RYAN McHugh has already tasted the anguish of a championship upset at the hands of Antrim, and it’s not an experience he wants to revisit this Sunday.
In 2011, the Donegal senior team made their first significant step on the road to All-Ireland glory by getting the better of Antrim in their Ulster Championship Preliminary Round fixture.
However, it wasn’t all joy for Donegal in Ballybofey that day, as Charlie Mulgrew’s minor side were surprisingly defeated by the Saffrons.
McHugh, along with Patrick McBrearty and Martin O’Reilly, were members of the Donegal minor team that were expected to win, but ended up losing by a point.
“We were huge favourites that day, and we were one of the favourites for Ulster” said McHugh, as he reflected back on a disappointing day in his career.
“I honestly believe in football that anything can happen. That’s why you have to prepare the best you can.
“If your team is well prepared and everything is right, then you have the best chance of performing to the best of your ability.
“I remember 2011, and that was the day that Paddy McBrearty played with both teams, and he was probably one of our best players.
“But we just didn’t perform to the best of our ability that day, and if you don’t then the opposition have a great chance of nicking it.
“(Paddy) hit the post, and then it was Ryan Murray (Antrim senior player) who destroyed us that day from centre-forward.”
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