Kevin Cassidy

Kevin Cassidy: Monaghan have disappointed

SPOTLIGHT...Mark Anthony McGinley's actions received a lot of attention

SPOTLIGHT…Mark Anthony McGinley’s actions received a lot of attention

BOTH teams had enough chances to win last Saturday evening so I suppose a draw was the fairest result in the end.

Donegal and Monaghan served up an entertaining encounter but the quality on show would have to be questioned. The game had intensity, physicality and excitement, but the skill levels where a little poor considering the talented players on both teams.


Apart from Conor McManus, the big players on both teams failed to deliver to the standards to which they are capable of and, perhaps, that’s why we ended up with a draw.

When Monaghan are going well the likes of Kieran and Darren Hughes are normally to the fore and likewise for Donegal the likes of Frank McGlynn and Paddy McBreaty usually have more of an influence.

These two teams know each other that well that they each identify the others strengths and for either team to win those players are going to have to break free from their shackles.

The game had many flash points but the one that attracted most attention was the feigning of injury by the Donegal keeper Mark Anthony McGinley.

Rory Gallagher won’t say it out loud but that’s exactly what he would have wanted his ’keeper to do at that point in time as Donegal had the lead heading into injury time, so he would have seen it as a case of do what ever you need to do to get over the line.

That kind of behaviour has no place in our game and young McGinley will be scrutinised from all angles now and as a ’keeper in his debut season that’s not the kind of attention you want.

I feel Donegal might have taken more from last week’s game and I think they now enter this week’s game as slight favourites.

If I was the Monaghan manager, I would be focusing on two areas where they had some joy last weekend. Donegal struggled massively on their own kick-outs for long periods and due to their lack of aerial ability in that area Monaghan can have success here. The other thinh which stood out was the clear lack of pace from a few of Donegal’s older brigade when they were ran at.

When the Monaghan players got one on one with the likes of Karl Lacy they burned them for pace and I’m sure they will be looking to do more of the same this weekend.

If I was in Rory Gallagher’s shoes I would be looking at the number of scorable frees Monaghan coughed up when Donegal ran at them and the next day Michael Murphy will make these count, and that could be the winning and losing of the game.

Having seen both teams in action now over the two games they have both played, I feel that an Ulster title might be the most any of them can hope for this year so this week’s game has even more importance because the losers summer may be over in a few weeks time.

I fancied Monaghan to shade it last week but I have to say that they disappointed me a little and I expected a lot more from them.

If they don’t improve this week I feel the momentum will take Donegal over the line so Donegal by three.

The second semi final should be a little more straight forward. Cavan had their chance against a poor Tyrone the last day out but I feel Tyrone will have carefully dissected that Cavan performance and they will be ready for them this week.

Cavan stuck with the long, high ball tactic but I can’t see that having any joy this week so unless Cavan can come up with a pretty good Plan B, they could be staring at the Qualifiers. Tyrone by four.

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