Donegal are into an Ulster semi-final, but they will have to plan without All-Star full-back, Neil McGee, after the Gaoth Dobhair man was shown a straight red card in the win over Fermanagh in Ballybofey.
The semi-final will see Donegal come up against old rivals, Monaghan, who have won the last couple of championship encounters against the Tir Chonaill men.
Two top drawer goals, both finished by Odhran Mac Niallais, was the main difference between Donegal and Fermanagh. Donegal made light of the loss of McGee for the entire second half, but his absence for the Monaghan game will be a different proposition.
Thanks to Mac Niallais’s first goal, Donegal held the upper hand throughout the first half. But Fermanagh finished strongly and had the chance to go ahead on the stroke of half-time when they were awarded a penalty after McGee had been red carded. However, Sean Quigley’s spot kick was poor and Mark Anthony McGinley saved easily.
It was more a boost for Donegal than for Fermanagh as Donegal went to the dressing rooms ahead by 1-6 to 0-7 and the second Mac Niallais goal - a thing of beauty and pace - on 44 minutes, more or less ended the game as a contest.
Mark Anthony McGinley was one of two Donegal championship debutants, the other being Eoin McHugh, and both performed admirably.
Donegal had other standout performers in Frank McGlynn and Ryan McHugh.
The Ulster semi-final will be a double header between Donegal and Monaghan at senior and minor level and takes place in Kingspan Breffni Park on Saturday, 25th June, minor game at 5 p.m. and the senior game at 7 p.m.
Donegal expect to have Karl Lacey back for that game after the Four Masters defender missed out yesterday due to a calf strain.
“If you were to take out the 10 or 12 minute period before half time, I thought we were very good,” said Donegal manager, Rory Gallagher.
“I thought we were way the better team and I thought we were comfortable really in the end.”
As for the McGee red card, Gallagher said: “He's the best full back in the country, but we'll look at the evidence. We'll see what the story is, but if he's out, he's out.”