Glass shatters favourites to kick Derry to provincial final
AFL-bound Conor Glass kicked seven points as Derry scored a surprise win over Ulster MFC favourites Donegal on Saturday in Clones.
Glass was the big difference on a day that saw Donegal fail to reach the dizzying heights they'd hit in the wins over Tyrone and Armagh.
Glass is one of the brightest young players in Ulster but Derry are set to lose his services once he moves to Australian Rules club Hawthorn. Glass shattered Donegal, who were well below their best.
And yet, on a dramatic evening, Donegal could have stolen the win late in the day. With 30 seconds of the three minutes of added time remaining, Donegal - trailing by two at the time - were awarded a penalty, but Conor Doherty's effort flew over the crossbar.
It would have been rough justice on Derry had Donegal snatched the win for the Oak Leaf had been the better side.
Glass and Patrick Kearney were dominating the midfield exchanged and it was the flame-haired Glass who turned the tide in Derry's favour with two '45s and a free after Donegal had the brighter start.
Derry led 0-5 to 0-3 at the break.
When Glass, twice, and McGuigan pointed to stretch the Derry lead out to five points, the writing was on the wall for Donegal, but they refused to wilt without a fight.
Rory Carr hit their first point in 17 minutes when he landed a '45 and, after frees from O'Donnell and Doherty, Carr stepped up to nail a 55-metre free straight out of the Michael Murphy catalogue.
Two Glass points kept Derry in control and Damien McErlaine's team managed to survive a late scare when Doherty's penalty cleared Callum Mullan-Young's crossbar.
Scorers - Derry: C Glass 0-7 (3f, 2 '45s), S McGuigan 0-3 (1f), P Kearney 0-1. Donegal: E O'Donnell 0-4 (4fs), C Doherty (1f, 1 pen), R Carr (1f, 1 '45) 0-3 each.
Derry - C Mullan-Young; N Keenan, C McGrogan, C Maunsall; O Duffin, M McEvoy, E Concannon; P Kearney, J Doherty; P Coney, S Downey, C Glass; T Flanagan, B Grant, S McGuigan. Subs: F Higgins for Grant (38), N McAtamney for Duffin (54), B Cassidy for Kearney (54).
Donegal - D Rodgers; S Ferry, S McMenamin, G McFadden; D Ó Baoill, B McCole, P McNern; J McGee, M Carroll; N O'Donnell, M Langan, E O'Donnell; C Doherty , R Carr, N Ó Baoill. Subs: M Coyle for N O'Donnell (h-t), K Barrett for McCole (34), E McGettigan for N Ó Baoill (53), P Doherty for Langan (56).
Ref - S Laverty (Antrim)