Action from the Donegal-Cavan Masters game in Convoy. Photo Geraldine Diver
Donegal clinched their place in the All-Ireland Masters semi-final with a comfortable seven point victory over Cavan in Convoy.
Donegal still have one game to play against Antrim but with four wins and a draw they top the group table on nine points.
Cavan are in second place on nine points also with one game - Leitrim/Longford - to play.
Donegal, who were short a number of regulars, laid the foundation for the win in the first half.
They were the better side in the first half and played some delightful flowing football and thanks to points from Brian McLaughlin, Gerard McGrenra, Paul Gallagher and Charlie Bonner and a Seamus Ferry goal they were in command at half-time.
Donegal led 1-9 to 0-1 at the break with Barry McGovern scoring Cavan’s point deep in injury time at the end of the half. Cavan did have their moments in the opening 30 minutes but were guilty of some wayward shooting.
Donegal only scored twice in the second half with Gerard McGrenra and Brian McLaughlin raising the white flags to extend the lead out to 1-11 to 0-1, within ten minutes of the restart.
Donegal did not score again for the remainder of the half as manager Val Murray ran his bench and disrupted the flow of the game.
Cavan did put on a spurt in the fourth quarter and with 16 men on the field to Donegal’s 15 for the bulk of the quarter they posted six points to add a look of respectability to the final score.
McGovern, Michael Clynch (2), Art McShane and Adrian Reilly (2) scored for the Breffni Blues who only travelled with 18 players and fielded a weakened team.
Donegal scorers: Brian McLaughlin 0-4, Gerard McGrenra 0-3,1f, Seamus Ferry 1-0, Paul Gallagher 0-2, Benny Cassidy 0-1, Charlie Bonner 0-1.
Cavan: Barry McGovern 0-2, Michael Clynch 0-2, Adrian Reilly 0-2, Art McShane 0-1.
DONEGAL: Martin Gillespie; Charlie Doherty, Eamonn Doherty, John A McMullan; Adrian McColgan, Sean McDaid, Michael McShane; David McShane, Charlie Gallagher; Dermot McColgan, Gerard McGrenra, Paul Gallagher; Benny Cassidy, Brian McLaughlin, Kerry Ryan. Subs used: Dan Branley, Paul McGlynn, Seamus Ferry, Liam Breen, Kevin Meehan, Stephen Walls, Seamus McGinty, Johnny McGinty.
CAVAN: F Clarke; F Brady, P Sheridan, P Mulligan; R Rogers, S Smith, O Costelloe; C Shields, B Young; A Reilly, B McGovern, M Clynch; T Maguire, A McShane, M Ward. Subs used; B Brady, R Carney, E Gilsenan.
REFEREE: Eugene McHale (Bundoran)