Patton's cannonball helps Donegal edge the battle of Ballybofey 2 months ago

Patton's cannonball helps Donegal edge the battle of Ballybofey

Donegal 1-13 Tyrone 1-11

The old 80 metre kick-out into a half forward's path, sending them straight through on goal, you know the one?

Shaun Patton is a law unto himself these days. Whether it's a cannon under the shorts or a remote control engine in the ball, whatever he's doing, he's got it all sewn up.

The north west wind was howling and the ball was soggy in Ballybofey, not that the Naomh Adhamhnáin goalkeeper minded or even noticed, as he cannoned the ball down the other end of the town to send Donegal on the attack and eventually, to turn the Ulster quarter final upside down.

Peadar Mogan collected the low flying missile which resembled a ripper from a Tiger Woods five iron and all he had to do was lay it onto the path of the in-form Michael Langan who finished like a king. It's a simple game really.

All through the game, Patton showed a tremendous array of kick-outs, short and long and though he sold Eoghan Bán Gallagher short with a hand-pass which Darragh Canavan punished, his coolness spurs the rest of the team on.

You'd think you're watching Ederson for Man City or something.

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Unsurprisingly given the conditions, it was a very topsy turvy game in Ballybofey with Tyrone starting well but failing to take their chances. Donegal took a long time to get into the game but eventually it was the influence of Michael Murphy and a spurt from Michael Langan which settled them down. Langan scored a tremendous point, followed by the goal in a supersonic cameo.

That rattled Mickey Harte's men but to their credit they responded well with the impressive Darragh Canavan striking 1-1 in a quickfire second half cameo. Rather than inspire them, Tyrone seemed to retreat from here with Ciaran Thompson picking them off for three crucial points, two of them coming from open play.

With the conditions disintegrating and the ball almost dropping dead on the sod, it became increasingly scrappy but Donegal won the war, with corner back Stephen McMenamin marauding forward for an inspirational late point which put them out of reach.