Donegal Schoolboys U-12 team
Despite conceding a late equaliser, the Donegal Schoolboys U-12 side are through to the National semi-final after their game with Cavan/Monaghan at the Lakeside, Ballyshannon today.
Donegal Schoolboys 1
The final scoreline just doesn't do justice to a contest that was totally dominated by a very talented Donegal side. The woodwork and some wonderful goalkeeping contrived to limit Donegal to just one goal.
Even against the breeze in the opening half, Donegal dominated with some very neat combination football, controlled by Caolan Curran in the middle. Captain James McAteer never allowed the visitors a sniff at the back.
Shay Maloney, Sean Patton, Curran and Tiernan McGinty were just off the mark with Adam McDaid just wide from a free kick as the half remained scoreless.
The Donegal management changed things around at half-time with the excellent and lightning fast Aaron McLaughlin moved to centre-forward and it is something of a mystery that he did not get a goal, as he hit the woodwork on a number of occasions and he was also denied by some wonderful goalkeeping from two Cavan/Monaghan 'keepers.
The pressure finally paid off some 12 minutes into the second half when after a corner McLaughlin's header came back off the crossbar but fell for half-time substitute Conor Kelly to drive home from the edge of the box to the roof of the net.
The Donegal management continued to use their bench with Curran and McLaughlin among those rested and it led to Cavan/Monaghan got an equaliser with just three minutes left, with Jack Combes Morris finishing what was the only clearcut chance that they created.
The win gives the Donegal boys a chance to play at the top level in the final stages and with the talent in the squad, it is something that they deserve.
DONEGAL: Cian Gallagher, James McAteer, Ricky Guntrip, Adam McDaid, Tiernan McGinty, Aaron McLaughlin, Caolan Curran, Shay Maloney, Sean Patton. Subs., Conor Kelly, Eoghan Scott, Ciaran Cassidy, Eoghan McPartland, Jamie McMonagle-Quinn, Oisin Harkin.
CAVAN/MONAGHAN: Thomas Brady, Eanna Caratan, Cian Dougherty, Ben Smith, Luke Paaff, Conor Gums, Luke Aliston, Nathan Carolan, Kieran Mullaney. Subs., Ethan McCafferty, Max Maguire, Jack Combes Morris, Jamie McCaughey, Caolan Clerkin, Jack Kierans McArdle, Adam Mullins.
REFEREE: Michael Mulhern