The Tuesday night after Donegal scraped through the 2014 All-Ireland quarter-final, Jim McGuinness crammed his players into a makeshift portable building at Donegal’s yet-to-be-built Centre of Excellence in Convoy.
Getting the match-ups right has gone a long way for Kerry and Mayo in recent years. We think of Aidan O’Mahony on Michael Murphy in the 2014 final, Lee Keegan on Enda Smith in the 2017 All-Ireland quarter-final replay and just last weekend Patrick Durcan tagging Ryan McHugh.
In first-half injury time, with Mayo having pushed their advantage over a spluttering Donegal from two points down to six up, Fionn McDonagh hit Donegal’s Jamie Brennan with a ferocious, fair shoulder to win possession right in front of a heaving Gerry McDonald stand.
The group-deciding Super 8 encounter this evening in Castlebar has the potential to be explosive, a real old-style knockout championship game. There is no love lost between Mayo and Donegal dating back to the now infamous challenge game in 2012 and there are a lot of ifs, buts, and maybes making it a hard game to call.
Former Donegal footballer Brendan Devenney expects Declan Bonner’s men to dump Mayo out of the championship this Saturday but believes Donegal, along with Kerry and Tyrone, are playing for second place thereafter, as Dublin will not be toppled.
Alan Foley Just under a year ago Patrick McBrearty trundled out of MacCumhaill Park in Ballybofey on crutches after his Donegal team-mates had squandered a four-point lead against Tyrone to miss out on a place in the All-Ireland semi-finals.
It’s All-Stars week and in the interest of keeping you informed, there is a change in the selection process from last year — an outfield player can be chosen for an award in an area other than the one they were nominated in, writes