Cumann Lúthchleas Gael Uladh

PREVIEW: Donegal and Tyrone to clash in eagerly anticipated Ulster semi-final

June 6th, 2019

When the draw for the 2019 Ulster championship was made last October, the potential semi-final clash of 2016 and 2017 champions Tyrone and 2018 champions Donegal was one that really stood out.

The sides will meet on Saturday in Kingspan Breffni, Cavan at 5pm in what promises to be fascinating Ulster Senior Football championship semi-final.

The Red Hands safely negotiated their path to the semi-final with a first round win over Derry and a quarter-final victory against Antrim, while Fermanagh proved stubborn opposition for Donegal in Brewster Park, before Declan Bonner’s side pulled away late on.

Donegal will have been buoyed by the return of Patrick McBrearty against Fermanagh, the Kilcar man chipping in with 0-5 in the victory over Fermanagh.

While McBrearty’s absence over the last year may have hurt Donegal’s chances of progressing in last year’s championship, it did afford Declan Bonner the chance to give greater roles to some of his younger players.

Jamie Brennan, Michael Langan and Niall O’Donnell all played prominent roles in the quarter-final victory, with Brennan in particular contributing 0-4 from play as Donegal advanced.

Tyrone overcame a potential banana skin in their opening game with Derry in Healy Park, a Darren McCurry goal proving the defining score. Goals from Tiernan McCann and Connor McAliskey helped the Red Hands to a comfortable victory over Antrim in the Athletic Grounds the last day out.

Last year’s All Ireland finalists will be hoping that Cathal McShane can carry his fine form this campaign into Saturday night’s encounter. The Owen Roes forward has kicked 0-13 in the first two encounters while the Donnelly brothers, Richard and Mattie, have been in imperious form.

Donegal will be hoping that veteran Neil McGee can limit the influence of McShane on Saturday night.

At the other end of the pitch, it will be interesting to see where Padraig Hampsey is deployed by Mickey Harte. The Coalisland man has been detailed to Michael Murphy in the last two encounters but will the Tyrone manager feel that Hampsey is better utilised on McBrearty closer to goal?

Tyrone will also be wary of the attacking threat posed by the Donegal half back line of Ryan McHugh, Daire Ó Baoill and Eoghan Bán Gallagher. Donegal meanwhile will have to detail man markers for Peter Harte and Niall Sludden to try and curb their influence.

Whatever happens, it promises to be fascinating contest, one that will intrigue not just the gaels of Ulster  but the whole of Ireland.

To get your tickets visit this link.

Sign up now to get the latest from Ulster GAA