Donegal GAA: End of season review

1: Missed opportunity against eventual All-Ireland champions
When Donegal and Tyrone clashed in the Ulster semi-final, the importance of the fixture was ratcheted up a notch given that it was straight knock-out.
Little was expected to separate the sides and although Tyrone’s six-point winning margin might suggest that they had it relatively easy, that was far from the case.
Indeed, it’s a game Donegal will look back on with deep regret given some of the big moments that went against them as they lost out to the eventual All-Ireland champions.
First, key defender Neil McGee had to retire with injury after just five minutes and worse was to come when Michael Murphy missed a penalty after Rory Brennan had fouled Ciaran Thompson.
The Glenswilly man’s day went from bad to worse as he was sent off just before the break and eventually Tyrone made that extra man county with a series of fine points late on.

2: St Eunan’s on the double

As far as seasons go, St Eunan’s couldn’t have asked for much more as they claimed a hurling and football double in the space of a week.
First up were the club hurlers who reversed an earlier hammering from Setanta, 24 points no less, to get the better of them in the final, their first title since 1972.
The result was a major shock as Russell Forde and Kevin Kealy hit the net in a 2-9 to 0-14 win.
The footballers would follow their lead with a fine county final win over a Glenties outfit chasing a third title in a row.
It was their first title in seven years and they did it with spectacular ease, the Letterkenny outfit waltzing to a 1-11 to 0-4 win – Eoin McGeehin with their goal.

3: Who are the 2020 champions?

As we enter the 2022 season, some big question remain – who will be the 2020 Donegal Senior champions? Will the game between Kilcar and Naomh Conaill ever be played?
It’s been a messy situation from the start, and not short on drama. Naomh Conaill won the original match on penalties with the game played in August 2021 due to Covid delays. The fixture was postponed three times in 2020 due to the pandemic.
Kilcar, however, lodged an appeal over the amount of substitutes their opponents used and the Donegal Competition Controls Committee ruled that it should be replayed. However that scheduled replay was then postponed as Naomh Conaill appealed to Ulster GAA.
The match was never played and how the issue is resolved from here is anyone’s guess.

4: Geraldine finally gets her All-Star
She’s been one of Ireland’s best players for many ,many years but it took until 2021 for Donegal sharp-shooter Geraldine McLaughlin to finally be rewarded with an All-Star gong.
The Termon player was named at corner-forward following Donegal’s run to quarter-final where they gave holders Dublin a real run for their money.
McLaughlin had been nominated on five previous occasions without success, but finally got her name on the team.
The moment was captured on film and the Termon table at the award ceremony went crazy when her name was called out.

5: Coulter top of the charts
Donegal finished mid table in Division 2B of the National Hurling League but they did have the top scorer as Declan Coulter hit 2-34 across their four games.
The former Armagh attacker averaged 10 points a game with his highest tally coming against Mayo where he notched 2-8.
Donegal won two of their four games, although one of the defeats was a narrow 3-22 to 3-21 loss to Derry. Kildare did hammer them, but the Lilywhites were far too good for the division.
Coulter continued to score heavily in the Nickey Rackard Cup as he hit 0-9 against Mayo, 1-10 against Leitrim and 0-15 against Tyrone. He again picked up the top scorer gong even if Donegal’s run ended at the semi-final stage against the Red Hands.

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