Donegal ease into Ulster Championship semi-final after comfortable six point win over Derry

Peter Campbell


Peter Campbell

Donegal ease into Ulster Championship semi-final after comfortable six point win over Derry

Donegal's Hugh McFadden on his way to scoring a goal as Derry's Paul McNeill gives chase during the Ulster Championship quarter-final in Celtic Park, Derry on Sunday. Photo Thomas Gallagher INDD 29051

Donegal are into the Ulster semi-final after a six point win over Derry in Celtic Park.

Derry 0-16
Donegal 2-16

Just as they did against Cavan, Donegal always looked comfortable in the sun in Celtic Park. They got off to a great start, led by six points at the break, and kept Derry at arm's length right throughout the second half.
There were a number of top class performances, not least Patrick McBrearty and 'keeper Shaun Patton, whose kick-outs were excellent.
Once again Cian Mulligan lit up the game when he came on with a great goal, while Hugh McFadden got the Donegal opening goal after good work by Michael Murphy and Ryan McHugh.
Donegal got off to a flyer with Leo McLoone on the scoreboard on 63 seconds adding to his point against Cavan two weeks earlier.
By the 8th minute Donegal had four points on the board from Michael Murphy, Jamie Brennan and another from McLoone after a great dummy which opened the space for him to shoot.
Derry eventually got on the scoreboard on 11 minutes with Mark Lynch converting a free as Donegal lost full-back, Neil McGee, to injury with Stephen McMenamin coming in.
A minute later they opened the Derry defence with a great move. A mighty kick-out from Shaun Patton was called by Michael Murphy and Hugh McFadden let it hop and then took off for the Derry goal. Murphy found Ryan McHugh who found Jamie Brennan who released the Killybegs man on full throttle and he slid the ball under the advancing Ben McKinless.
Mark Lynch and Emmet Bradley pulled points back for Derry but then Donegal hit three in-a-row from Patrick McBrearty (play and a free) and Ryan McHugh.
Derry had their best patch from the 25th to 33rd minute with Emmett Bradley hitting four points to cut the deficit to three points, 1-7 to 0-7.
But Donegal responded once again, similar to what they did against Cavan, with three more points on the trot and again it was two from McBrearty (one magnificent effort on the run close to the sideline and a free) while Ryan McHugh punished a very bad kick-out that Leo McLoone mopped up and fed the Kilcar man.
Half-time: Donegal 1-10, Derry 0-7.
Donegal were able to match Derry in the second half point for point. Mark Lynch and Emmet Bradley had Derry points while Leo McLoone and Murphy from a 45 replied for Donegal.
Bradley cut the deficit to five but Patrick McBrearty was through but fisted a point and then McB rearty hit a wonder point from distance.
Bradley won and pointed a free and Mark Lynch pointed a free on 55 minutes.
McBrearty added another after taking the ball on the loop after a great move and then blazed wide after a great long kick-out from Patton was latched on to by Ryan McHugh.
James Kielt had a point before Donegal got the second goal they threatened and it was that man again, Cian Mulligan, on the end of a good move involving a kick-out to Caolan Ward, who found Daire O Baoill, who released his clubmate to fire home.
Derry did have a goal chance immediately at the other end but Emmet Bradley hit a post from close distance. Before the end Niall Toner, James Kielt and Mark Lynch had points to a free from McBrearty as Donegal cruised to victory.

Scorers - Donegal: Patrick McBrearty 0-8,3f; Leo McLoone 0-3; Hugh McFadden, Cian Mulligan 1-0 each; Michael Murphy 0-2,1'45'; Ryan McHugh 0-2; Jamie Brennan 0-1.
Derry: Emmett Bradley 0-8,5f; Mark Lynch 0-5,4f; James Kielt 0-2; Niall Toner 0-1.

DERRY: Ben McKinless; Paul McNeill, Brendan Rogers, Karl McKaigue; Kevin Johnston, Christopher McKaigue, Sean Leo McGoldrick; Conor McAtamney, Michael Bateson; Padraig Casssidy, Emmet Bradley, Patrick Coney; Enda Lynn, Shane McGuigan, Mark Lynch.
Subs., Liam McGoldrick for SL McGoldrick; Jack Doherty for Bateson, both ht; Carlus McWilliams for Rogers 52; Niall Toner for McGuigan 54; James Kielt for McAtamney; Peter Hagan for Cassidy, both 61.

DONEGAL: Shaun Patton; Paddy McGrath, Neil McGee, Eoghan Ban Gallagher; Caolan Ward, Paul Brennan, Ryan McHugh; Hugh McFadden, Michael Murphy; Ciaran Thompson, Leo McLoone, Frank McGlynn; Patrick McBrearty, Michael Langan, Jamie Brennan.
Subs., Stephen McMenamin for McGee 11; Odhran MacNiallais for Langan ht; Cian Mulligan for P Brennan 43; Ciaran McGinley for Thompson 49; Daire O Baoill for McGrath 61; Mark McHugh for McGlynn 66.

REFEREE: Maurice Deegan (Laois)