Ryan Toye . . . had an early chance for Donegal Youths
This is a game that won't live long in the memory for the crowds who braved a cold afternoon in Convoy as Mayo came out victors 2-0 over Donegal and that result means they top their section in the FAI Youth interleague league stage and have a home quarter-final while Donegal, courtesy of four points gained in their opening two games, have also qualified for the last eight were they face a trip to Galway.
Donegal Youth League 0
Mayo Schoolboys & Youths AFL 2
Indeed there were very few chances in a scrappy game with early half efforts from Ryan Toye and Eoin Prendergast for either side never really threatening respective netminders Alan Kelly and Eoghan Jordan while Matty Leadbetter also saw a shot flash wide for Mayo.
Mayo though gradually got on top and bossed the majority of the opening period and it was Prendergast and the highly impressive Tommy Forde who set the tone as they began to dominate midfield and it was Forde who opened the scoring on 22 minutes when hitting a rasper to the top corner from the edge of the box when finding himself in acres of space.
Donegal tried to respond but got very little change from the visiting defence and the nearest they came was a tame Keelin Bogle effort on 31 minutes and crucially it was Mayo who doubled their advantage on 43 minutes when again Forde and Prendergast combined with a neat one-two play before Prendergast fired low to the bottom corner.
Donegal then spurned a chance when Ruairi Dennehy failed to find the target with a header on the stroke of half-time and that may have given his side a lifeline as they had a mountain to climb at the break.
Donegal manager Eamon McConigley rang the changes in the second half with Bonagee's Aaron Wasson looking particularly lively and he was a menace against a Mayo side who seemed to be happy to hold their advantage. Donegal came close again through Dennehy, Wasson and some efforts from distance from Edward O'Reilly and Ryan Toye they did not overly trouble Mayo custodian Alan Kelly,
Donegal would need to improve when they travel west for a game which is currently scheduled for next Saturday in what is a quick turnaround.
DONEGAL: Eoghan Jordan, Darren ferry, Ruairi Dennehy, Payul Bradley, Ryan Higgins, Conor McHugh, Darren McElwaine, Ryan Toye, Keelin Bogle, Justin McGee, Edward O'Reilly. Subs: Aaron Wasson for Bogle 57 mins, Darragh Greene for Higgins 59 mins, Dylan Brolly for McElwaine 68 mins, Conor Friel for McGee 73 mins.
MAYO: Alan Kelly, Darragh Jordan, Matty Leadbetter, Aaron McDonnell, Riain O'Connor, Ruairi Nevin, Tommy Forde, Darragh Byrne, Connor Flynn, Eoin Prendergast, Lorcan Conroy. Subs: Mikey Lavelleand Dean Guthrie for Flynn and Conroy 60 mins.
REFEREE: Dessie McLaughlin