GAA Football

How the Donegal players rated in the Ulster final

Cavan's Thomas Galligan up against Donegal's Michael Murphy in yesterday's Ulster Championship final at the Athletic Grounds. Picture: Seamus Loughran.
Andy Watters

Shaun Patton: Kick-out brilliance was stifled by Cavan’s press. Saved well from Martin Reilly as the game came to the boil but has to carry the can for Conor Madden’s late goal. Opted to punch and his clearance went straight to the Cavan forward. The rest is history. 6

Eoghan Ban Gallagher: Had a first half goal chance saved by Raymond Galligan. Little other evidence of his trademark forward runs. Picked up Killian Brady when he came forward. 6

Neil McGee: Conor Madden was in and out of the game regularly in the first half and Gweedore veteran McGee was dispatched to pick him up. Madden finished with 1-2. 5.5

Eoin McHugh: Tracked Martin Reilly who caused him bother with swift breaks out the field. McHugh stuck with him though and limited Reilly to a point. 6

Ryan McHugh: Pushed back inside his own half by the forward runs of Cavan corner-back Jason McLoughlin. McHugh was never able to settle into the game but he did register a point. 6

Paul Brennan: Worked hard in a defensive role. Asked to keep Ciaran Brady quiet but the Cavan half-back saw a lot of the ball. 5.5

Peadar Mogan: Looked the best player on the pitch for a spell in the first half. Scored an early point and was involved in several other scores, including two for McBrearty. Faded as the game wore on and wasn’t the same threat in the second half. 6.5

Hugh McFadden: Had his work cut out in the midfield where Gearoid McKiernan held sway alongside Galligan and James Smith. Allowed no time to settle into his covering role. 6

Caolan McGonigle: A steady performance but Donegal needed more. Worked hard in midfield and tracked back to do his defensive job. Scored a second half point. 6.5

Brendan McCole: Had to earn his corn against Thomas Galligan who seized on a McCole fumble to score a point. The St Naul’s clubman worked hard in an under-pressure defence. 6

Niall O’Donnell: Scored two first half points but then struggled to get into the game in the second half. Killian Clarke kept him on a short leash. 6

Michael Langan: Hit and miss yesterday. Scored a point but hit two wides as well. Didn’t make the impact in midfield Donegal fans would have hoped for. 6

Paddy McBrearty: Donegal’s best forward and they could have done with him in the closing stages. Two fine scores from play in the first half. Two frees as well but the supply line dried up in the second half. Withdrawn after 56 minutes. 6.5

Michael Murphy: Just hasn’t looked himself in this Championship. He did score his first point from play but that was it from the Glenswilly colossus. Worked hard but struggled to break through tackles and hit the post from a free kick. Could have been substituted. 5.5

Jamie Brennan: Never got up to the pace of the game. Didn’t link particularly well with McBrearty – the pair of them made the same run into the corner at one stage. Had a goal chance saved but few other scoring opportunities. 5.5

Subs:

Andrew McClean: Replaced Paul Brennan 10 minutes into the second half. 5

Daire O’Baoill: In for man-marker Eoin McHugh as Cavan took control of the game. 5

Ciaran Thompson: Unlucky not to start. Injected life into the Donegal attack when he came on. 6

Jason McGee: Replaced O’Donnell after 66 minutes. Not on long enough to be rated.

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