Have Tyrone become the team to beat in an ultra-competitive Ulster championship?

Off The Ball speak to Declan Bogue about Donegal, Tyrone and co

Have Tyrone become the team to beat in an ultra-competitive Ulster championship?

Donegal's Patrick McBrearty and Tyrone's Ronan McNamee in 2015 ©INPHO/Presseye/Lorcan Doherty

As the Allianz Leagues begin to reach their conclusions in the respective divisions, thoughts will already be turning to the All-Ireland championship - if they haven't already.

Ulster, as has been the case, is likely to be the most ultra-competitive province at the start of the summer.

In the last few years, the trophy has gone to either Donegal or Monaghan, but are the winds of change starting to blow in favour of other counties again?

Off The Ball were joined by Belfast Telegraph Gaelic football writer Declan Bogue to talk about just that.

"Certainly in league form, Donegal are stuttering. Now, you've got to ask yourself what does Rory Gallagher want out of this league. Last year, Donegal got to the league semi-final, they played Cork and conceded more goals in that game than they had in the seven games previously. So clearly they had a training camp organised and they didn't want to interfere with that so they sort of, let's be honest, took a dive that day against Cork," he said.

"Looking back at their game at the weekend, what's clear to be seen is that Rory Gallagher needed some competition between spots from 16 to 25 in the squad."

That has seen Gallagher give some younger players some game-time but Bogue feels the goalkeeping issue needs to be addressed as quickly as possible.

"Their championship may hinge on that," he said.

As for Tyrone, they are unbeaten in Division 2 with five wins from six, and Bogue feels detail is important to note here.

"You're looking at the margins of victory. They're not exactly laying waste to teams either," he said, pointing out the exception of their match against Derry.

But he notes a hungry squad with a panel not content to sit on the bench.