Former Meath captain Anthony Moyles was on Monday’s OTB AM and spoke about the weaknesses Meath exposed in Donegal at the weekend.
Donegal ran out as nine-point winners (2-19 to 1-13) over the Royals in the end but were seriously tested and found themselves a point down with 53 minutes gone.
“Meath can be very, very proud of what they did but that Donegal team are a serious unit.
“They attacked Donegal as well on that spine and again, I think that six position and that three position for Donegal are a little bit suspect. If I was coming up against them I’d be looking for a really hard running game.
“Coming off the wings, maybe a pop ball inside, but then have runners coming hard down that middle, the six and three channel because I think that’s where Meath exposed them,” Moyles commented.
While Meath weren’t good enough on the day to make Donegal’s defensive frailty really count, Moyles thinks that his former side have shown other teams how to deal with the Ulster champions.
“They probably showed a bit of a template as well for other teams. They swung the ball left to right, left to right. They made the pitch big and then they looked for runners coming really, really quick down the middle.
“They showed that hard running at that back line caused problems so I think that’s something that Donegal will be mindful of and they’ll definitely have to try and repair it before the next day,” Moyles said.
While Moyles was impressed at how well Meath managed to put Donegal under pressure he was equally impressed by the Ulstermen’s attacking display.
“Meath have been priding themselves this year on turning teams over, especially from a defensive point of view. But Jesus, they hardly turned Donegal over because Donegal are unbelievably good at shifting the ball.
“It is so difficult to defend against because they actually don’t hold onto the ball. They very rarely bring the ball into the tackle and the only time they’ll actually carry the ball is when they’re in space.
But as soon as they get into the opposition 40 or 50 metres out from goal it’s all really quick, intricate hand passing,” Moyles said.
Meath go on to face Mayo in Croke Park at 2pm on Sunday, knowing that another loss will surely end their hopes of progressing to the semi-finals.
Donegal play Kerry in the same venue on the same day at 4pm in what is shaping up to be the game of the weekend.