/ GAA

McBrearty gets the plaudits as Donegal march on

Updated: Saturday, 09 Aug 2014 23:33 | Comments

Paddy McBrearty hit the winner as Donegal squeezed through
Paddy McBrearty hit the winner as Donegal squeezed through

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Donegal selector Damian Diver hailed match winner Paddy McBrearty as a man back on form after securing their All-Ireland football semi-final place.

McBrearty only appeared as a sub in the Ulster final but won back his place against Armagh and repaid boss Jim McGuinness' faith with the winning score.

His 69th minute point from the left wing proved the decisive score in Donegal's 1-12 to 1-11 quarter-final win and secured their last four place on 31 August.

"Paddy came on in the Ulster final and, in fairness to him, he's kicked on since that day," said Diver.

"He was flying that day when he came on and he was getting on a lot of ball today too.

"He kicked a couple of important points and of course that one at the end from a tight angle on the left when we needed a cool head in that sort of situation.

"He's doing it year in, year out for the club and he's finding his feet now at county level too."

It wasn't vintage Donegal though and the feeling is they must improve if they're to return to their second final in three seasons.
They let slip a three-point lead with 11 minutes to go and actually trailed by one with three minutes left themselves.

But scores from Michael Murphy and McBrearty booked their passage to the semi-finals.

"I think it's important that we get a bit more intensity into our game and just get up to the level that we can play at," said Diver.

"Today didn't come up to that level. The character was still there to come through in the end, to just get the ball and put it over the bar. But it's important we do that for the whole game the next day.

"We'll look back on the DVD and we'll come up with reasons why we were like that today. Maybe it was Armagh, maybe it was ourselves. We'll study all of that."

Diver heaped praise on Armagh who were aiming to cap a breakthrough season with their first quarter-final win since 2005.
"Armagh are the up and coming team in Ulster," said Diver.

"You could say there's an Ulster title in them maybe even next year. They have the players there, dynamic players, good footballers, very fit and they have a game plan. (Kieran) McGeeney has brought a lot to them too." 

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