Murphy stars for Donegal
SENIOR stars Michael Murphy and Leo McLoone were in inspiring form at Brewster Park on Saturday as Derry u-21s were overwhelmed by the power and pace of 14-man Donegal.
The winners were looked in trouble when midfielder Peter McGee received a straight red card in the 28th minute, but they coped admirably with their numerical disadvantage.
Full-forward Murphy, the Young Footballer of the Year, grabbed his side's goal in the opening half when he forced the ball over the line at the second time of asking after Andrew Warnock had done well to save the initial shot.
That goal helped Donegal to a 1-5 to 0-3 advantage at the break. McCloone also produced a sparkling performance at centre-forward.
Only the free-kicks of James Kielt -- another player with senior experience -- offered any significant resistance for Derry.
Overall, this was a brilliant team performance from Jim McGuinness's men, who will enter Wednesday night's final against Cavan back in Enniskillen as hot favourites to win the title.
Scorers -- Donegal: M Murphy 1-3 (3f); D Molloy (2f), D McLaughlin, L McLoone 0-2 each; J Carroll, D Walsh 0-1 each. Derry: J Kielt 0-7 (6f, 1 '45); L Moore 0-2 (1f); A Kerrigan 0-1.
Donegal -- P Boyle; E Doherty, C Boyle, P McGrath; D Walsh, K Mulhern, C Classon; P McGee, D Curran; M McHugh, L McLoone, D Molloy; J Carroll, M Murphy, D McLaughlin. Subs: A McFadden for Carroll (34 mins), C McGinley for McLaughlin, T McKinley for Curran.
Derry -- A Warnock; D Bell, C Lagan, O Duffy; C Nevin, B Doyle, B McCallion; B Herron, C O'Boyle; B Henry, J Kielt, E McGuckin; A Kerrigan, L Moore, L Kennedy. Subs: S Cleery for Henry, C McGoldrick for Kennedy, C McFeeley for Lagan, D Mullan for Cleery, P Dillon for O'Boyle.