Dublin U-21s much too sharp for tired Donegal

Ulster champions had to play All-Ireland semi-final just days after Ulster final

Dublin’s Aaron Byrne and Donegal’s Cian Mulligan in action during the All-Ireland U-21 semi-final at Breffni Park. Photograph: Philip Magowan/Presseye/Inpho

Dublin’s Aaron Byrne and Donegal’s Cian Mulligan in action during the All-Ireland U-21 semi-final at Breffni Park. Photograph: Philip Magowan/Presseye/Inpho

 

Dublin 1-13 Donegal 0-9

Dublin, under Dessie Farrell, easily qualified for the Eirgrid All-Ireland U-21 final against a disappointing Donegal in Kingspan Breffni Park on Saturday

Despite losing Con O’Callaghan to a black card after just four minutes, Dublin were dominant. O’Callaghan had given them the lead from a free on three minutes and they were the only one troubling the scoreboard operator.

Dublin manager, Farrell was shocked by the early setback.

“I can’t repeat what I was thinking to tell you the truth. Yeah, it was disappointing. He will be disappointed himself to get involved, but I think there were two players involved in it. How Con was singled out, I thought was harsh. However, we were able to overcome that particular issue,” said Farrell.

It didn’t deter Dublin as they had four points on the board before Donegal got their first, a Michael Langan pointed free on 23 minutes.

Dublin led by 0-5 to 0-2 at the break and even though Donegal had the opening two points of the second half, the Leinster champions responded immediately with two of their own.

And when Seán McMahon came forward to drive home the only goal of the game on 51 minutes it was game, set and match to the Dubs.

Donegal had won the Ulster title on Monday last, defeating Derry in the final and only had five days to recover, which was recognised by Farrell.

“Donegal were a little flat coming into this; their schedule was hectic. They would have wanted to be super human for that not to have had an impact, and that probably came against them today.

“But look, we can only do what we can do and we are happy to be going to an All-Ireland final.

Dublin had really good performances from man of the match, Brian Howard, while Aaron Byrne and Cian Murphy were outstanding as well.

Donegal manager, Declan Bonner, wished Dublin well, but wasn’t happy with the schedule.

“It’s crazy to be quite honest. We had to turn around after an Ulster final in five days and play that match. It’s not fair on the players or anyone else involved and Ulster Council would need to take a good look at themselves in terms of why this was the case. There was no Plan B in place. Every other province had a two-week break before an All Ireland semi- final.”

DUBLIN: E Comerford; D Byrne (0-1), C O’Shea, E Murchan; D Gavin, S McMahon (1-0), C Murphy (0-2); A Foley, T Fox (0-1); G O’Reilly (0-2), A Byrne (0-4,2f), B Howard; C Basquel, C O’Callaghan (0-1,f), D O’Brien. Subs: C Sallier (0-1) for O’Callaghan (bcard 4 mins), A Elliot for Foley (23 mins), D Spillane for Fox (37 mins), A McGowan (0-1) for O’Reilly (47 mins), S Smith for Sallier (56 mins), S Clayton for Basquel (60 mins).

DONEGAL: D Rodgers; C Morrison, S McMenamin, B McCole; C Mulligan, D Ó Baoill, E Bán Gallagher; T McClenaghan, J McGee (0-1); M Carroll (0-1), S McBrearty (0-1), M Coyle; L Connor, M Langan (0-3, 2f), J Brennan. Subs: C Doherty for Coyle (15 mins), N O’Donnell(0-2) for McBrearty (24 mins), E O’Donnell (0-1) for Connor (37 mins), R Carr for Mulligan (42 mins), C McGonigle for McClenaghan (49 mins), S McBrearty for Ó Baoill (55 mins).

Referee: J Bermingham (Cork)

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