Poll: who’ll win between Donegal and Tyrone?

As I mentioned in the previous post, I’m away from tomorrow ’till Friday night and may or may not get to do anything on the site in the meantime. So, to keep you all amused, here’s a poll on this coming Sunday’s titanic clash up in Ballybofey between two counties with genuine aspirations of going all the way this year.

The All-Ireland champions are warm 8/13 favourites with Paddy Power but I think Mickey Harte’s lads have every chance of relieving Donegal of their Ulster title and tipping them into Round 1 of the qualifiers. But what do you think? Time to vote.

Who'll win in Ballybofey on Sunday?

  • Tyrone (63%, 103 Votes)
  • Donegal (37%, 60 Votes)

Total Voters: 163

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52 thoughts on “Poll: who’ll win between Donegal and Tyrone?

  1. Tyrone came back well against Kerry and the Dubs in the latter stages of the league and could have won both…………great comeback against a rampant Kerry…….The league may not be a great barometer but I think Donegal are a bit of a one trick pony and their efforts to reach the climax last year and achieving it has dulled the hunger.
    Tyrone on the other hand have seemed to have regained that hunger and will prove a handful for anyone this year

  2. I think donegal have the sharpest manager going, they will be very close again this year but will have to factor in that mayo, Kerry, Dublin etc are going to hit them very hard. They just are a hard bunch and are super fit,decent footballers and with jimbo in complete charge they get my vote of beating Tyrone.

  3. i’m really looking forward to this matchup. Donegal will be prepared, and very motivated, for they know the whole country will be watching. Having said that, Tyrone will be equally prepared and have been relishing the chance to knock Donegal off their perch. Two evenly matched teams, super prepared with excellent management, yet I’m going with Tyrone for this one, for no other reason than I believe Tyrone want it more.

  4. I go for Tyrone for a narrow win. Unless Karl Lacey can do an Alan Dillon and come back in without having featured so far Donegal will be badly handicapped. Also unless Donegal can change their tactics I think Tyrone are well equipped to counter them and there is no better manager than Mickey Harte to figure out a defence against Murphy and McFadden.
    If McGuinness can achieve a two in a row he will go into history as one of the greatest managers ever.

  5. Donegal by 2. With a full squad I can’t see Tyrone being good enough for them. Especially considering the location of the match. I expect it to be low scoring with Donegal smothering the Tyrone attack.

  6. Tyrone with the long serving Micky Harte outwitting Jimmy. Donegal are a one mans construct built to do maximum damage in as short a time as possible. Tyrone have been around the course a few times, taken in new players and have a point to prove. That said Donegal have what it takes to keep travelling until August but their show will leave Ulster to get there…IMO

  7. It’s going to be a tough year for Donegal. Last thing they wanted was a major match in May. Jimmy is good but to keep the intensity levels up that Donegal require to win games from next Sunday to Sept will be very hard. They’ll probably beat Tyrone, because it’s Tyrone, and at home as AI champs but I wouldn’t be surprised if they were caught in Ulster semi-final or final by an inferior team where reaching the intensity levels will be much harder. They just can’t keep depending on the same 17/18 players do it all the time. Defeat for Tyrone won’t be the end of the world, they could still make the Q/Finals.

  8. I’m going for Donegal, but only if they have a fully fit squad and Lacey is back to his best. Anything less and Tyrone will overturn them.

    Really lookin forward to it, will probably be awful stuff for the traditionalists. But this match May have huge implications not only for Ulster but the entire championship

  9. Donegal hopefully will win and hopefully will put the dubs in their place come quarter final phase ha ha dubs wont like that

  10. The only chance that Tyrone have is if Michael Murphy is injured or is sent off early. Tyrone to my mind or way over rated. They limped by a Broganless Dublin and if Murphy had stayed on the pitch Tyrone would have been soundly beaten.

    Thankfully Mayo don’t have the worries of “a one man dependacy system”. Dublin without Brogan are an ordinary enough side. Donegal without Murphy are a very ordinary side.

    “Come on Mayo”!

  11. I agree but suppose mayo get to quater finals can they beat Donegal what do you think

  12. This is a difficult one to call, as champions Donegal would have hoped for an easier opener in defence of the title. But having to face Tyrone in their first match has changed all that and I have no doubt Jimmy was cursing his luck when the draw was made. He more than anyone will be aware of the the many sacrifices and huge commitment he got from his players last year and having to ask for the same again from the off, could be a bridge to far. That said they won’t want to loose their opening match and with home advantage, coupled with the fear of loosing, I fully expect them to pull out all the stops to insure they get over this most difficult hurdle on Sunday. A match not to be missed……..

  13. I think donegal will win,a loss in the first round could be fatal for donegal,after all they put in last year can they lift it for a run in the back door,I don’t think so.tyrone on the other hand will have no problem taking the scenic route to the quaters.

  14. I think there is more at stake for Donegal in this match than for Tyrone. Donegal are All Ireland champions and won’t wan’t to go out in a whimper on the first round (especially not in front of their home fans)
    They had a poor league however I’m not sure Jim McGuiness or the team is bothered about it. This game is far more paramount. The likelihood is that whoever wins this will probably march on to become Ulster champions (albeit Derry/Down is a tough semi final) and both managers know it.
    McGuinness is also a smart (and driven) man. He will have learned an awful lot regards getting a team fit and ready in time for a particular match (especially with the experience he must have taken from being with Celtic).
    And Eddie Ks point above about the back door is also accurate – I get the impression Donegal won’t want to risk at all if possible the dangers of the back door.

  15. It sure will be interesting, Jim McGuinness comments about not being worried about going down to Div 2 and all being focused on the championship will either be proven as spot on, or delusional ramblings after this game. Irrespective of the outcome I still think Donegal will be in the quarters, if they go beyond that they could well win it again, but I think they are beatable, they really rode their luck last year in some games, but you need the ounce of luck to win Sam.

  16. I really wonder what Martin Breheny have been preaching that the first round of the championship means nothing is last Sundays result was different. I think not, was actually thinking to myself yesterday how the Mayo hater would spin it.
    He has fair points I will admit, one swallow never made a summer, but we already know ourselves that we’re not as good as that and Galway not as bad. Its just so predictable that he would take that line.


  17. Roscommon played Kildare in a challenge match in the last few days, even allowing for the unreliability of these challenge games Kildare were leading 17 points to no score and eventually won by 24 points to 6!
    How can that be? Are Roscommon throwing out false signals hoping mayo read them? Crazy stuff.

  18. Apparently a near full strength Roscommon team as well. They got with 6 of Donegal last week maybe it’s worth putting some money on Tyrone this weekend.

  19. Maybe, but Dublin were kept close by Galway recently too from what I gather. So what does that mean? Mixed signals from theses challenge games but trailing 17 points to no score is never a good thing

  20. Galway lost 18-12 to Kildare. It tells us that Roscommon are further behind Galway.

  21. Did somebody describe Roscommon [and Galway] as a bag of tarantulas [or was it scorpions] in need of instant squashing recently? One bag squashed, one to go and if given any chink of light they could be troublesome. I recall too many days when Mayo were favourites going into a Roscommon only to come undone, 1972, 1986 and 2001 come to mind. They will recall the utter trounching they got in Castlebar in 2009

  22. [To continue my last posting] and how they closed the gap to two points two years later.
    However this Mayo team is almost unrecognisable even if ten of that team were in action last Sunday. A Mayo team of the past would give cause for concern but even if Rosc do continue to improve I am confident about the result.

  23. The master [harte]to put the pupil [mcguinn.]with the blanket, the dunnys borrowed back in their box this week end for me, tyrone by a couple of points 2-3….Go on the red handers.

  24. Donegal at home favourites with the bookies but only have 34% of the vote thus far? i know Tyrone had better league though i think it’s better to use championship form when judging these sides.

  25. As regards the results of challenge matches – take absolutely no heed of them. All they might tell us is if a certain player is ready for action after an injury or a few bits and pieces like that but very little else.

  26. Ya – I wouldn’t pay one bit of heed to a challenge. Far better to be beaten in a challenge match actually. Manager has a better idea then of where his team needs to improve.
    Plus there’s no way Ros will be near as poor as Galway were.

    I expect we will have enough to beat them but it will be a different game. Ros have bigger guys who are more physical and like to hit hard. And remember they have to make up for last years shame in the championship when they had thrown in the towel after 20 minutes in the Hyde.

  27. Plus there’s no way Ros will be near as poor as Galway were.
    In fairness Roscommon were just as poor against Galway last year they seem to fallen back since Fergal O’Donnell left them.

  28. The Rossies have a new manager, have a club all ireland, have put a few decent under age sides together over the last few years, Rossie football is on the up, there is no way they will be anything like Galway were in Salthill.
    First off, as the lads have said above, they will be far more physical and we wont get the same change out of them as Galway, they will be better prepared to play a team like Mayo – I’d imagine they will deploy some simple form of blanket defense and try and stop us playing football and choke us up, a biteen like Sligo in last years CF. I’d also imagine they will rain down high ball on Ger Caff and co they have serious potential on their inside forward line and if it clicks we could have our work cut out for us.

    I still think we should win ….

    Anyways was going with Donegal earlier – I’m not sure the closer we get to the game, I think tactically tyrone and Donegal will effectively cancel each other out in a war of attrition just like Clones last year, and it will probably come down to a moment of individual skill hunger and probably a bit of luck – man for man Donegal prob have the edge but they will have to be at the same levels as last year with regard to fitness, hunger etc etc – and the big question is are they ????

    Tyrone have improved on last year, Sean Cavanaghs back that offers huge momentum to Tyrone, they have this super keeper who will punish Donegals tactical fouling. Karl Lacey is only just back from injury and he is probably the most vital cog in that donegal team (rememeber that ball he delivered to Murphy against us or the point against Kerry), can he do 70 mins championship on Sunday ? I’m not sure – big difference between match fitness/ sharpness and being just fit. If any of Donegals big players (Gallagher, kavanagh, Lacey, The McGees, Murphy – their leaders) get injured or are off the pitch early for whatever reason, I think this could cost them dearly, cover is mighty thin for any of these guys.

    The phycological stuff going on in this game is epic – Jim McGuinness has sacrificed Div 1 football for this game according to himself, he has raised the hype and importance of this game to new levels – will this along with the question of hunger seep into the donegal mind set and effect them (to be honest I’m not sure it will as Jim seems to have them completly under his spell).

    Still veering towards donegal but draw written all over it with Joe McQuillan having the worst job in sport this Sunday.

  29. Donegal have named the same team that won the AI which tells two things: 1. They have no one coming through to challenge the first 15, and even have to rush Lacey back into action. 2. It’s win or bust for Donegal, if they’re strongest team lose on Sunday they’ll find it very hard to come in the back door.

  30. I am amazed at the result of the poll, which is almost two to one in favour of Tyrone. I gave the nod to Donegal based on the fact that they were such a well oiled machine last year, didn’t seem to break sweat in the league and with the very meticulous Jim McGuinness at the helm, will have left no stone unturned in his quest for a second All Ireland. He may not succeed in doing that, but I can’t see them falling at the first hurl. Now I may not be giving enough credit to Micky Harte and his Tyrone team but in my opinion, this might be a bridge to far.

  31. Genuinely cant see Donegal coming out on top in this one.

    I was already leaning towards Tyrone because I believe Donegal will not have the hunger like they did last year. It’s very easy to build up a bunch of quality footballers when they have the hunger to win an All-Ireland, however once they have that trophey in the bag alot of them can become complacent and I think that is happening with Donegal.

    Don’t believe any of the tripe McGuinness was spewing about Donegal not caring about the league, his players put paid to that idea when they expressed their disappointment at relegation.

    Also, this year Donegal no longer have the advantage of having about 90% of their squad either unemployed or students. In effect Donegal were a professional team last year with a professional manager. That is gone with McGuinness working in Glasgow and many of the panel getting jobs off the back of winning Sam last year.

    Finally, the fact that Donegal have named the exact same team (which I dont believe will be the starting 15) as last years All-Ireland final. That suggests two things to me; They do not have the players coming through like Mayo/Dublin/Tyrone all do and are not that strong of a squad, and they are desperate for Karl Lacey to play and could potentially risk his fitness for just one game.

    I fully believe that Tyrone, with players like O’Neill, Kavanagh and the new goalkeeper Morgan, will come out on top by 1-2 points and will be full value for their victory. And from there on I see Tyrone going very far but Donegal not having the hunger for a tour of Ireland and exiting somewhere along the qualifier route

  32. I see Cork have announced 5 New championship Debutants in their team to face Limerick at the weekend. Compare that to Donegal keeping with the same 15 that won the AI. For both Donegal and Cork I think this is the last year with current managers for different reasons. In my eyes Cork have grossly underachieved in the last 5 years. One manager is sticking with what he knows, the other is Freshening up one third of his team. It will be Interesting to see which team lasts the longest in the championship this year?

  33. Donegal will just shade it because I think they will want to win this one more than Tyrone for 2 reasons.
    1. If they are defeated it will make all McGuinness’ talk , i.e. not caring about league form, we are only focused on May 26th, the button is pressed now for the championship etc. etc. (and all the other shite he has a habit of coming our with), seem like hot air and a cover for the lack of focus, form and fitness displayed by Donegal in the league. Let’s be honest, if Mayo had won last September alot of us wouldn’t give a toss about the following league either. However, McGuinness’ talk has heaped alot of pressure on his players to perform because he has publicly stated that the league didn’t matter to them and you will see the real Donegal on Sunday. We will see.
    2. Donegal will not want to go through the qualifiers because of the paucity of their squad and their failure to introduce anyone new, bar young McHugh that came on in Mchale Park and kicked a couple of points against us. It is not so much the quality fo the opposition that they would face in the qualifiers, it is more the frequency of the games and the lack of rest and recovery allowed by the fixture schedule. Donegals style of play requires the 3 to 4 week break between matches. You will not get that vis the qualifier system.
    Home advantage might have an influence, not that Tyrone are bothered about playing in a hostile environment (which Ballybofey isn’t) but more so that Tyrone have returned 1000 of their 5750 ticket allocation. It looks like they will be seriously outnumbered in the crowd.
    Finally, I wasn’t too impressed by Tyrone in the league. They seemed slow and cumbersome and very defensive. We got it tactically wrong against them when we spent 40 mins trying to hand pass through a blanket defense before Higgins took the direct route to goal and put us in the lead, only for us to lose to a doubious penalty in the last minute. I saw them against Kildare and Kildare were poor enough, never carried an attacking threat and never looked like taking the lead in the last 15 mins.
    I think Donegal will win by 2 points. I hope I am wrong.

  34. I have gone for a Tyrone win. Really looking forward to this game. I personally believe they want it more and it has to be hard to come back after the all ireland ad have same vigor and determination to win eve thats not say Donegal wont be up to it . Tyrone played some great foortball and look a very strong. Im saying Tyrone by 4.

  35. Any County manager who has his sights set on winning Sam this year, will no doubt be taking a keen interest in how this match plays out. He will know that if he is to realize his dream, his team will more than likely have to beat one, if not both of these teams. Other than the two involved on Sunday, there are maybe three other teams who are in with a realistic chance of going all the way – they are Kerry, Dublin, and of course Mayo. Assuming the last three win out in their respective provinces, I can see Donegal or Tyrone, Kildare, Cork and maybe Derry make it through the back door to the knock out stages of the Championship. Not sure how the draw works out this year, but it sure makes for some mouth watering matches……

  36. I think if mayo win the province and a quarter final the will play the ulster champions provided the beat whoever in their quarter final.
    Donegal will take beating again if they win Sunday which I expect they will. The trick for mayo is having a full healthy panel ready for August, conroy included. That and being tactically set up to survive the usual early onslaught to kill us before we settle.
    This year is a golden chance for Mayo, they cannot keep dragging it on like cork

  37. Just read an article in the independent there by billy keane, and I’m detecting a bit of annoyance down in the kingdom this year that they are not being regarded as serious contenders, it would be some craic if Tipp somehow managed to turn them over tomorrow!

  38. Cillian O’Connor injured his shoulder tonight probably out of rossie game.

  39. Won’t be known til Mon or Tue how bad it is. It’s an awful blow and him in his prime. Prob means Andy will start if Cillian is out. My heart goes out to him.

  40. To win the AI you need to get all the breaks going. We lost Andy in the QF last year and it looks like our luck is out again this year.

  41. Terrible news of Cillian’s injury – please God it won’t turn out to be as bad as it initially appears and that he’ll back playing for club and county in a couple of weeks.

  42. Hi All,
    Its Martin the Dub here, I am sorry to here about Cillian he’s a huge loss and I honestly am sorry as any man training so hard for his county does not deserve this. We had a loss this week too with Alan Brogan probably out for another few weeks/months. I suppose the only thing is we are in Summer and its the Championship we are talking about which is magic, best of luck all.

    Kind Regards,

  43. Exactly what we don’t need.
    Horan should pull his players straight away. I feel sick to my stomach hearing this, Mayo have the bare bones to win Sam this year so we better pray he’s not badly hurt but hospital is never a good sign.
    And please, don’t tell me club football is so important, we haven’t won Sam since 1951! I think when there’s a chance we can win it, the county panel players should be left to the important stuff, and 2013 is one of those good chance years
    Nightmare stuff!!!!!!!
    So annoyed I could punch a concrete wall and not feel

  44. Thanks, Martin – it’s disastrous news for us, Cillian is probably the last person we needed to lose at this stage. He was magnificent against Galway and you could see then how he’s grown so much in importance for us as a playmaker, to say nothing of his free-taking ability. It’s still not clear how bad the injury is and we’re unlikely to know for sure for a few days but it’s already obvious that the injury jinx has hit us yet again and once more it has hit us where it hurts.

  45. Well Donegal showed their worth today i still don’t know why so many here thought Tyrone would win?

  46. Took to the main stand in Ballybofey today in my Mayo jersey. Got a few laughs. Tried to start some “Mayo! Mayo!” chants, but to little avail.

    Dunno how much came across on television, but the behaviour of the Donegal fans and backroom team was horrible – the sheer arrogance with the way the fans jeered the Tyrone fans, you’d swear they’d invented football. As for the backroom team, Jim McGuinness abused the linesman repeatedly, literally roaring in his face, along with Rory Gallagher. And the Donegal doctor, whoever he is, is a disgrace – goading and gesturing at the Tyrone fans – classless is the word. Can’t wait to see them knocked down a peg or two.

    Meanwhile, Joe McQuillan put in a typical “home stadium” performance – gave Donegal everything, lots of soft frees – in the lead up to the first goal he bizarrely moved the ball up 30 yards! Tyrone played badly of course, and didn’t deserve to win, but Donegal (who didn’t score for large periods today and should have been punished on the scoreboard for indiscipline a lot more) aren’t as good as either they think they are, or the pundits either. I still stand by my bet with my father that if Donegal win the All Ireland this year, I’ll pay his property tax!

  47. As I expected Donegal came well prepared for this match and proved to all the doubters that they will be the team to beat again this year. I thought they looked even more physical than last year and the swagger and confidence that comes with winning the A I F was plain to see. It will now be up to other teams who have their sights set on winning in 2013 to come up with a system that can break down this water tight defence, while at the same time take care of the twin threat of Murphy and McFadden at the other end.

    As for Jimmy McGuinness abusing the linesman, sure didn’t Alex Ferguson do the same thing to professional linesmen and referees for years. It looks to me that anywhere you can gain an edge you take it, and that’s what Jimmy is doing……

  48. Digits, I agree entirely with your post. There was constant harrassing and agression towards the line officals and Donegal members of the line (non-runners) were allowed to run onto the pitch constantly without any reprimand and also leave their designated area on the line. McGuinness gets away with an awful lot, as do the Donegal players, and he is no doubt flavour of the month with the media hence he gets away with alot more than most other managers and doesn’t face the same level of criticism.
    How come when a Donegal player grabs a Tyrone player around the shoulder/neck area to prevent him coming out with the ball there is no foul. Yet, when McMahon does it, it is a yellow card? What about the late 3rd man hits almost every time Tyrone off-loaded ball? What about the build up to a McFadden point when he circled around onto his left while out on the right wing and his chasing marker was cleaned out with an off-the-ball shoulder? What about the constant arguing with and surrounding of the ref whenever he gave a free to Tyrone in a scorable area? – obviously a tactic to prevent Tyrone taking a quick free! What about the time C. Cavanagh was trying to dispossess a Donegal player by constantly slapping his hand on the ball and a free was given yet when McGee does it do O.Neill nothing happens?
    McQuillan is a terrible ‘homer’. As I said previously I felt Donegal would win but I do long for the day that a ref will judge a Donegal game as a contest between two teams that have to abide by the same set of rules, as opposed to one set for Donegal and a completely different and far more strict set of rules for their opponents.
    Not sour grapes, only saying.

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