Ulster final baptism was never going to shock best marker in Donegal 3 weeks ago

Ulster final baptism was never going to shock best marker in Donegal

When Gaoth Dobhair wanted a job done, Odhran McFadden Ferry was always the chosen one.

It was operation Rian O'Neill against Crossmaglen. The Armagh hotshot ended his day with a red card and an early shower.

Micheál Lundy for Corofin. The Donegal champions were beaten that day but Lundy never got a score before his black card in the game's 36th minute.

Prior to that, Kieran Hughes was was kept quiet for Scotstown. Different day, same result.

We could keep on naming the victims of this man-marker's bristling CV.

In the county championship, Niall O'Donnell, Ciaran Thompson, Leo McCloone and Martin O'Reilly all had their fill in Donegal. Two years previous and Michael Murphy had a plucky 18-year-old sherrifing his every move. Kilcar's Eoin McHugh was the same and then Rory Kavanagh experienced it in the quarter final.

How are you to break away when a man's water-tight?

McFadden Ferry's tight-shepherding of opposition danger-men last winter was key to Gaoth Dobhair's first Donegal win in 12 years  and their maiden Ulster triumph soon after.

But it was only a matter of time before he broke onto the county scene and that's why Sunday was just another day for McFadden Ferry.

The bigger the challenge, the better this lad gets and even though he's only 20 years of age, even though it was his first ever game for the Donegal seniors, nobody in Gaoth Dobhair was surprised.

Cavan's former professional soccer Martin Reilly was the detail. The half back carried it out to near military precision.

"The thing that I thought was very impressive from Donegal was bringing McFadden Ferry on and telling him to follow Martin Reilly everywhere," said Conan Doherty on Monday's GAA Hour.

"It was his Donegal debut, you know, to play in an Ulster final like that was amazing, but they say he's the best marker in Donegal. Wonder was that a Stephen Rochford move?"

Colm Parkinson remembers those Gaoth Dobhair days.

"McFadden Ferry, remember him with Gaoth Dobhair, he was a torturous fella to mark..."

A clever move by Donegal alright, but they're no stranger to those.

"Even a smarter move was when that speed demon Stephen Murray came on at half-time for Cavan, Donegal brought on Daire Ó Baoill the very minute he made two good runs. Ó Baoill was straight on to man-mark him then, I love little things like that, they seem very obvious but you don't see it enough," added Wooly.

You can watch Monday's GAA Hour Show here.