It’s a bit too easy sometimes to compare a captain to the likes of Roy Keane or Paul O’Connell, but there is that kind of aura around Maguire, whereby demanding a certain level and setting that standard with the small details and the big statements, he’s dragged the whole senior group with him.
It’s certainly striking how many of their scores come from runners finding gaps, either with or without the ball through that middle third, and I can’t recall seeing a player quite like Maguire being able to make those gaps appear by running past opponents with the ball. Think of say Paul Kerrigan in these parts, who needs spaces to run into, or someone like Sean Cavanagh who could jink past a marker, but Maguire has the power and speed and this knack of brushing past a tackler without having to do any particular trick, only run.
There are some points to note here. If there are times when you’d wonder if it’s a little too predictable and stoppable as a Plan A attacking tactic, well then you watch Maguire take off past another poor marker at midfield and it appears almost unfair to allow such an obvious mismatch to take place.
Was handed the ball/took the ball at the end to offer control and conviction from those frees;
Slowed the game down;
Backed himself to find a teammate with kickpasses.
Maguire has grown into THE dominant footballer in the county and it’ll be interesting to see what he brings now at inter-county level, whether he continues to play a sort of MD MacAuley role, or if he can add other creative element, consistent kick-passing and/or scores, like say Brian Fenton?
The Barr’s are back, thanks mainly to the fact Maguire decided to make it happen and we wait to see what he decides to take on next.