ULSTER CHAMPIONSHIP, DONEGAL V ANTRIM

Championship fever takes a hold in Ballybofey

Rory Gallagher's side set off on All-Ireland journey

Diarmaid Doherty

Reporter:

Diarmaid Doherty

Email:

sport@donegaldemocrat.com

Ballybofey blessed with big crowds and summer sunshine

Colm McFadden watches the action during the minor game at MacCumhaill Park. Photo: Geraldine Diver.

Ulster championship fever has taken hold in the Twin Towns today as Donegal’s All-Ireland journey swings into action with the visit of Antrim in their provincial quarter-final.

There’s no word on any changes to either side ahead of the 4pm throw-in. Donegal include four championship debutants and are strong favourites to advance to the semi-final.

At half-time in the minor game, Shaun Paul Barrett’s Donegal trail by four points, 1-5 to 0-12.

Antrim were much the better side in the first half and at one stage led by 0-10 to 0-3.

However, the home side got themselves right back into the contest with a fortuitous goal when Peadar Mogan’s attempt for a point from a long-range free dropped into the net over the Antrim keeper Michael Byrne.

The goalkeeper had earlier made a brilliant save to deny Mogan a goal following a wonderful Donegal move.

Antrim carried the greater threat in that first half with Liam Quinn catching the eye at corner-forward scoring five points, two of them from frees.

The first half of the minor game was blessed with lovely sunshine but that soon changed right after half time as the rain came down. Donegal had the aid of the breeze in the second half but conditions were difficult for both teams.