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The Death Of Gaelic Football? - Ryan McHugh Isn't Having The Criticism Of The Donegal County Final

By Maurice Brosnan
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Ryan McHugh has responded to criticism of the playing standard during his club Kilcar’s 0-7 to 0-4 victory in the Donegal football county final against Naomh Conaill.

Critics of the game have been a plenty after it yielded just two points in the second half, with former Donegal footballer Manus Boyle leading the detractors, bemoaning in the aftermath of the game that football is “dying in front of us.”


But McHugh has shot back, claiming that taking a game in isolation is an overreaction:

They are just looking in Donegal, the Kerry final was on yesterday and there was great football. There’s other counties outside Donegal. It wasn’t great, but I would say Naomh Conaill and Kilcar played each other last year and the score finished 5-10 to 1-11.

McHugh pointed to a bigger sample size as evidence of positive football within the county:

In our semi-final we put up a big score, Naomh Conaill put up big scores in their semi-final. I don’t think it was right to say one match on any given day was the death of Gaelic football.

We played Glenswilly in the final last year and on a poor day it was a good match. We played Naomh Conaill the day before and it was such a high-scoring match so I think if you go through the Naomh Conaill games this year, all throughout the year, there were high-scoring games in league and championship. It was more on a given day - we were so nervous and we put a bit of pressure on each other - so eager to win we would do whatever it took, unfortunately it didn’t show for a great spectacle.

Kilcar’s success was an outstanding achievement for a team who were denied in last year’s final and a parish of just 900 people. For McHugh, it was a collective delight:

It’s great for everybody in the parish. not just the team, the whole parish together. We are a small wee community and it was great to see the scenes on the pitch and back in Kilcar after the game, it was just phenomenal.

Ryan McHugh was speaking at AIB’s event to commemorate their 26th consecutive year of sponsorship the GAA Club Championship. For exclusive content and behind the scenes action from the AIB Camogie and Club Championships follow AIB GAA on Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and facebook.com/AIBGAA.


SEE ALSO: "Not Possible" - Davy Fitzgerald Has Serious Concerns About New Hurling Format

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