Donegal claim third Ulster title in four years by overpowering Monaghan
Donegal have dethroned reigning Ulster champions Monaghan after a 0-15 to 1-9 victory St. Tiernach's Park in Clones.
It wasn't a game that will live long in the memory but that won't worry Jim McGuinness and his team.
Karl Lacey was the only scorer inside the first 11 minutes after a frantic start with both sides exhibiting their physical prowess before Odhran MacNiallias got another for Donegal.
Colm McFadden pointed a free but Paul Finlay cancelled it out with a glorious left-footed effort from distance.
The game was a real war of attrition and Paul Finlay and Anthony Thompson traded points, that were hard to come by.
Colm McFadden raised another white flag before a very contentious moment as Fintan Kelly's shot was blocked by Donegal keeper Paul Durcan who led with his feet leading to calls for the referee to blow for a foot block or a penalty but Maurice Deegan was unimpressed.
Rory Beggan kicked the resulting 45 with ease.
MacNiallias and Finlay traded points just before the break with Donegal ahead by two.
There was little improvement at the beginning of the second period.
Donegal hit four of the first five points of the half with MacNiallliasm McFadden and Paddy McBrearty on target.
Rory Beggan pulled a point back and then the goal the Farney men desired on the 50 minute mark as Chris McGuinness slammed the ball to the net with the aid of the post and there was a solitary point in it.
Donegal had a chance to grab a goal of their own four minutes later when Anthony Thompson fed Ryan McHugh who blazed his shot over.
Paddy McBrearty hit a sublime point to edge Donegal three in front.
Michael Murphy and Kieran Hughes raised white flags but time was running out for Monaghan.
McBrearty and Vinny Corey were next to score points before Donegal captian Michael Murphy landed a monster free just before added time.
Conor McManus attempted to drop a dangerous ball in but it dropped over in injury time and Donegal retained their title.
Monaghan will now face Kildare in the last round of the qualifiers.