Ryan McHugh says Donegal always believed that they could reach the All-Ireland final, despite raging-hot favourites Dublin standing in their way. 

The Kilcar sharpshooter was Dublin’s tormentor-in-chief, notching up 2-02 of the Ulster champions’ total as they beat the Sam Maguire holders 3-14 to 0-17 at Croke Park.

Dublin had swatted all challengers aside with ease on their journey, while Jim McGuinness’s side were given stiff examinations by their opponents. 

"We knew coming in here that we’d a very good chance of winning this game,” McHugh told RTÉ Sport: 

"Jim and the lads installed great belief in us and thankfully we showed that out there today and we never gave up. 

"Dublin are an unbelievable side. We knew they were going to come at us in the first half but thankfully we stayed strong. 

"Jim and the lads have a great belief in us [that] no matter if we go a few points behind, we could come back.  

"From the first day we met, Jim installed great belief in us. We knew we could go all the way to the All-Ireland final and hopefully we can go one more now. 

“Even in the first half when we were a few points behind, we never gave up and we dug deep, and thankfully we got the victory. 

Asked about his goal-scoring contribution, the 20-year-old was modest. 

“Anyone can get the goals. I was just fortunate to get them,” he added. 

Ryan McHugh