Former Donegal star Brendan Devenney has hailed the style as well as the substance of the performance that propelled the Ulster side past Armagh on Saturday and on to a provincial final against Cavan.

Donegal recorded a 1-22 to 0-13 victory at Kingspan Breffni Park, with 13 different players registering scores for the reigning champions.

"It was one of the best performances we've seen in a long time from any team," Devenney told listeners of RTÉ's Game On. 

Donegal's expansive gameplan gouged through Armagh's attempt at a blanket defence, with their play after the first water break drawing particular praise from the Letterkenny man. 

"After the water break, Donegal hit them for 1-07 to a point. That's the best 15 minutes I've seen a team play in five or six years," he enthused. 

"It was out of this world.

"We're waiting for Armagh to come into Division 1, but you can see the gap between Division 1 and 2."

Donegal were also incisive in their use of the forward mark, unlike many of their remaining All-Ireland rivals. 

"The mark is a strange thing at the minute," Devenney opined.

"Sometimes I think it's accidental when people play it, but it didn't seem that way with Donegal. 

"You've got to keep teams guessing and keep them honest, and I think that's the difference with Donegal. 

"While other teams are trying to find their feet and put up this bodies back thing, the top teams – and we've seen this with Dublin picking teams apart, particularly at Croke Park. 

"We've seen conditions level out teams. It was a mudbath in Ballybofey, we've seen Cork and Kerry, conditions levelled things. 

"Although it was windy on Saturday, it's a brilliant fast-playing pitch and I think it allowed those Donegal players to go long when they needed to. They kept Michael Murphy inside and they were able to hit long balls, and use the power inside. If not, they were coming off the shoulder. 

"They had variation. We're seeing the county game thankfully evolve away from the crappy blanket defence." 

Over in Connacht, Galway were no match for Mayo in the provincial decider. 

Michael Meehan admitted that his countymen could have done with a semi-final warm-up against Sligo to prepare for the white heat of battle against a Mayo side which came into the game match fit. 

"They were dropping balls, they were kicking balls directly to their opponents and they just weren't at the races," he said. 

"While training and preparation should be up to standard, it still doesn't blow away the cobwebs near enough for what you need coming up against a Mayo team with two games under their belts in the championship.

"They gave multiple turnovers, but six of them led to direct scores for Mayo, and that's a killer at the highest level."