Champions march on: Donegal set up a last-four clash with Tyrone
DONEGAL 2-13 DERRY 0-9
Donegal mastered the north-west derby with a comfortable win over Derry at MacChumhaill Park to set up a last-four clash with Tyrone.
The Tir Chonaill evolution continues. A disciplined defensive strategy still forms the core of their approach, but Jim McGuinness has developed and expanded the plan. A willingness to break at pace and place more emphasis on attacking has seen the project make strides. The return of skipper Michael Murphy, who made his comeback from injury, is another massive boost to the reigning Ulster champions.
Donegal eased into a 0-3 to 0-1 lead by the 12th minute, with Colm McFadden converting two frees, and the busy David Walsh clipping over a neat effort from play.
Unable to unlock the massed home defence, Mark Lynch opted to try his luck from distance, and delighted the travelling support with a superb point. Donegal worked patiently at the strategy, and teenager Paddy McBrearty extended the advantage.
Paddy Bradley, making his first championship appearance since 2010, struggled to make any headway in the constant company of two markers. Bradley did open his account from a 24th-minute free, but with Donegal able to break at pace, the Oak Leaf defence was always on high alert.
On the half-hour, they finally cracked, and it was McFadden's searing run which opened up the Oak defence, his cut-back giving Leo McLoone the opportunity to net from close range. Derry trailed by 1-6 to 0-4 at the break.
Donegal's second goal came when Joe Diver tried to break from midfield, but was dispossessed by a swarm of Donegal tacklers. McGlynn launched the raid, with McLoone providing the pass from which McFadden smashed home.
Scorers -- Donegal: C McFadden 1-2, L McLoone 1-0, M Murphy 0-3 (3f), P McBrearty, D Walsh 0-2 each, R Bradley, N Gallagher, A Thompson, F McGlynn.
Derry: P Bradley 0-6 (5f), M Lynch, SL McGoldrick, E Bradley ('45) 0-1 each.
Donegal: P Durcan; P McGrath, N McGee, F McGlynn; E McGee, K Lacey, A Thompson; N Gallagher, R Bradley; D Walsh, M McHugh, L McLoone; C McFadden, M Murphy, P McBrearty. Subs: S Griffin for McFadden (66), D Molloy for McLoone (66).
Derry: B Gillis; J McCamley, C McCaigue, SL McGoldrick; B McGoldrick, M Craig, E Scullion; J Diver, M Friel; G O'Kane, M Lynch, E Lynn; C Gilligan, P Bradley, E McGuckin. Subs: M Donaghy for McCamley (43), Patsy Bradley for Lynn (45), E Bradley for Gilligan (53), C Kielt for O'Kane (54), E Bradley for Diver (61)
Referee: M Duffy (Sligo.)
Sunday Indo Sport