Donegal’s Ódhran MacNiallais normally plays midfield but likes to play in the forwards. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho.

When Donegal re-emerged for the second half of their game against Mayo on Sunday, Ódhran MacNiallais trotted straight to the edge of the square where (...)

Donegal’s Stephen McBrearty in the All-Ireland minor final in 2014 against Kerry. The assimilation of younger players like McBrearty into the Donegal senior team has caught the eye. Photograph: INPHO

Mayo have acted as a curious touchstone for the more senior players with Donegal. When they beat the Connacht champions in the All-Ireland final in 20(...)

Naomh Conaill’s Brendan McDyer gets his shot away despite the effort of Caolan Ward of St Eunan’s Photo: Donna McBride/Inpho

Naomh Conaill 0-11 St Eunan’s 0-10 A magnificent second half display from Naomh Conaill of Glenties, who played the last 20 minutes with 14 men, saw (...)

The grounded Leo McLoone of Naomh Conaill is crowded by St Eunan’s players during the 2012 Donegal football final in Ballybofey. Photograph: Andrew Paton/Inpho.

Football seasons can play tricks with time. When Naomh Conaill won their first Donegal senior title in 2005, Martin Regan had just returned from a (...)

Donegal’s Neil McGee can’t stop Aidan O’Shea of Mayo claim the ball on his way to scoring the opening goal Photo:INPHO/James Crombie

Mayo 2-13 Donegal 0-11  The remorseless application of all they have picked up in four previous years on the road, losing by fine margins,(...)

Donegal’s Patrick McBrearty celebrates scoring the opening goal with Colm McFadden during the  All-Ireland  Round 4B qualifier at Croke Park. Photograph:  Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Donegal 3-12 Galway 0-11 Now, what about that 2013 All-Ireland quarter-final when Mayo decimated a jaded Donegal? It should be closer next Saturday as(...)

Michael Murphy: wasn’t moveing with his usual freedom for Donegal in the Ulster final against Monaghan. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

How quickly perceptions shift. If Donegal had managed to scrape past Monaghan in what was a cagey, claustrophobic Ulster final, the general vie(...)

Rory Gallagher was always likely to be in the frame to succeed Jim McGuinness, despite their abrupt parting of the ways. Photograph: Lorcan Doherty/Presseye/Inpho

“I remember my first year in with the Fermanagh seniors and Tyrone had just annihilated us the previous year in Omagh,” says Rory Gallagher. “They wer(...)

Donegal’s Colm McFadden holds off Cork defenders during the All-Ireland semi-final in 2012. The meetings between the sides have been important staging posts in their respective fortunes over the last six years. Photograph: Donall Farmer/INPHO

It is easy to forget, now that Dublin seem to be All-Ireland favourites for always and evermore, that not too long ago Cork were regarded as the smart(...)

It was Donaghy’s sixth All Ireland final. It was his fourth win. It was his fourth goal. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

It had to be him. Time and tides and dramatic arcs decreed it. When the doors were finally blown off this All Ireland final, it somehow felt inevitabl(...)