Donegal storm past 14-man Monaghan
Donegal 4-9 Monaghan 1-5: EirGrid Ulster U-21 semi-finals
Published 02/04/2015 | 02:30
Donegal cruised through to the Ulster U-21 Football Championship final with a comfortable win over 14-man Monaghan in atrocious conditions at Healy Park.
Monaghan lost midfielder Conor Lavelle to a yellow/black card combination after 25 minutes when they were just two points behind. But with Ryan McHugh running the show for Donegal, they made the extra man count in the second period and were never in danger of losing this one.
Donegal finally unlocked a stubborn Monaghan defence with a devastating 2-4 salvo in the space of six minutes.
Corner-backs Conor Morrison and Jack O'Brien combined for the opening goal on 27 minutes, the latter punching to the net.
Two minutes later, McHugh spooned the ball cleverly into the path of Lorcan Connor, and he finished clinically.
Donegal led by 2-5 to 0-2 at the break, but Monaghan gave themselves a lifeline with a Conor McCarthy goal.
That was as good as it was to get for Finbarr Fitzpatrick's side, as Donegal finished them off with another blitz at the beginning of the final quarter, including a spectacular Ciaran Thompson goal.
They finished the job off with a second Connor goal seven minutes from the end, punched home at the far post.
Scorers - Donegal: L Connor 2-0, C Thompson 1-2, J O'Brien 1-0, H McFadden 0-2 (1f), E McHugh, D O'Connor, E McGrath, W Gillespie 0-1 each.
Monaghan: C McCarthy 1-1 (0-1f), F McGeough (f), F McMahon (f), R McAnespie, D Ward, D McDaid 0-1 each.
Donegal - D Rodgers, C Morrison, C Parke, J O'Brien, R McHugh, D Mulgrew, E Gallagher, T McCleneghan, C Thompson, O Crawford, D McDaid, D O'Connor, L Connor, H McFadden, E McHugh. Subs: E McGrath for Mulgrew (BC), W Gillespie for Crawford, S McBrearty for McGrath, McGrath for McDaid, J Brennan for O'Connor, C O'Donnell for McCleneghan
Monaghan - D Kirk, R Wylie, M Murnaghan, K Loughran, D Ward, S Conlon, F Malone, C Lavelle, B Greenan, R McAnespie, D McAllister, P Keenan, C McCarthy, F McGeough, F McMahon. Subs: D Meegan for McMahon, A Treanor for Conlon, M McCarville for Keenan
Ref - K Trainor (Down)