We had a preview of Donegal vs Tyrone two weekends ago when the National League resumed. On that occasion, Donegal were convincing four points winners. But, Tyrone bounced back with a big performance in Mayo that makes this the game to look out for in the opening weekend of the Championship.
The League game between these sides predictably saw some rustiness among the Tyrone side. However, Donegal hit the ground running and their 2-17 tally was an impressive one.
As a result, Declan Bonner chose to rest some of his key players such as Michael Murphy, Ryan McHugh, and Neil McGee for the Kerry game last weekend. Their absence was evident as Kerry claimed a fourteen-point victory. The result won’t rest on Bonner’s mind though as he has gotten a good look at his players.
Paddy McBrearty is yet to feature since the restart. Likewise, Odhrán McFadden-Ferry is out with injury. But, the Kerry game saw Michael Langan return and present himself for selection.
Meanwhile, Tyrone responded to their defeat to Donegal by winning an important game in Castlebar to remain in Division 1. They won by a single point and impressively held their nerve against a Mayo fightback.
Most notably, Conor McKenna’s return to the red and white has been an eventful one. After scoring 1-2 against Donegal, he scored a further 2-2 against Mayo. Furthermore, the return of Peter Harte meant another 0-3 on the scoreboard.
In addition to this, Dara Canavan, son of Tyrone legend Peter, played over an hour in McHale Park and left the pitch with 1-1 to his name. Despite Cathal McShane’s absence, the Tyrone forward line seems to be clicking at the right time.
No Second Chances
Last season, these teams met in the Championship at the Provincial semi-final stage. Donegal were victorious that day but Tyrone still made it to Super 8s. In fact, they emerged from their group to the semi-finals unlike Donegal who failed to earn a result in Castlebar.
Despite the recent outcome of the League game between these two, this is going to be a titanic clash in the Championship. The Football Championship is guaranteed to lose a big contender here early on. Whereas, the winner will gather huge momentum which will be needed to get out of Ulster. Otherwise, there are still strong teams that could trump either of these sides.
Paddy Power are predicting another Donegal victory. They’ve priced the O’Donnell County at 8/13 versus Tyrone’s 7/4. A draw is 13/2.
RTÉ Sport are showing the game live on Sunday.
Ulster Football Championship Quarter-Final: Donegal vs Tyrone, Sunday, November 1st, 13:30 (Ballybofey).
Conor McKenna showed class and skill for @TyroneGAALive as the Red Hand county were victorious against Mayo in the #AllianzLeagues. Is he your https://t.co/gvXdqgOuf0 Football Player of the Week? Vote now on the GAA Instagram Stories. pic.twitter.com/nVGp6dNrOw
— The GAA (@officialgaa) October 27, 2020