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Ulster SFC: 'If we play like that next week we may as well not bother showing up' says Tyrone's Mattie Donnelly

Mattie Donnelly says Tyrone's laboured extra-time win over Cavan means it will be 'advantage Donegal' in next Sunday's Ulster semi-final at Celtic Park.

Donnelly admitted his initial feeling was relief after Tyrone staggered though beating Cavan by 1-23 to 3-16.

However he claimed a repeat performance next week against Jim McGuinness' high-flying Donegal will only end one way.

"Anyone who watched Donegal knows if we perform like that again, we may as well not bother showing up," said Donnelly.

"The bits I saw you couldn't but be impressed with them.

"They're a team with a plan, a team with serious running power and serious threats all over.

"We are going to have to come up with something to counteract that."

Tyrone will play Donegal in Celtic Park next Sunday, with Down facing Armagh in the first Ulster semi-final on Saturday night.

Taking on Donegal, who stormed past Derry in impressive fashion 24 hours earlier, already looked a daunting task for either Cavan or Tyrone given the winner would have just seven days to prepare.

Yet Tyrone made life even harder for themselves by squandering an eight-point lead in the final quarter of normal time following a momentum-changing black card for Padraig Hampsey.

That led to a further 20 minutes of extra time for already tired and sore bodies.

"I know, I know.... it's advantage Donegal in that regard," said Donnelly.

"Obviously they will be feeling good about themselves after last night, and with having an extra 24 hours recovery, so advantage them.

"Look, we train hard enough to deal with things like that so we'll not complain but we have to turn things around and get recovered pretty quickly."

'We've a lot to do'

Donnelly, on his return to the team after suffering a serious knee injury while playing for his club Trillick last summer, played every single minute against Cavan.

He was almost the last man standing as others fell by the wayside with cramp and alongside experienced heads like Hampsey and Niall Morgan, had to steer a young side through a chaotic game.

"The initial feeling I suppose after getting through is bittersweet - relieved but not very happy.

"Not happy with how we did individually or as a collective. We've a lot to do.

"The black card, we didn't deal well with it. Paudie Hampsey is a big player and a steadying influence and hard to replace.

"We didn't deal well with the change in momentum. We looked very vulnerable once he went off the pitch.

"Once they hit us with those two goals, look momentum is a hard thing to fight against when you have that much momentum going against you.

"But it's a young team and we're learning."