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McCrickard swings thriller Mourne way

Eirgrid Ulster U-20 FC: Down 4-15 Antrim 3-13

At the end of an uneventful opening quarter, the sides were deadlocked on 0-5 each, but the game exploded into life with three goals in the space of 90 seconds. (Stock photo)
At the end of an uneventful opening quarter, the sides were deadlocked on 0-5 each, but the game exploded into life with three goals in the space of 90 seconds. (Stock photo)

Independent.ie newsdesk

The goals rained in at Pairc Esler as Down overcame Antrim in a thrilling quarter-final.

At the end of an uneventful opening quarter, the sides were deadlocked on 0-5 each, but the game exploded into life with three goals in the space of 90 seconds.

First Eamon Fyffe sent Kevin Small in for a brilliant finish, but Down responded with goals from Conor McCrickard and Owen McCabe.

Late in the half, Antrim were awarded a penalty, which Fyffe drilled to the net, but Down, who had hit quality points through McCabe, Josh Connery and McCrickard, led by 2-8 to 2-6 at the break.

Pierce Laverty's goal stretched the lead to six but Liam Quinn responded.

But when McCrickard grabbed his second, Down had a cushion which saw them safely to the finish, with Daniel Guinness bringing his tally to four points.

Scorers - Down: C McCrickard 2-2, O McCabe 1-2, Pierce Laverty 1-1, D Guinness 0-4, J Connery, L Kerr 0-2 each, G McKibben, A Devlin 0-1 each.

Antrim: K Small 1-3 (0-3f), E Fyffe (1-0 pen), L Quinn (0-2f) 1-2 each, J Smith 0-2, D McErlain, T McAteer, E McCabe, D Smith 0-1 each.

Down - D Ross; B Gallen, F McIlroy, A Lynch; C Cox, O McConvey, S Annett; L Middleton, J Connery; O McCabe, P Laverty, D Guinness; A Devlin, C McCrickard, G McKibben. Subs: J McCartan for Connery (h-t), L Kerr for Devlin (40), R Martin for Gallen (43), R Fegan for McCabe (56), C Gorman for McKibben (59).

Antrim - C Walsh; M Hamill, S Kelly, A Mulholland; E McCabe, D McCormick, P McCormick; J Smith, D Smith; E Nagle, T McAteer, D McErlain; K Small, E Fyffe, L Quinn. Subs: M McNamee for Hamill (24), P Finnegan for Kelly (46), M Hagan for J Smith (52), R Kelly for Small (56), D Smith for McErlain (60).

Ref - M Farrelly (Cavan)

O'Donnell delivers for Donegal

Donegal 2-21 Cavan 0-10

Donegal proved too strong for Cavan as they breezed through the qualifier round at Celtic Park yesterday.

Niall O'Donnell took the Man of the Match honours with a spectacular 1-12 before he was withdrawn from play with 10 minutes left.

At 1-10 to 0-4 up at the break Donegal were set and O'Donnell had already amassed five points.

He found able support from Shane McGrath, Patrick Dolan, Peadar Mogan, and Oisín Gallen. Best of all was Nathan Boyle's bullet of a goal in the 24th minute.

Cavan found scores much harder to come by with the Smiths - Jason, Conor and Stephen - hitting three of their four first-half points.

It was more of the same after the break as O'Donnell continued to impress, before points from Oisín Pierson and Conor Smith left the Breffni men trailing 1-19 to 0-8.

When O'Donnell palmed home a second goal in the 50th minute it was all over, as Gary McDaid's men made a serious statement of intent.

Scorers - Donegal: N O'Donnell 1-12 (10f), N Boyle 1-0, S McGrath 0-3, P Mogan and O Gallen 0-2 each, C O'Donnell and P Dolan 0-1 each.

Cavan: C Smith 0-2, J Smith, S Smith (1f), L Molloy, C O'Reilly, T Donohoe, O Pierson, C Madden (1f) and R O'Neill 0-1 each.

DONEGAL - E O'Boyle, P McEniff, A Deeney, P Mogan; N Boyle, M Curran, S O'Fearraigh; J McGee, O McFearraigh; P Dolan, B Diver, S McDevitt; S McGrath, O Gallen, C O'Donnell. Subs: C McFadden for S McDevitt (HT), R Cunningham for N Boyle (HT), T Govorov for O Gallen (39), E McCormick for J McGee (50), S Carr for O McFearraigh (53 BC), L Molloy for N O'Donnell (57)

CAVAN: G O'Rourke, P O'Reilly, L Fortune, F McAvinue, C O'Reilly, C Brady, P Rogers, J Smith, C Rehill, L Molloy, T Donohoe, S Smith, O Pierson, C Smith, L Reilly. Subs: C Madden for L Reilly (HT), G Daly for C OI'Reilly (47), E Cooney for P O'Reilly (55)

Ref - P McKeever (Antrim)

Irish Independent

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