AFTER all of the huffing and puffing and less meaningful games, we are now down to the final two here in the Donegal Championship next weekend when Gaoth Dobhair and Naomh Conaill will lock horns to see who are crownded the champions of Donegal.
As I expected, Gaoth Dobhair made light work of MacCumhaill’s last weekend on the way to the final with an eight-point victory.
However, in the other game, I have to admit that I thought St Eunan’s would beat Glenties but that was far from the case.
Starting with the first semi-final on Saturday evening, it was evident after the first five minutes that MacCumhaill’s wouldn’t have enough to trouble Gaoth Dobhair.
They were over reliant on Oisín Gallen (pictured), who I will speak about in a minute, but one player was never going to beat a team with Gaoth Dobhair’s experience and know-how.
Gallen was simply unmarkable, he kicked nine points from left and right foot, but Gaoth Dobhair had simply too much power, pace and firepower for the twin-towns men.
MacCumhaill’s will be happy enough with their season as they will see it as progression. They are a young team, so if they continue to build on this I’m sure they can break into that top four very shortly.
In Oisín Gallen they have the best forward in the county at the minute and now, from the Donegal point of view, we hope that he can take that form onto the county scene because he was simply unplayable in this year‘s club championship.
In the other game, Glenties got the better of St Eunan’s once again. Much like the first game on Saturday evening, after 10 or 15 minutes of this game you just knew by the way the Glenties were set up and the way that St Eunan’s were playing, that there was no way they were going to overcome them.
Massive credit must go to Martin Regan and his team because they analysed the opposition and they came with a game plan that dismantled the opposition and took away all of their main threats.
Glenties’ composure on the ball and efficiency in front of goal was very impressive. From very early on St Eunan’s were chasing the game and they never ever looked like winning.
From a St Eunan’s point of view, there has to be some serious soul-searching done over the winter months because yet again they have failed to deliver on the biggest stage.
To me, looking in from the outside, they are over-coached, over-analysed and over reliant on stats.
What I mean by all of that, is that they are so fixated on the minor details that their players have forgotten how to actually play football and win a game.
They spent most of the second half going over and back the pitch and running into the corner and back out again with no one showing any sort of individuality that may open up a gap to create a score.
They have great players with serious skill levels, but if you are not allowed to express the skills that you have, then what hope do you have.
Glenties on the other hand mixed the play superbly, they keep the ball when it needs kept, and sometimes they just go route one to see if anything happens, and most of the time they get scores off of that.
I counted six times during the course of the semi-final when Glenties had the ball and all of the St Eunan’s players were back defending but still Glenties decided just to go long into the square to see to see what would happen.
What this approach does is that it makes you unpredictable, if the opposition don’t know whether you are going to run the ball or going kick the ball then it’s impossible for them to set up rigidly against you.
For the final now, Glenties will enter it as raging hot favourites with this being their seventh consecutive county final appearance.
Having beaten Kilcar and St Eunan’s already, who in their right mind would bet against them? They are without doubt the best team in Donegal, and they seem to be marching towards another title.