2014 and 2016 winners Clontarf proved too strong for defending All-Ireland League champions Lansdowne as they deservedly clinched their place in next Sunday's Division 1A final after a hard-fought 23-15 victory at a windy Castle Avenue.
Although some of the fizz has been taken out of the provincial championships since the introduction of the qualifiers back in 2001, there’s a semblance of a climactic feel to Donegal’s preliminary round opener against Cavan in Ballybofey tomorrow.
Somebody from the south is going to be a winner at the Aviva Stadium tomorrow afternoon. Even if Cork Constitution are dethroned as Ulster Bank League champions in an eagerly awaited decider against Lansdowne (3pm), there will be celebrations down in the seaside town of Crosshaven.
Peadar Healy ventured up to Clones the day after his Cork charges limped out of Pearse Park with their championship status still intact. The Cork football manager couldn’t but be impressed with Donegal’s first-half showing, even more impressed was he with Tyrone’s second-half display. Tyrone did, in Healy’s own words, a Donegal on Donegal.
Over 200km and a chasm in competitiveness separated Mayo’s defeat of Mayo and Donegal’s destruction of Armagh last Sunday afternoon but in the performances of Aidan O’Shea and Michael Murphy, there was at least one common thread.
Former Donegal footballer Kevin Cassidy has speculated that Mark McHugh may have quit the county’s panel as a result of Rory Gallagher’s departure or due to a worsening relationship with manager Jim McGuinness.