Oisin McConville believes the "knee-jerk" negativity to the first round of Super 8s action has been washed away by a weekend of breathless fare.

After the Dubs squeezed past Tyrone in Omagh on Saturday evening, Galway edged out 14-man Kildare and Kerry snatched a dramatic draw with Monagahan to give supporters the thrills and spills they expect at this stage of the summer.

The new two-group format didn't exactly start with a bang, especially in comparison to the incredible provincial hurling action served up, but with counties in the last-chance saloon for the second round of games, things went up several notches.

"It was a brilliant weekend," former Armagh forward McConville told RTÉ Radio 1's Morning Ireland.

"First of all, the sense of occasion, the provincial grounds, what it brought to the Super 8s... but it was also matched by the quality of football we saw.

"I think a lot of the time there's a knee-jerk reaction to what we witness and truly the first weekend of the Super 8s wasn't great, but this weekend has made up for that and more. It was absolutely exceptional."

Kerry were staring elimination in the face before David Clifford angled home an injury-time goal that earned them a point in Monaghan and kept their semi-final hopes alive.

McConville warned that could now derail the Farney, while also backing Donegal to come out on top in what loos like an absolute humdinger against Tyrone in a fortnight's time.

"I was lucky enough to be in Clones. I witnessed not just a great game but a team absolutely fighting for their life. That David Clifford goal summed up the weekend and how dramatic it was.

"It might be hugely costly for Monaghan. The tables have been turned completely. A 19-year-old dragged Kerry back into the competition kicking and screaming. 

"The cream is coming to the top. Kildare put up a brilliant show... but Galway were able to get over the line and now they're comfortably into the last four. What a job Kevin Walsh and his backroom team have done over the last couple of years."

On The Red Hand's trip to their neighbours, McConville added: "If you thought it was dramatic and tight and it was a tough tussle in Clones, then people need to get to Ballybofey for the last game.

"I can tell you there'll be no welcome mat laid out for Tyrone in Donegal.

"It'll be wedged. It's a game to look forward to and it will have that bit of edge. There's a genuine healthy rivalry between Tyrone and Donegal that's built up over the lats number of years.

"Donegal having home advantage is huge, That may just be enough to get them in to the semi-finals."