GAA Football

McBrearty the cream of the crop: Donegal player ratings

Down's Gerard Collins and Donegal's Patrick McBrearty in action during the Ulster GAA Senior Football Championship Preliminary round between Down and Donegal at Páirc Esler, Newry 06-27-2021 Pic Philip Walsh
From Cahair O'Kane at Páirc Esler

DONEGAL RATINGS

Shaun Patton: Mostly good with a few bits to keep him grounded. Kickouts almost immaculate, some sublime. Poorly positioned for Mooney's goal, leaving a huge gap, but good save soon with the knees from McEvoy. 7.5

Neil McGee: Was posed no problems at all by Conor McCrickard. Did pick up Barry O'Hagan on one score but only in passing. Kept taking off on runs to full-forward. Magnificent full-length block from James Guinness. 7.5

Eoghan Bán Gallagher: Had a torrid afternoon. Seemed an obvious switch to get him off Barry O'Hagan early on but he was left to it, and was well beaten all ends up. 5

Brendan McCole: Was relatively untroubled until he landed a high tackle on O'Hagan and earned a yellow card, with which Declan Bonner took no chances and promptly whipped him off. 5.5

Ryan McHugh: Down made a match-up with Ceilum Doherty that McHugh ruthlessly exposed. Timed his coming on to the ball perfectly and was able to cut down the middle. Four points on a fine day's work. 8

Peadar Mogan: Keeps himself busy and always easily distinguished on the field. Quiet enough first half, enjoyed the second half and all the space, kicking three points. 6.5

Stephen McMenamin: Not a natural half-back and ended up drawn out when Down pulled Corey Quinn out. Not much to do defensively, no influence in attack. 5.5

Hugh McFadden: Down left him to his own devices and he made them pay. Involved in absolutely everything and was notably vocal in Murphy's absence. 8

Caolan McGonagle: Did a bit of the ugly stuff under Rory Burns' kickouts but had a middling game on the ball, summed up by missing a gilt-edged goal chance by a mile. 6

Odhrán McFadden-Ferry: Sent with the explicit task of nullifying Caolan Mooney and while there was a game to be played, he did it. Turnover for the goal too. Bit looser in the second half during the black card spell, losing Mooney for the goal. 7.5

Michael Langan: The man for the big bombs. Kicked four points, the first one blind on the turn, his second half effort from play a booming one from distance. Did well in the air. 7.5

Ciaran Thompson: Came on to the ball late a few times and had chances but playing everything from the left wing meant he was continually shooting from the wrong side and only returned a single point. 6

Niall O'Donnell: Linked the play nicely at times but was mostly well-shackled by Darren O'Hagan, whose pace was a match for O'Donnell's. 6

Michael Murphy: What he played he played a lot of at full-forward, which was perhaps a sign in itself. Had a direct hand in five points before going off hamstrung before the half hour. 6.5

STAR MAN

Patrick McBrearty: Justified the noise around him after a great league campaign. Scored 1-6, winning both of his own frees, and although he missed a couple, Down simply couldn't deal with his movement and physical strength. 8.5

Subs

Eoin McHugh: Gave a bit more punch to Donegal's attack from deep. 6

Jamie Brennan: Fine finish with the goal even if he took 12 steps. A threat all day and will be hard to keep out against Derry. 7

Ethan O'Donnell: Kicked a fine score. 6

Conor O'Donnell: As above. 6

Paul Brennan: Easy street when he came on. 6

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