Donegal manager Ardal McDermott . . . happy with Donegal display
Donegal’s interest in the Ulster Senior Hurling Championship, as anticipated, was ended by Antrim in Celtic Park on Saturday.
Antrim . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-24
Donegal . . . . . . . . . . . .1-10
For the best part of the first half Donegal gave a good account of themselves, as they went toe to toe with the highly fancied Antrim men for the first 25 minutes or so and were level with less than ten minutes to half-time.
Antrim are chasing a 16th Ulster Championship in-a-row, having dominated the game in the province for the last two decades.
Davin Flynn scored the Donegal goal on 14 minutes and two minutes later the Tipperary man was the width of a crossbar from scoring a second.
“We acquitted ourselves well in the first half and put in a good performance and it is something we are very happy with,” said Donegal manager, Ardal McDermott.
“But in the end the superior talent of Antrim and playing at a higher level shone through in the second half.”
Lee Henderson once again was scorer-in-chief with eight points, seven of them from placed ball; Danny Cullen and Flynn posted the other points.
Donegal now face Down in a championship relegation play-off next Saturday. Down were defeated by Armagh, in what was something of a surprise result in the other semi-final, also played on Saturday.
DONEGAL: Paul Burns; Dara Grant, Jamesie Donnelly, Padraig Doherty; Joe Boyle, Christy McDermott, Ciaran Finn; Danny Cullen (0-1), Lee Henderson (0-8,7f); Gerry Gilmore, Colm Melaugh, Sean Curran; Stephen Gillespie, Davin Flynn (1-1). Subs: Aidan Stokes for C Finn 29; Cathal Doherty for S Gillespie 60, Ritchie Kee for C Melaugh 65.
ANTRIM: Ryan Elliott; Ruairi Diamond, Paddy Burke (0-1), Ciaran Johnston; Simon McCrory, Odhran McFadden,Joe Maskey; Daniel McKenna (1-2), Paddy McGill (0-1); Maoi Connolly (0-10, 4f,3’65s’), Conor McCann, Niall McKenna (0-4); James McNaughton (2-0), Conor Cannon, Conor Johnston (0-5). Sub: Stephen Rooney for S McCrory, 39.
REFEREE: James Clarke (Cavan).