Donegal fall as Antrim finally raises their game…

For those of you who care, the Donegal Gaelic team put in one of their worst performances in a generation. I hate to make lame excuses, but a deteriorating economic situation in the Republic always has a tendency to hit the west first, and Donegal in particular pretty hard. Ten out of the current squad is unemployed (lack of professional status means that many are just sticking around for the sake of the Championship campaign. As Keith Duggan noted on Saturday, Medals do not put bread on the table… But the match also comes after a winter of turmoil in the county. Having blown a game they were 5/1 favourites to win, with a performance that gave the impression their minds were on other things, I’m not sure I see their way back through the All Ireland qualifiers… That said, the county that most Belfast players owe their allegiance to, has finally woken up after a long slumber… And have given their long suffering fans something to shout about at last… Good for the game; good for Belfast… But, despite having been born on the Antrim side of the Lagan, my sympathies still lie to the north and west…

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