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14th Jul 2018

Niall Scully beats three tackles and puts the ball between goalkeeper’s legs

Conan Doherty

Niall Scully

The idea was that the absence of Diarmuid Connolly was supposed to strip Dublin of a vital source of flair.

Well, Niall Scully is more than a reliable ball-player and a tireless worker. Niall Scully has skill, pace, audacity and nerve.

Donegal were giving Dublin the test the whole country wanted to see the All-Ireland champions get. They were tackling hard, they had men behind the ball and they were restricting the capital city outfit to points from frees. At the other end, they were creating chances, missing big opportunities as well as scoring some beauties but they were giving GAA people hope that there might be a serious game on the cards in the second of the Super 8 instalments.

Then Niall Scully stepped in.

Whilst Donegal, and Paddy McBrearty in particular, have made a delightful habit out of coming in off the flanks and going on the loop to kick scores, Scully fed them a taste of their own medicine but decided to run right through the Ulster wall and take it the whole way to goals.

He comes in off the wing and darts straight across the pitch. Then he cuts like a right angle to go with reckless abandon for the jugular. He takes it by three tackles and, when he gets in on goal, he slides it between Shaun Patton’s legs and reels away.

And that – that – was his very first championship goal.

If that wasn’t enough, he got in again and, with a lovely transfer of weight onto his right, he fooled the goalie once more and cooly dispatched of another to raise a second green flag.

The Templeogue Synge Street club man is a popular figure on the hill. It was mostly because of his sheer honesty, his all-out commitment and his lack of errors in a Dublin jersey but, after this McManamon-esque burst, they’ll be expecting more moments of audacity from him.

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