Walk in the park for Donegal against Antrim

Donegal ease into Ulster semi-final

Peter Campbell


Peter Campbell

 Walk in the park for Donegal against Antrim

Jamie Brennan celebrates Donegal's first goal.

Donegal 3-19

Antrim 1-9

Paddy McGrath got his first goal for Donegal as the home side had it all their way. The game changed just before half-time when Matthew Fitzpatrick blazed wide and Donegal went up the other end for Jamie Brennan to goal.

For much of the first half, it was a lacklustre affair in front of 10,083 spectators.

The sun came out but the play was pedestrian. The sides were level at 0-4 each after 13 minutes. CJ McGourrty and Tomas McCann had Antrim ahead early on before a Michael Murphy free got Donegal on the board.

Tomas McCann added a third before frees from Ciaran Thompson and Murphy had Donegal level. McGourty and Thompson traded frees before Donegal began to get the upper hand.

Thompson added two more, one from play but midfielder Stephen Beatty hit a good reply for Antrim.

Hugh McFadden and McGourty (free) traded points before the game’s big turning point came towards the end of the opening half.

After a quick free Matthew Fitzpatrick, who got his ban overturned to play in this game, was in behind the Donegal defence but blazed his effort wide. From the kick-out Donegal went the length of the field with Michael Carroll and Michael Murphy combining before Jamie Brennan cut through to fire to the net.

To make matters worse, a couple of minutes later Fitzpatrick was stretchered off after picking up what looked like a serious ankle injury and Jamie Brennan popped over a great point from an angle to leave Donegal in control at the break, 1-8 to 0-6.

Frank McGlynn kicked a delightful point with his left early in the second half. Murphy pointed a free. The full forward added three more to one from McGourty to leave Donegal 1-13 to 0-7 clear by the 51st minute.

Then to crown an easy victory Paddy McGrath came all the way up the field to walk the ball to the Antrim net. Patrick McBrearty hit two frees while Karl Lacey also hit the target with his left.

Just to add to Antrim’s misery McBrearty fired home the third goal in added time. They did get a goal from Conor Small with the last kick of the game.

Scorers: Donegal: Michael Murphy 0-6,5f; Patrick McBrearty 1-2,2f; Ciaran Thompson 0-4,3f; Jamie Brennan 1-1; Paddy McGrath 1-0; Michael Langan 0-2; Frank McGlynn, Hugh McFadden, Karl Lacey, Mark McHugh.

Antrim: CJ McGourty 0-6,6f; Conor Small 1-0; Tomas McCann 0-2; Stephen Beatty 0-1

DONEGAL: Mark Anthony McGinley; Paddy McGrath, Neil McGee, Caolan Ward; Eoghan Bán Gallagher; Ryan McHugh, Frank McGlynn; Jason McGee, Michael Murphy; Michael Carroll, Martin O’Reilly, Ciaran Thompson; Cian Mulligan, Hugh McFadden, Jamie Brennan. Subs., Eoin McHugh for Mulligan 45; Karl Lacey for Carroll 50; Patrick McBrearty for Brennan 52; Martin McElhinney for Thompson 56; Mark McHugh for C Ward 60; Michael Langan for McGlynn 64

ANTRIM: Chris Kerr; Conor Hamill, Patrick Gallagher, Peter Healy; Paddy McBride, Declan Lynch, Paddy McAleer; Sean McVeigh, Stephen Beatty; Ruairi McCann, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Mark Sweeney; CJ McGourty, Brendan Bradley, Tómas McCann. Subs., Kevin O’Boyle for Fitzpatrick 35; Jack Dowling for McCann 41; Conor Small for Bradley 52; Domhnall Nugent for McVeigh 56; Niall Delargy for O’Boyle 66

REFEREE: Paddy Neilan (Roscommon)