Donegal clinch Ulster title in impressive style

Declan Bonner's side win first provincial title since 2010

Peter Campbell


Peter Campbell



Donegal clinch Ulster title in impressive style

Donegal's Michael Carroll in action during Monday night's Ulster Final. Photo: Philip Magowan / PressEye.

Donegal lifted their eighth Ulster U-21 title with a scintillating performance against Derry in the Athletic Grounds, Armagh.

Donegal 3-17
Derry 0-13

The game turned just before the break when Jamie Brennan created a soccer style goal for Lorcan Connor and from then on Donegal were always on top.
Brennan was majestic throughout, while Michael Langan again showed his prowess from placed balls. Jason McGee also lorded the skies around midfield. The Donegal supporters in the 3,521 crowd were able to enjoy the final quarter.
Derry were not helped when they lost full-back Oisin Duffin to a red card early in the second half and minutes earlier they had also lost their best forward, Shane McGuigan, to a black card.

Jamie Brennan being presented with the Man of the Match award

There was a super end to the first half for Donegal as Jamie Brennan lit up the Athletic Grounds, winning the ball on the half-way line near the sideline and setting off on a dribble until he got to the 20m line. He then picked out Lorcan Connor, who fired to the Derry net.
It gave Donegal a lift after they had struggled to contain a Derry side, who caused many problems for their defence.
Indeed, after the goal, Brennan was involved again immediately, setting up Jason McGee for a point and it sent Donegal to the dressing rooms ahead by 1-8 to 0-7.
Up to the goal it was not going as expected for Donegal. Danny Tallon had the opening point from a free on 52 seconds before Donegal got going to hit four points from Lorcan Connor (two frees), Michael Langan (45) and Michael Carroll with his fist. Carroll was almost in for a goal early on, but Derry had three goal chances at the other end, with a poor final pass saving Donegal.
Danny Tallon (free) and Peter Hagan cut the Dongal lead before Michael Langan landed his second '45' on 14 minutes.
But Derry kept coming forward and by the 21st minute they were 0-6 to 0-5 in front, thanks to points from Shane McGuigan (free and play) and Conor Doherty.
Jamie Brennan levelled matters on 23 minutes with a good score from distance, and Jason McGee edged Donegal ahead three minutes later, getting a second chance after his first effort was blocked.
Then came the Brennan dribble and the Connor goal and Donegal supporters were happy once more.
Donegal started the second half really well with Jason McGee winning a free for Connor to point and then Cian Mulligan threw a lovely dummy before pointing.
Jack Doherty replied for Derry but they were dealt a serious blow when their best forward, Shane McGuigan was black carded.
It got even worse as Michael Langan pointed a free and Derry lost Oisin Duffin to a red card, black carded as he pulled down Jamie Brennan, who chased a poor kick-out. From the free Lorcan Connor made it 1-12 to 0-8 after 41 minutes.
Despite the numerical disadvantage, Derry kept trying. Eoghan Ban and Michael Carroll fisted points, while Jamie Brennan was denied a goal as his effort was somehow taken off the line.
But the goal that was threatened arrived on 56 minutes as Ethan O'Donnell found himself in space and he rounded his man to fire to the net.
As sometimes happens, Derry were cut open for a third goal as Donegal went the length of the field for Michael Carroll to palm to the net.
It put the finishing touch on another very good performance from this U-21 team who now take on Dublin in the All-Ireland semi-final in Breffni Park on Saturday next at 2.30.

Scorers - Donegal: Lorcan Connor 1-5,5f; Michael Langan 0-3,2'45s',1f; Jason McGee 0-2; Michael Carroll 1-2; Ethan O'Donnell 1-0; Cian Mulligan, Jamie Brennan, Eoghan Ban Gallagher, Conor Morrison, Niall O'Donnell 0-1 each
Derry: Danny Tallon 0-3,3f; Shane McGuigan 0-2,1f; Peter Hagan 0-2,1f; Cathal Mulholland, Jack Doherty, Patrick Coney, Conor Doherty, Jordan Curran, Niall Keenan 0-1 each.

DONEGAL: Danny Rodgers; Conor Morrison, Stephen McMenamin, Brendan McCole; Cian Mulligan, Dáire Ó Baoill, Eoghan Bán Gallagher; Tony McClenaghan, Jason McGee; Michael Carroll, Stephen McBrearty, Colm Kelly; Lorcan Connor, Michael Langan, Jamie Brennan.
Subs: Conor Doherty for Kelly 24; Niall O'Donnell for McBrearty 40; Ethan O'Donnell for C Doherty 53; Christy McLaughlin for Connor 56; Caolan McGonigle for Langan 58; Danny Monagle for Mulligan 60

DERRY: Ben McKinless; Niall Keenan, Oisin Duffin, Conor McGrogan; Cathal Mulholland, Michael McEvoy, Jordan Curran; Jack Doherty, Patrick Kearney; Peter Hagan, Dean Curran, Patrick Coney; Danny Tallon, Shane McGuigan, Conor Doherty.
Subs: Tiernan Flanagan for McGuigan, bcard 36; Jamie Donaghy for C Doherty; Eamonn Magill for Curran, both 44; Francis Kearney for Coney 58

REFEREE: Sean Hurson (Tyrone)