Donegal's hopes of FAI Inter Youth League succcess in 2019 were ended when they lost out 3-0 to Mayo at Diamond Park on Saturday afternoon.
Donegal Youth League . . . 0
Mayo Youth League . . . 3
Diamond Park sparkled despite the huge deluge of rain on Friday evening and much credit is due to the groundstaff. However, it's the Mayo men who emerged deserving winners while Donegal's cause wasn't helped by the 60th minute sending off of defender Oran Winston for a deliberate handball.
Donegal started brighter and Joel Gorman brought a save from Mayo goalkeeper Brian McMahon. But it was Mayo who took the lead on 17 minutes when Ben Edeh did well scampering down the right before his cross was turned on to the post by Dylan Walker. The lively Jamie McCardle was on hand to net despite the best efforts of Jack Dwyer to clear.
Donegal came into the game and Luke McCarry and Conor O'Donnell both had good chances but couldn't convert while Oran Winston came close with a header from a Dwyer corner.
Disaster struck Donegal in the 59th minute when Winston saw red when he deliberatly handled McCardle's golbound effort.
Cormac Caulfield hammered home the resultant penalty and it was always going to be an uphill task after that. The win was sealed for Mayo when Dylan Walker showed composure to finish a quick breakaway move on 71 minutes.
Mayo were deserving winners while for Donegal they will hope the experience will do the young side good having handed a number of county debuts to a number of players still eligible for the competition next season.
Donegal: Oisin Cannon, Jack Dwyer, Conor Coll, Matthew McLaughlin, Oran Winston, Conor Friel, Eoin Logue, Joel Gorman, Conor O'Donnell, Stephen McFadden, Luke MCCarry
Subs used; Nathan Plumb, Noel Donnelly, James Kernan, Dean Murray and Caolan McConnell.
Mayo: Brian McMahon, James Cunningham, Michael Fahy, Oran Gallagehr, Ruairi Henry, Cillian Redmond, Ben Edeh, Cormac Caulfield, Jimmy McCardle, Dylan Walker, Liam Durkan.
Subs used; Jordan Waldron, Evan Reape, Thomas Gillespie, Michel O'Hora, Sean Murphy.
Refereee: Marty McGarrigle.