Donegal hurlers annihilate Monaghan to qualify for Nicky Rackard final in Croke Park

Tom Comack


Tom Comack

Donegal hurlers annihilate Monaghan to qualify for Nicky Rackard final in Croke Park

Action from Donegal v Monaghan. Photo Geraldine Diver

Donegal are heading back to Croke Park and another Nicky Rackard Cup final after this afternoon’s  22 point semi-final win over Monaghan in Owenbeg.

Donegal . . . . . . . .  4-22

Monaghan . . . . . . 1-10

Davin Flynn, at corner-forward, stole the show with a brilliant performance and a personal tally fo 2-11, all but five of the points from play.

But this was far from a one man show as Donegal dominated all over the park.

Gerard Gilmore and Declan Coulter were also sharp  up front while Danny Cullen and Ciaran Mathewson were on top in the middle of the field.

The half-back line of Sean McVeigh flanked by Gavin Browne and Jamesie Donnelly were the launching pad while Padraig Doherty, Christopher McDermott and Stephen Gillespie were on top throughout.  

Donegal got off to an electric start with two goals in the opening six minutes. Flynn hit the first inside the second minute with Kevin Campbell drilling home the second four minutes later.

Gerry Gilmore had also hit the first score of a the game inside 20 seconds.

Though Mark Treanor had drove through from midfield for a Monaghan goal on 13 minutes, a trip down Jones Road was on the cards as early as the end of the first quarter as Donegal led 2-3 to 1-1.

They were streets ahead in all departments and combined the short possession game with the long quick delivery to the inside men.

And Frankie Doherty was definitely ordering the bus for Dublin at half-time. Donegal led by 12 points at the break, 2-12 to 1-3 after completely dominating the second quarter.

Flynn, who was really on fire in the opening half hour, posted six of his eight first half points in the second quarter, Declan Coulter (2)and Jamesie Donnelly also added points.

Brian McGuigan from play and Brian Garland with a late free scored the Monaghan’s points.

Monaghan through Garland, Rafter and Conor Flynn hit the first three points of the second half.

But with Lee Henderson and Ciaran Finn introduced for Bernard Lafferty and Enda McDermott, those Monaghan points were wiped out in a flash.

Flynn once again found the net after a precision delivery from Sean McVeigh.

That was on 55 minutes and Donegal continued to pepper the Monaghan posts with Flynn, Coulter, Danny Cullen, Christopher McDermott, Ciaran Mathewson all hitting the target.

Fergal Rafter hit the three remaining points for Monaghan, who lost full-back Kevin Crawley to a straight red card for a late pull on Danny Cullen.

Donegal will now play Warwickshire in two weeks time on Saturday June 23 in the Nicky Rackard final in Croke Park.

DONEGAL: Paul Burns; Padraig Doherty, Christopher McDermott (0-1), Stephen Gillespie; Gavin Browne, Sean McVeigh, Jamesie Donnelly (0-1); Ciaran Mathewson (0-1), Danny Cullen (0-2); Bernard Lafferty, Declan Coulter (0-5,1f), Enda McDermott; Kevin Campbell (1-0), Gerry Gilmore (0-1), Davin Flynn (2-11, 6f). Subs:  Ciaran Flynn and Lee Henderson for Lafferty and McDermott 40;, Caolan McDermott (1-0) for K Campbell 60, Mark Callaghan for J Donnelly 63, Joe Boyle for D Cullen 67

MONAGHAN: Patrick Bermingham; Jamie Guinan, Kevin Crawley, Brian Flanagan; Martin Murphy (0-1), Peter Treanor, Patrick Finnegan (0-1); Mark Treanor (1-0), Aaron Kenny; Fergal Rafter (0-5, 5f), Brian McGuigan (0-1), Conor Boyle; Niall Garland (0-1), Eamonn Collins, Tadhg Campbell. Subs: Niall Butler for C Bermingham 9 inj, Conor Flynn (0-1) for C Boyle 35, Conor McNally for E Collins 49, Cathal Power for T Campbell 54,  Shane McaNally for N Garland 61.

REFEREE: Chris Mooney (Dublin).