Buncrana Cup semi-final: Donegal into final after narrow win over Monaghan

Tom Comack


Tom Comack

Buncrana Cup semi-final: Donegal into final after narrow win over Monaghan

Donegal have booked a Buncrana Cup final meeting with Tyrone following their one point win over Monaghan in Burt.

Donegal  . . . . . .  2-8

Monaghan . . . . . 1-10

In a close and high quality encounter Donegal ere clinging on at the finish and ultimately held out against a game Monaghan outfit.

Jonathan Toye with a goal and three points top scored for Donegal at the end of a tie that saw four different Donegal scorers.

Donegal led by a point at the break, 1-4 to 1-3, having recovered from a slow start and going 1-2 to 0-1 in the opening 12 minutes,

Monagan were all over Donegal in those early exchanges with Sean Jones scoring their goal 11 minutes into the tie.

Padraig McGettigan scored Donegal’s only point of those opening exchanges on nine minutes. Robbie Hanratty and Oisin Fagan scored the Monaghan points.

Jonathan Toye got Donegal up and running on 17 minutes when he hit the Monaghan net after good play and a precision pass from Dylan Doogan.

Pauric McGettigan, who had fine game in the middle of the park, knocked over his second point to tie up the game on the 20 minute mark.

And two quick points, one from a close in free from Doogan, who was a real live wire in the opening half sent, Donegal in one to the good at the break.

The sides were level once again in the second period after Shane O’Donnell pointed for Donegal and Donnacha Swinburne converted two frees for Monaghan.

But Donegal were back in the driving seat again when Cathal Gillespie netted goal number two after a great run from McGettigan.

Gillespie first timed to the net after failing to hold on to the pass from McGettigan.

Donegal were 2-7 to 1-7 up with under ten minutes remaining.

And while they only added one more point - a close in Toye free - three points from Monaghan left the them hanging on for the final whistle.

They had some shaky moments in those closing minutes. Monaghan were unhappy that they had what looked like a good point waved wide and they were twice denied a dramatic late goal thanks to a double goal line save from Rory O’Donnell.

Donegal now face Tyrone in the final. Tyrone defeated Cavan 0-10 to 0-5 in the  other semi-final played in Muff.

The final is timed for a 3.15 pm throw-in.

DONEGAL:  Corey Byrne (Killybegs); Aaron Gilhooley (Sean MacCumhaill's), Cillian Gildea (Killybegs), Charlie Breslin (Killybegs); Matthew Mulholland (Buncrana), Odhran McGlynn (Glenfin), Anthony Doherty (Carndonagh); Michael Coughlan (St Naul's), Padraig McGettigan (St Eunan's 0-2); Leo Dunphy (Naomh Conaill), Shane O'Donnell, (St Eunan's 0-1), Jonathan Toye (Naomh Pádraig, Muff 1-3, 2f); Josh Conlon (Malin), Cathal Gillespie (Gaoth Dobhair 1-0), Dylan Doogan (St Eunan's (0-2, 1f).

Subs: Caolan Gallagher (Termon) for C Breslin,16, Shane Gillespie (Aodh Ruadh) for L Dunphy 31, Eoin Doherty (Aodh Ruadh) for M Mulholland 44, Rory O'Donnell (Milford) for D Doogan 47 mins.

MONAGHAN: Ciaran Duffy; James Clerkin, Jack McGeown, Michael Meehan; Ronan Grimes, Jack Doogan, Conor Corrigan; Jordan McGarrell, Lochlainn Power; Robbie Hanratty (0-1), Aaron Mulligan (0-3, 2f), Sean Jones (1-2); Donnacha Swimburne (0-3, 2f), Andrew Moore, Oisin Fagan (0-1). Subs: David Irwin for A Moore, 21, Ronan McKeown for O Fagan 31.

REFEREE: Paul McKeever (Antrim).