Brennan and McBrearty make Donegal the biggest threat to Dublin 5 months ago

Brennan and McBrearty make Donegal the biggest threat to Dublin

Much like Dublin, Donegal have yet to be troubled this championship summer.

On Monday morning, the likes of Mayo, Armagh, Tyrone and Kildare will all be tuning their wireless into the draw for Round 4 of the All-Ireland Football Qualifiers.

Donegal, Dublin and Kerry can enjoy their lie-in. Those three counties joined Roscommon in winning their respective provincial titles and are not back in action until mid July.

Cavan, Cork, Meath and Galway will await the winners of those Round 3 games as, in early July, the final Super 8 places are confirmed.

Right now, the team looking best placed to test Dublin are Declan Bonner's Donegal. They handily defeated Cavan in Clones, on Sunday afternoon, and many of their top players are coming to the boil.

Chief among them are the forward duo of Paddy McBrearty and Jamie Brennan, the country's form marksman this summer. Between them, McBrearty and Brennan have score 2-24 in three Ulster outings.

McBrearty's loss, after he was injured in the 2018 Ulster final win over Fermanagh, was devastating to Donegal as they headed into an ultimately underwhelming Super 8s campaign [not helped by having their neutral game away to Dublin at Croke Park, of course].

He is looking in fine form and registered 0-5 against Cavan, with 0-4 coming from play. Gearoid McKiernan of Cavan was their shining light, and got 0-6 in a valiant, losing effort, but top scorer was Brennan. The Réalt na Mara clubman finished with 1-4 from play to take his summer tally to 2-11.

There was no stopping him for his goal, even if there was a fortunate breaking of the ball before he pivoted to fire home:

That is the sort of form that has Brennan tracking for an All Star and his team looking dangerous going forward.

McBrearty and Brennan have 49% of Donegal's scores, so far this summer, but there are far more than a couple of tricks in this pony. Ryan McHugh and Michael Murphy were imperious again and Hugh McFadden was outstanding. Paddy McGrath continues to bomb forward when he can and cold have had a fine goal to his name had he not snatched his shot.

Following the 1-24 to 2-16 victory, however, it was Brennan's proud parents that managed to steal the show.

RTE's Marty Morrissey twigged a Sligo accent from Brennan's mother before his father steamed forward to settle any questions over allegiances. He declared:

"I'm his auld' fella. Bundoran, born and bred!"

Dublin remain the heavy favourites after another Leinster cake-walk but Donegal are building nicely as he head towards the Super 8s.