GAA Football

Donegal ratings: McCole carries league brilliance on as he blots out O'Neill

Brendan McCole holds up Rian O'Neill. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin
From Cahair O'Kane at MacCumhaill Park

Shaun Patton: Dealt very well with a difficult ball dropping under his crossbar in the first half and then stood up to Rian O'Neill's goal chance at the start of the second. Restarts came under pressure in the second half and it wasn't flawless. Good near post save from Nugent. 6.5

Caolan Ward: Dominated against Jason Duffy in the first half and while Aidan Nugent got a handful of shots off he didn't score. Ward's hand in the goal was typical of his offensive play. 7.5

STAR MAN: Brendan McCole: Continued his outstanding league form by keeping Rian O'Neill scoreless over 70 minutes. Tagged him everywhere and stood really big and strong, wrapping the Crossmaglen man up tight. 8.5

Stephen McMenamin: Looked troubled early on by Conor Turbitt's pace and got taken for a point. The less space around him the more comfortable he became. 6

Ryan McHugh: Some excellent line breaks from the Kilcar man, although he did find himself at times worried by the unusual man-marking job on the in-form Rory Grugan. 7

Eoghan Bán Gallagher: Set the tone with the opening point, driving through to fist over. Dominated his battle against Tiernan Kelly and freed of the shackles of the full-back line, looked back at himself. 7

Peadar Mogan: Hit the post with an effort in the first half. Didn't have any huge attacking input but was a good outlet to help work the ball out, and was given no trouble by Jemar Hall. 6.5

Hugh McFadden: An enormous presence at midfield, he plucked two of Ethan Rafferty's first-half kickouts from the sky. Well-positioned as sweeper but overdid it in possession at times too. 7.5

Jason McGee: Similarly won two of Armagh's restarts in the first half and was equally imposing in the air. Kicked a score, dropped one wide as well, but Donegal will have a sweat on his fitness for the semi-final. 7.5

Ciaran Thompson: Blotted out the attacking thrusts of Jarlath Óg Burns that had been so critical for Armagh all year. Manufactured a score for himself just before half-time. Solid. 7

Shane O'Donnell: A better second half than a first. Dropped a poor effort into the ‘keeper's hands but found good positions after the break, scored a point but slowed up an attack when a goal might have been on too. 6.5

Michael Langan: He looks like he's in second gear a lot of the time and yet he's just so good at getting the ball in that shooting zone right in front of goal. Kicked three points, should have had more, but a huge influence. 8

Patrick McBrearty: Very quiet first half in which Aaron McKay restricted him to one wild shot from play. Scored the game-breaking goal after tying up with Caolan Ward, and finished with 1-2. 6.5

Michael Murphy: Took him a while to get the measure of Aidan Forker but Murphy had his standard big moments. Superb first half point from 35 yards. 7.5

Jamie Brennan: Full of life but also inaccuracy. Missed with three shots short in the opening 25 minutes and that seemed to knock his confidence. Failed to score. 5.5

Subs

Caolan McGonagle: Donegal had largely stepped off the kickout and gave him little chance to impact. 6

Conor O'Donnell: Did well to take home a late score. 6

Niall O'Donnell: No major impact in just sixteen minutes. 6

Paul Brennan: Not on long enough to be rated.

Aaron Doherty: Not on long enough to be rated.

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access

GAA Football