Donegal are getting down to prepare for a Nicky Rackard Cup All-Ireland semi-final following Saturday’s quarter final over over Monaghan in Inniskeen.
Donegal . . . . . . . . . . . 4-14
Monaghan . . . . . . . . . 3-14
They will now play Mayo in two weeks time with venue to be decided. Armagh will play Fingal in the other Nicky Rackard semi-final.
Ciaran Mathewson, Ronan McDermott, Kevin Campbell and Lee Henderson scored the goals for Donegal.
Donegal played into the stiff breeze and made light of the elements as they raced into an early 0-3 to 0-0 lead inside the opening seven minutes.
Niall Cleary, Sean McVeigh and Kevin Campbell raised the early white flags.
As the game ebbed and flowed Monaghan responded and courtesy of one from Niall Garland and two points from Fergal Rafter, they had tied up the game for the first time.
And the locals hit the front shortly after when Pat Treanor pounced for the game’s first goal to tie up the game 1-4 to 0-6 with 24 minutes on the clock. Rafter and Garland extended the Monaghan lead out to two points, 1-6 to 0-7.
But there was one more twist when Ciaran Mathewson on the stroke of half-time found the net to leave the minimum between the teams to send Donegal in 1-7 to 1-6 in front at the interval.
Donegal took a firm grip on the resumption. Campbell and McVeigh pointed before Ronan McDermott smashed to the back of the Monaghan net for a 2-9 to 1-8 lead.
And the men from the North West were in cruise control when Henderson made it a 3-12 to 1-9 game before Donegal lost Mark Callaghan to a second yellow .
And while Rafter responded with two quick frees Donegal looked home and hosed when Henderson drilled home goal number four for a 4-12 to 1-11 lead with the clock ticking but two quick Monaghan goals had Donegal reeling. And it took two late points from Mathewson and Cleary to bail them out in the closing minutes.
Donegal: Paul Burns; Padraig Doherty, Justin McGhee, Mark Callaghan; Jack O’Loughlin, Jamsie Donnelly, Christopher McDermott; Paul Sheridan, Danny Cullen; Lee Henderson (1-6, 1-4f), Nall Cleary (0-3), Ciaran Mathewson (1-1); Ronan McDermott (1-0), Kevin Campbell (1-3), Sean McVeigh (0-1). Sub: Sam Doherty for P Sheridan (47).
Monaghan: D McGahon; S McNally, P Finnegan, J Guinan; M Murphy, P Treanor (0-1), C McKenna; S Forde, A Kenny; C Boyle, F Rafter (0-11, 10f), N Garland (0-2, 1f); B McGuigan, M Treanor (1-0), S Lambe (1-0). Subs: T Campbell (1-0) for J Guinan (44); B Connor for S McNally (47).
Referee: M Murtagh (Westmeath)