McBrearty leads Donegal into semi-final
Donegal 4-17 Monaghan 0-19
Paddy McBrearty's impressive tally of 1-8 helped Donegal book their place in the semi-final of the Dr McKenna Cup with this very comfortable victory over Monaghan in Clones yesterday.
This was an even enough contest in the first half as the sides traded scores regularly but Monaghan only led once in the entire contest, after 22 minutes when a point by Jack McCarron gave them a slender lead.
Donegal were ahead at half-time by 2-9 to 0-10, with goals by Odhran MacNiallais in the seventh minute and Ryan McHugh in the 20th minute, both on quick counter-attacks.
Monaghan had a glorious chance in the opening minute of the second-half when they were awarded a penalty, but McCarron was uncustomarily off target from the spot-kick and Donegal effectively wrapped it up with two further goals, from man of the match McBrearty (pictured) in the ninth minute and Jamie Brennan in the 15th minute.
Monaghan continued to plug away but Donegal were now well in control and Monaghan's misery was further compounded two minutes into stoppage time when they were awarded a second penalty, but Donegal stand-in keeper Sean Patton denied Micheal Bannigan from the spot as they eased through to a semi-final meeting with Armagh on Wednesday night. After the game both sides agreed to toss a coin this morning to see whether the match will be in Ballybofey or the Athletic Grounds in Armagh.
Scorers - Donegal: P McBrearty 1-8 (0-4f), J Brennan 1-3 (0-1f), R McHugh 1-1, O MacNiallais 1-1 (0-1f), D O'Connor 0-3, M McHugh 0-1. Monaghan: J McCarron 0-8 (5f), M Bannigan 0-3 (2f), J Mealiff 0-2, C McCarthy 0-2, D Ward, J Wilson, N McAdam and O Duffy 0-1 each.
Donegal - S Patton, L McLoone, C Ward, P Brennan, T McCleneghan, S McMenamin, R McHugh, N Mullins, H McFadden, C McGonigle, O Mac Niallais, M McHugh, J Brennan, P McBrearty, D O'Connor. Subs: J McGee for H McFadden, M O'Reilly for M McHugh, C McGinley for N Mullins, B McCole for R McHugh, S McBrearty for P McBrearty, E Doherty for T McCleneghan.
Monaghan - S Garland, D McArdle, P McGuirk, B Kerr, J Mealiff, F Kelly, F Connolly, D Hughes, K Duffy, D Freeman, C McCarthy, D Ward, M Bannigan, J McCarron, J Wilson. Subs: J McCarron for D McArdle, N McAdam for K Duffy, K O'Connell for J Mealiff, O Duffy for D Freeman,T Kerr for J Wilson, S Finnegan for F Connolly.
ref - J McQuillan (Cavan).