I was on Rally duty last weekend so didn’t make it to Clones for the game. Several sensible people who were there told me that Donegal competed well for 25 minutes and then Tyrone took charge and ran out easy and deserved winning.
By Charlie Collins
And that was it in a nutshell really; the best team won and you take your medicine.
Because of the success our County Senior team has enjoyed since winning the Ulster Championship in 2011 we have found it very hard at times to except defeat.
Maybe that as much to do with the fact that it had been 19 years since we won the previous one in 1992.
To reach six Ulster Finals in a row is an incredible achievement and to win three and lose two others by only a kick or two has given us the idea that there’s nothing to it.
Well there is a lot too it and as Rory Gallagher builds a new team over the next few years I would suggest we better get used to it.
Before reaching last year’s final Tyrone hadn’t been in one since 2010 and before beating Donegal in the 2013 final Monaghan hadn’t won one since 1988.
Mickey Harte has been on a rebuilding job now for several years and before last year’s success many within his own County and beyond it felt he had stayed too long and should go.
Likewise after losing to Donegal in a replay last year Monaghan manager Malachy O’Rourke considered weather he should stay or go.
Last Sunday was the biggest day yet for some of our younger players and proved an eye opener for what the Ulster Championship is really all about on a sunny June day in Clones against top class opposition.
The reality is, that at the moment both Tyrone and Monaghan are ahead of Donegal in terms of their rebuilds and we need to be patient and not expect too much.
Supporters tend to get ahead of themselves – back in 2015 in Clones as Conor McManus was holding aloft the Anglo Celt Cup, only their second title in 27 years the Monaghan supporters were shouting ‘ We want Sam , Tyrone hammered them in the All Ireland Quarter-Final at Croke Park.
It’s Longford in the Qualifiers now for Donegal in Ballybofey and who knows after that.
Why dont we let our young team go out and enjoy their football without any pressure on them and see where it takes us?
DOUBLE GLORY IN JOULE INTERNATIONAL RALLY
We had a most enjoyable time covering the Rally at the weekend, working with a great group of professionals who really care about the work they produce. The extra bonus was that two Donegal crews took victory in both the International and National events.
Manus Kelly and Donall Barrett became only the 8th crew in the history of the event to retain their title while Damian Gallagher and Mac Walsh fulfilled a life time ambition by winning the National Championship after many years of trying and some near misses along the way.
Manus and Donall battled for the best part of three days with Donagh Kelly and Conor Foley before delivering a telling blow in Fanad Head, three stages from home. Donagh had the quickest time on 11 of the first 14 Stages but only held a narrow lead of 7.2 seconds.
The telling blow came on the second loop of Fanad Head as Manus turned a 4.7 deficit into a 12-second lead and that forced an error from Donagh on Atlantic Drive, which allowed Manus and Donall to coast to victory; an outstanding achievement.
In the National, Damian and Mac had to battle all the way from the start after posting a quickest time in Trentagh.
Kevin Eves and William Lynch and Kevin Gallagher and Gerard Callaghan both tool the the lead but both came to grief as the pressure increased on Saturday and Sunday. But the lads held on to win and complete that life-time goal.
It was a great weekend of drama and excitement, just as you would hope for from this great three-day event – congratulations to all involved.Tags: