Donegal U-21s reach third successive Ulster final

14-man Monaghan easily beaten in atrocious conditions at Healy Park

Donegal’s Eammon McGrath tries to evade Monaghan’s Kevin Loughran. Photograph: Inpho

Donegal’s Eammon McGrath tries to evade Monaghan’s Kevin Loughran. Photograph: Inpho

 

Donegal 4-9 Monaghan 1-5

Donegal qualified for their third successive Ulster U21 Football Championship final with a comfortable win over 14-man Monaghan in atrocious conditions at Healy Park on Wednesday night.

A difficult start for Donegal was compounded by the loss of centre back Darragh Mulgrew on a black card after 14 minutes.

The scores were tied at a point apiece at that stage, Darach O’Connor having cancelled out Ryan McAnespie’s opener.

With 22 minutes played they were still deadlocked on 0-1 to 0-1, but Donegal finally unlocked a stubborn Monaghan defence with a devastating 2-4 salvo in the space of six minutes.

Farney resistance crumbled after they were reduced to 14 men when midfielder Conor Lavelle, who had already been booked, picked up a 25th minute black card.

Corner backs Conor Morrison and Jack O’Brien combined for the opening goal on 27 minutes, the latter punching to the net at the far post.

And two minutes later, Ryan McHugh spooned the ball cleverly into the path of Lorcan Connor, and he finished clinically past David Kirk.

Donegal led by 2-5 to 0-2 at the break, but Monaghan gave themselves a lifeline with a goal ten minutes into the second half, Conor McCarthy finishing to the net from Kevin Loughran’s long delivery.

That was as good as it was to get for Finbarr Fitzpatrick’s side, as Donegal finished them off with another blitz at the beginning of the final quarter, including a spectacular Ciaran Thompson goal.

They finished the job off with a second Connor goal seven minutes from the end, punched home at the far post.

Donegal: D Rodgers, C Morrison, C Parke, J O’Brien, R McHugh, D Mulgrew, E Gallagher, T McCleneghan, C Thompson (1-2), O Crawford, D McDaid (0-1, f), D O’Connor (0-1), L Connor (2-0), H McFadden (0-2, 1f), E McHugh (0-1).

Subs: E McGrath (0-1) for Mulgrew (BC), W Gillespie (0-1) for Crawford, S McBrearty for McGrath, McGrath for McDaid, J Brennan for O’Connor, C O’Donnell for McCleneghan

Monaghan: D Kirk, R Wylie, M Murnaghan, K Loughran, D Ward (0-1), S Conlon, F Malone, C Lavelle, B Greenan, R McAnespie (0-1), D McAllister, P Keenan, C McCarthy (1-1), F McGeough (0-1, f), F McMahon (0-1, f).

Subs: D Meegan for McMahon, A Treanor for Conlon, M McCarville for Keenan

Referee: K Trainor (Down).

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.