Donegal qualified for the final of the Ulster Under 21 Hurling Shield with a ten point away win over holders Fermanagh in Lisbellaw on Wednesday.
With seven members of the team fresh from Saturday’s Nicky Rackard success in Croke Park, Donegal were favourites to progress. However, Fermanagh started brightly with early points from Daniel Teague. Two Ronan McDermott frees and a fine score by Christopher Bonner had the teams level before Barry Duffy struck a loose ball to net for the home team on 18 minutes. The rest of the half was dominated by Donegal, with two points each from McDermott and Colm Kelly. A late pointed free by Teague left the teams all square at half time, 1-4 to 0-7.
Strong defensive work by both sides and a series of missed frees from Donegal meant there was no further score until the 47th minute, when a Rory Porteous free put Fermanagh in front. The away team responded in style, completely taking over the game from then on. Five scores from play in as many minutes by Christopher McDermott, Bernard Lafferty, Ronan McDermott, Christopher Bonner and Conor Gallen opened a four point gap. Donegal sealed the win with two well taken late goals from Colm Kelly and Justin Browne.
Donegal will play Tyrone this Wednesday in the final, where manager Ray Durack will hope to lead his charges to a second trophy in two weeks.
Fermanagh: Colm McPhillips, Conor McElroy, Niall Carson, Joe Gavin, Odhrán Russell, Thomas Cleary, Cathal McElroy, Daniel Teague (0-4, 4f), Martin Beggan, Michael O’Hara, Rory Porteous (0-1, 1f), David McGorman, Barry Duffy (1-0), Ronan McCusker, Daniel Goodwin. Subs: John Reilly, Cathal Caulfield, Vincent Woods, Michael Williamson, David Teague, Brian McDermott, Rory McGrade, Kevin Curran.
Donegal: Dylan Laverty, Francis Lennon, Padraig Doherty, Mark Callaghan, Christopher McDermott (0-1), Shane Gallen, Colm Flood, Justin Browne (1-0), Conor Parke, Ronan McDermott (0-5, 3f), Conor McVeigh, Christopher Bonner (0-2), Bernard Lafferty (0-1), Conor Gallen (0-1), Sean Curran. Subs: Colm Kelly (1-2)(20 mins), Tiarnan McConnell (55 mins), Ciaran O’Leary (55 mins), Ryan Duffy (56 mins), Eoin Friel (58 mins), Gavin Browne, Colm Melaugh.