Sunday 17 December 2017

Donegal hold off late rally to make last four

Donegal 4-14 Monaghan 3-14

It was a nip and tuck first-half which Donegal just edged to lead 1-7 to 1-6 at the break after Ciaran Matthewson netted a goal late in the first half to dent Monaghan’s chances. Stock photo: Sportsfile
It was a nip and tuck first-half which Donegal just edged to lead 1-7 to 1-6 at the break after Ciaran Matthewson netted a goal late in the first half to dent Monaghan’s chances. Stock photo: Sportsfile

Independent.ie newsdesk

Donegal advanced to a semi-final meeting with Mayo in the Nicky Rackard Cup after seeing off Monaghan in Inniskeen despite a late fightback from the home side.

It was a nip and tuck first-half which Donegal just edged to lead 1-7 to 1-6 at the break after Ciaran Matthewson netted a goal late in the first half to dent Monaghan's chances.

Pat Treanor had goaled for Monaghan 10 minutes earlier as the Farney looked to move into the ascendancy.

Donegal pulled away to lead by 11 points at one stage in the second period as Ronan McDermott and Kevin Campbell netted.

When Henderson's free went straight into the Monaghan net, Donegal led 3-12 to 1-9, but corner-back Mark Callaghan was sent off and the Farney mounted a comeback with the advantage of the extra man.

Tadhg Campbell and Stephen Lambe found the net as Monaghan pushed Donegal all the way, but Ardal McDermott's team held on to head into the semi-finals in what proved to be a far from straightforward victory.

Scorers - Donegal: L Henderson 1-6 (1-4f), K Campbell 1-3, C Matthewson 1-1, R McDermott 1-0, N Cleary 0-3, S McVeigh 0-1.

Donegal - P Burns; P Doherty, J McGhee, M Callaghan; J O'Loughlin, J Donnelly, C McDermott; P Sheridan, D Cullen; L Henderson, N Cleary, C Matthewson; R McDermott, K Campbell, S McVeigh. Sub: S Doherty for Sheridan (47).

Ref - Mick Murtagh

Corvan and Coulter seal spot in semis

Armagh 3-19 Longford 2-11

Armagh qualified for Nicky Rackard Cup semi-finals after getting the better of Longford at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park on Saturday.

Starting as firm favourites, Armagh didn't have things all their own way and, up until the final stages of this gripping contest, the game was still in the melting pot.

Early on, Declan Coulter and Conor Corvan landed a number of terrific points for the Ulster men, while Longford's Joe O'Brien kept his side in touch from the placed ball. The Orchard County finished the stronger, however, and two points from Corvan and Peter McKearney gave them a four-point cushion at half-time.

After the break, Armagh defender Paddy McGrane was forced to retire due to a leg injury, and Longford bagged two of their second-half goals thanks to Keelan Cox. Joe O'Brien kept the home side in touch, netting to put just two points between the sides.

But the visitors grabbed two goals courtesy of Stephen Renaghan and Corvan to secure their semi-final spot.

Scorers: Armagh: C Corvan 1-6, D Coulter 1-5, R Gaffney 0-6 (4f), S Renaghan 1-0, J Corvan, P McKearney 0-1 each.

Longford: J O'Brien 1-6f, C Mullane 0-4, K Cox 1-0, P Farrington 0-1.

Armagh: S Doherty, C Clifford, A McGuiness, P McGrane, K McKernan, N Curry, C Toner, J Corvan, S Renaghan, D Carvill, P McKearney, R Gaffney, D Coulter, E McGuiness, C Corvan.

Subs: C Devlin for P McGane (42), O Curry for P McKearney (53), D McKenna for E McGuinness (54), A Toal for K McKernan (67).

Longford; R Murray, G Moore, K Murray, J Gaffney, C McLoughlin, M Coyle, P Corcoran, P Barden, J Casey, K Cox, K Connelly, J Mulhern, J O'Brien, P Farrington, C Mullane.

Subs: E Kiernan for C McLoughlin (32), A Sheridan for G Moore (67).

Ref: P Burke (Kilkenny)

Irish Independent

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