Donegal minors put up big fight but fall away in final ten minutes as Monaghan come good

Peter Campbell


Peter Campbell

Donegal put up big fight but fall away in final ten minutes as Monaghan come good

Padraig McGettigan fires home the Donegal penalty. Photo Thomas Gallagher

Donegal minors will wonder how they lost this game against Monaghan in Ballybofey but they are out of the Ulster Championship after failing to take their chances.

Donegal 1-10
Monaghan 1-12

The Donegal side showed marked improvement from their dismal showing against Tyrone, but they failed to raise a flag from the 37th minute to the end and that was the difference.
Monaghan struggled but they found their rhythm in the final ten minutes, hitting five unanswered points to win by two.
It looked as if Monaghan were going to resume where they left off in the Ulster Minor League final when they raced into a 1-2 to no score lead after four minutes.
Michael Meehan had them ahead and Jason Irwin crossed for big full-forward Loughlinn Power to palm home a goal on thre minutes. A minute later Irwin fired over a point.
Donegal got on the scoreboard on six minutes when Shane O'Donnell won a free and Jonathan Toye pointed from distance.
A minute later and Donegal were right back in the contest. A high ball into the Monaghan area was palmed away but 'keeper Raymond Galligan hauled Conor O'Donnell to the ground for a penalty which Padraig McGettigan thumped to the net.
The goal certainly gave Donegal confidence and by the 22nd minute Donegal were two points ahead with points from Toye, O'Donnell and Josh Conlon, all frees.
It should have been better as following the Conlon point, Rory O'Donnell was gifted the kick-out for a straight run on goal but he blazed wide from 10 yards.
Sean Jones pointed a free for Monaghan but Josh Conlon hit back with two points from play, the second of which was a great goal chance which he blazed over.
Sean Jones had another solitary Monaghan point from a free but before half-time good work by Michael Coughlan saw Dylan Doogan point and send Donegal into the dressing room 1-7 to 1-4 in front.
Shane O'Donnell had Donegal four up inside a minute of the restart and they matched Monaghan score by score in those opening second half minutes.
Monaghan relied on Sean Jones (two frees) and Karl Gallagher while Aaron Gilhooley and Shane Gillespie hit two magnificent points to lead 1-10 to 1-7 on 37 minutes.
But Donegal failed to score again, although it wasn't that they didn't have chances, but they hadn't the composure in front of goal.
Monaghan fared little better until the final ten minutes, but then they found their feet with Sean Irwin (free), Andrew Moore and Jason Irwin had them level.
The game was a minute into the three added minutes when Sean Jones edged them ahead from a free and Donegal still had a chance to force extra-time, but in the 34th minute Jason Irwin hit the insurance point.

Scorers - Donegal: Josh Conlon 0-3,1f; Padraig McGettigan 1-0 pen; Shane O'Donnell 0-2,1f; Jonathan Toye 0-2,2f: Aaron Gilhooley, Shane Gillespie, Dylan Doogan 0-1 each.
Monaghan: Sean Jones 0-6,6f; Jason Irwin 0-3; Loughlinn Power 1-0; Karl Gallagher, Andrew Moore, Mark Meehan 0-1 each.

DONEGAL: Corey Byrne; Aaron Gilhooley, Cillian Gildea, Anthony Doherty; Matthew Mulholland, Caolan Gallagher, Michael Coughlan; Padraig McGettigan, Shane Gillespie; Josh Conlon, Shane O'Donnell, Dylan Doogan; Eric Carr, Rory O'Donnell, Jonathon Toye.
Subs., Jamie Grant for C Gallagher 45; Charlie Breslin for Doogan 54; Leo Dunphy for Conlon 61

MONAGHAN: Ryan Farrelly; Ronan Grimes, Jack Doogan, Shane Hanratty; Christopher Flood, Breandan Og O Dufaigh, Jordan McGarrell; Andrew Moore, Joel Wilson; Michael Meehan, Sean Jones, Karl Gallagher; Donnach Swinburne, Loughlinn Power, Jason Irwin.
Subs., Oisin O'Hanlon for J Wilson ht; Darragh Dempsey for Power 40; Robbie Hanratty for K Gallagher bcard 50; Conor Smith for Swinburne 53.

REFEREE: Conor Dourneen (Cavan)