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The game at a glance

Man of the match: Colm McFadden (Donegal): Karl Lacey and Neil McGee were also contenders but when Donegal lost Michael Murphy to a red card and badly needed leadership, McFadden provided it in spades, as well as taking over the free-taking duties.

Turning point

Paddy McBrearty's goal after 21 minutes. It was the first time that Cavan got caught without extra defenders behind the ball and Donegal pushed on to lead by six at half-time, leaving Cavan chasing the game.

Talking point

Ray Cullivan's dismissal after just eight minutes. The Cavan midfielder was certainly first there when going up for a high ball but he left his boot up and the referee deemed it dangerous play.

Ref watch

Marty Duffy didn't have a great game, concentrating hard on handpassing while missing other fouls.

What they said

Jim McGuinness (Donegal manager):

"If we're going to be anywhere near Tyrone, we're going to have to be more economical and intelligent with the ball. Even when we're running it, we should still be able to retain possession."

Terry Hyland (Cavan co-manager):

"We had opportunities and maybe we over-played the ball at times in the conditions. But Donegal were much the better team."

Match statistics

Wides: Donegal 7(4); Cavan 4 (3).

Frees: Donegal 18 (10); Cavan 25 (14).

Yellow cards: Donegal 5 (Cassidy 18, McFadden 42, Thompson 50, Kavanagh 54, McGee 60); Cavan 2 (Keating 60, Smith 60).

Red cards: Donegal 1 (M Murphy 16); Cavan 1 (R Cullivan 8).

Attendance: 9,325.

What next?

Donegal meet Tyrone in the Ulster semi-final on June 25, while Cavan face Longford in the first round of the qualifiers.

Irish Independent