorable night. 8.5

Peadar Mogan: Continued his impressive form, with his bursts from deep setting Donegal on the front foot time and again. 7.5

Ryan McHugh: Back to his dynamic best, and terrorised Derry every time he ran at them. Broke through to score two points as Donegal grew into the game, also picked up the break and played in O Baoill for crucial first half goal, with Lynch all at sea. Had a hand in everything. 8.5

Caolan McGonagle: Saw an early goal chance well saved by Lynch, but a tower of strength in the centre throughout. 8

Shane O’Donnell: Gave Ethan Doherty too much space to operate in the first half and was punished, but grew into the game, bursting forward to win Donegal’s penalty after being felled by McKaigue. 7

Jason McGee: See Star Man

Michael Langan: Went toe-to-toe with Rogers and probably broke even. Worked his socks off 7

Ciaran Thompson: Played his part as Donegal dominated the central area, getting the better of McEvoy, and popped up with a second half score. 8

Aaron Doherty: Looked slightly off the pace at times and was eventually replaced by Brennan. 6.5

Daire O Baoill: Two goal hero, brilliantly converted both opportunities – neither of which were easy – when the ball arrived in his palms, lobbing Lynch twice. A class act. 8.5

Niall O’Donnell: Worked his socks off to force turnovers, scored a point, flicked onto O Baoill for Donegal’s second goal, and didn’t allow McCluskey any attacking influence as Donegal got on top. Black-carded midway through the second half, then replaced. 8

Oisin Gallen: Coolly dispatched his penalty, and unerring from dead balls. Showed that, even when not shooting the lights out, possesses the fitness and tenacity to play a key role under McGuinness. 8


Gavin Mulreany: Picked up where Patton left off as his booming kick helped take Lynch out of the game, releasing Brennan for Donegal’s fourth goal. 7

Jamie Brennan: Picked up another McGee break from a kick-out and lashed beyond the Derry defenders on the line. 7

Patrick McBrearty: Came on late to settle things down. Scored a free. 6.5

Odhran Doherty: Not on long enough to be rated.

Kevin McGettigan: Not on long enough to be rated.


Jason McGee

How many times has Conor Glass been dominated in such impressive fashion? McGee was at the hub of all that was good about Donegal as the Oak Leafs were picked apart. Got a hand on everything, with his flick-ons central to Donegal’s plan as the goals rained in. The platform upon which Donegal’s success was built – just immense. 9