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From the Premier League to the Ryder Cup - Donegal's 2014 sporting moments

No Sam for the Hills but plenty of cheer nonetheless.

But what about [insert your county here]? Don’t worry, we’ll be producing a series of articles that will cover every county in Ireland – even yours – over the next few weeks. See the ones we’ve already covered here.

1.  Donegal on the double

Source: Jacksonsmediatv/YouTube

Donegal Town rocked into the early hours as Jim McGuinness’s seniors lifted the Ulster SFC in Clones, while Declan Bonner oversaw victory in the provincial MFC — it was the first time the county managed to win both titles in the one year.

2. Top Marks for English

Ireland's Mark English is congratulated after winning Bronze in the Men's 800m Final Mark English is congratulated by his sisters Michelle and Joanne after winning Bronze in the Men's 800m Final Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Mark English won Ireland’s only medal with 800m bronze at the European Track and Field Championships in Zurich. His sisters Michelle and Joanne were at trackside to start the celebrations.

3. Given’s back on board

Shay Given returned from his 27-month international exile to win his 126th and 127th caps in the friendly wins over Oman and the United States with Martin O’Neill’s Ireland

4. Parental guidance for McGinley

Paul McGinley Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Paul McGinley might strictly be a Dubliner but with his father Mick a native of Dunfanaghy and mother Julia from Rathmullan, Europe’s Ryder Cup victory at Gleneagles meant plenty of glasses were clinked in the north-west

5. Stand up for the Donegal girls

Lynne Cantwell presents the jersey to Larissa Muldoon Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Larissa Muldoon touched down Ireland’s try at Twickenham in the RBS Women’s Six Nations and Nora Stapleton was part of the team who produced a magnificent 17-14 win over the All Blacks on the girls in green’s way to fourth place at the Rugby World Cup

6. Coleman is sweet as a Toffee

Seamus Coleman capped a fine season at Everton by winning the right-back spot on the PFA team of the season as the Goodison Park club finished the 2013/14 campaign in fifth place.

7. Oscar’s Golden Boy Quigley

Source: boxingfan3334/YouTube

Having won the AIBA World Amateur Boxing Championships at European level and winning silver at the 2013 Worlds, Jason Quigley signed a pro contract with Oscar De La Hoya’s with Golden Boy Promotions. So far, the Ballybofey man is three from three …

8. Comeback king Harley

What’s the best way to re-announce yourself on the horse racing circuit after breaking a T1 vertebrae in your neck? Well, by winning a treble on your first afternoon of course — as jokey Martin Harley managed at Newcastle in June.

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9. Sky’s the limit for Deignan

Philip Deignan 6/5/2014 Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Almost five years had passed since Philip Deignan’s stage win during the Vuelta a España. This year, in the colours of Team Sky, the now 31-year-old was back to his best, with the third place finish into Rifugio Panarotta on stage 18 of the Giro d’Italia the highlight.

10. Strumming the Harps

Finn Harps might be stranded in the middle of the SSE Airtricity League First Division but did upset the odds to reach the semi-finals of the FAI Cup, only to go down 6-1 to eventual winners St Patrick’s Athletic.

11. Boyles reclaim title

Cousins Declan and Brendan Boyle reclaimed the Dunlop National Rally Championship as well as giving home followers a rare local success in the Donegal International in June.

12 . Captain Marvel Murphy

Michael Murphy signs autographs for supporters Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Michael Murphy was again the man entrusted with the Irish captaincy for the International Rules Test in Perth. However, Australia won the one-off Test 56-46.

13. Donegal beat the ‘unbeatables’

With Dublin raging hot favourties to reclaim Sam Maguire, Dublin produced the shock of the summer as Jim McGuinness’s side left Croke Park in raptures following a 3-14 to 0-17 semi-final win. However, like the minors, Donegal failed to find that form in the final and it was Kerry who claimed both titles.

14. ‘Jimmy’s winning matches … Rory’s in charge …’

Rory Gallagher and Jim McGuinness Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

After his four-year term of office concluded, there wasn’t a dry eye in Donegal as Jim McGuinness stepped aside, having been promoted to first team sports psychologist at Celtic FC. His former assistant Rory Gallagher is now the man entrusted with winning matches.

15 – The Race – Ireland’s Ultimate Endurance Event

Donegal played host to Ireland’s first 24-hour endurance event, simply titled ‘The Race’. Competitors ran, in total, 67km, kayaked 15km, cycled 175km as well as ran, walked or scrambled the 5km 500-metre vertical metres up and down Muckish Mountain. Canadian Bill Wells was first home in 15 hours and 22 minutes. Phew!

16 – The maroon and white are dynamite

Geraldine McLaughlin lifts the trophy Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Geraldine McLaughlin scored 3-8 – a record in an All-Ireland football final – as Termon ladies sealed a dramatic comeback win against Mourneabbey from Cork to become the first ever Donegal team to win a national senior title.

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About the author:

Alan Foley

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