Dominant Donegal much too strong for Cavan

Declan Bonner's side into Ulster Final

Peter Campbell


Peter Campbell



Dominant Donegal much too strong for Cavan

Eoghan Ban Gallagher, part of the Donegal side that defeated Cavan.

Donegal cruised into the Ulster U-21 final with a convincing display over Cavan in Brewster Park, Enniskillen.

Donegal 3-17

Cavan 0-13

Fielding six of the side that turned out against Mayo on Sunday last, they took control early on and once they got into their stride, they looked a polished side.

This Donegal side have a big number of talented players from Ulster minor winning sides of 2014 and 2016 and will be favourites to take the Ulster title.

Cavan opened brightly with Conor Bradley giving the Donegal defence some trouble, but once they got going, there was just one team in it.

Cavan led by 0-3 to 0-2 after five minutes but Donegal then tacked on nine points without reply with some scintillating running football.

Lorcan Connor hit five points, four from frees while Stephen McBrearty (3), Michael Carroll (2) and Cian Mulligan kept the scoreboard ticking. Michael Langan, who had hit 0-13 in the first two games against Tyrone, chipped in with two points, one from play and one from a free.

Before half-time Cavan did hit back with Caoimhin O’Reilly and Ryan Connolly pointing, but they were facing an uphill battle as Donegal led 0-13 to 0-6 at the break.

Donegal had their first goal 45 seconds after the break with Jamie Brennan, Eoghan Ban Gallagher involved as Cian Mulligan fired to the net.

Langan and McBrearty added points and a black card for Michael Carroll didn’t really matter as he had just finished the second Donegal goal to the net a minute earlier in the 45th minute. . It was a score of beauty as Donegal took the ball the length of the field and Carroll combined with Lorcan Connor to palm home. The Gaoth Dobhair man was given a standing ovation as he left the field minutes later.

Ryan Connolly and Donegal substitute Niall O’Donnell traded points before Cavan hit four on the trot, two from Caoimhin O’Reilly and the others from Sean O’Connor and David Brady.

But then Donegal embellished a great display with a third goal, Caolan McGonigle on the end of the move to palm home.

It was an impressive Donegal display on a lovely night for football. Cian Mulligan was my man of the match. Jamie Brennan, although not on the scoresheet, was equally impressive, as was Stephen McBrearty, Stephen McMenamin, Michael Langan, Michael Carroll and Lorcan Connor.

Donegal will meet Derry in the final on Monday night next with the venue likely to be Healy Park, Omagh at 8 p.m. The winners of the Ulster final are due to meet Dublin in the All-Ireland semi-final the following Saturday, April 15th.

DONEGAL: Danny Rodgers; Conor Morrison, Stephen McMenamin, Brendan McCole; Cian Mulligan (1-1), Daire O Baoill, Eoghan Ban Gallagher; Jason McGee, Tony McClenaghan; Christopher McLaughlin, Stephen McBrearty (0-4), Michael Carroll (0-2); Lorcan Connor (0-6,5f), Michael Langan (0-3,1f), Jamie Brennan. Subs., Conor Doherty for McLaughlin ht; Niall O’Donnell (0-1,f) for McBrearty 42; Caolan McGonigle (1-0) for Carroll, bcard 47; Ethan O’Donnell for Langan 48; Rory Carr for Connor 52; Niall Friel for McClenaghan 56

CAVAN: L Brady; M Smart, D Monahan, L Fortune; S O’Connor (0-1), E Sommerville, P O’Reilly; T Galligan, C Daly; P Smith, C Bradley (0-1), M McKenna; C O’Reilly (0-5,5f), B Magee (0-1), R Connolly (0-4,3f). Subs., C Smith for McKenna 37; B Argue for P O’Reilly 42; D Brady (0-1) for P Smith 42; C Reilly for Daly 46; T Donohoe for Magee 50; R Clarke for Bradley 55

REFEREE: S Laverty (Antrim)