League results irrelevant, claims Donnelly

August 11, 2017

Tyrone's Mattie Donnelly.
©INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan.

Mattie Donnelly has made light of Tyrone's decent recent Allianz League record against Dublin.

In their last five league meetings, Tyrone have won one game by a single point, Dublin have won two by a single point, while there have been two draws. But speaking at the launch of the new SKINS Ireland DNAmic TEAM range at Kilmacud Crokes yesterday ahead of the counties' All-Ireland SFC semi-final on August 27, the All Star midfielder stressed that there is an "unbelievable difference" between league and championship. 

"We always seem to have competed well with Dublin," the 26-year-forward said.

"The only thing is we have never, not in my time, played against them in the championship and there is an unbelievable difference. One of the main things that has got them so much success in championship football is the pace and intensity they have brought to it. 

"I'd say it is going to be in stark contrast to the levels we have met Dublin in the league compared to what we are going to face in a few weeks."

Donnelly admitted that the Red Hands may have been guilty of looking too far ahead last year when they were sucker-punched by Mayo in the All-Ireland SFC quarter-final.

"In fairness, there was a lot of talk about this game happening last year," he recalled.

"You could argue that it was in the back of our heads, all that talk about Tyrone-Dublin.

"This year, when the draw was made, we had planned to get this far and obviously with the route they were on, we had a good idea they were going to be there waiting for us. You don't expect anything at this level, but we knew there was a good chance that our paths would cross." 

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