Donegal U-17's have an Ulster semi-final against Tyrone to look forward to. Photo: Joe Boland (North West Newspix)
At one stage Donegal saw a 16-point lead whittled down to three at one stage against Monaghan before steadying themselves to book an Ulster semi-final spot.
Karl Joseph Molloy, Conor McGinty, Daithi Gildea, and Cian McGee scored the goals in the first half as Donegal bounced back from last weekend’s five-point defeat by Derry in Owenbeg.
This was a much improved performance from the Derry game as Donegal set their stall out from the word go. And they raced into an early lead and led 2-3 to 0-1 inside seven minutes with Molloy and McGinty finding the net.
Molloy scored the first goal on seven minutes after good approach play from McDevitt and Ryan Barrett, who was the one change from the team that lost to Derry. The Bundoran man replaced Sean McLaughlin. Barrett also had a hand in the second goal when he set up McGinty.
Max McGinnity and Tommy Mallon scored Monaghan’s opening two points. With Donegal totally on top around the middle of the field, they continued to press and added a further two goals and three points before Monaghan closed out the half with a late Mallon point and a goal from their top forward McGinnity.
Gildea and Cian McGee scored the third and fourth goals, which set up a 4-6 to 0-2 lead for Luke Barrett’s men. Donegal led by 12 points, 4-6 to 1-3, at half-time, with McGinnity.the Monaghan goalscorer.
Monaghan were transformed on the resumption and they clocked up a goal and five points with McGinnity scoring the goal as they totally dominated the third quarter. And when Bobby McCaul rattled the roof of Donegal’s net seconds after Cian McMenamin kicked Donegal’s first point of the second period.
That was on 44 minutes. And so with under a quarter hour left on the clock the margin was back to three, 4-7 to 3-7, and the game was on all over again. But with the locals chasing they were committed forward and Donegal hit them on the break. And Mark McDevitt, Karl J Molloy, Cian McMenamin, Sean Martin and Sean McLaughlin hitting the target Donegal finished with a flourish and a place in the last four. They will face Tyrone in that semi-final next weekend.
Donegal scorers: Karl J Molloy 1-3,2f; Daithi Gildea 1-2,1f; Conor McGinty 1-1; Cian McGee 1-0, Cian McMenamin 0-2, Lorcan McGee 0-1, Mark McDevitt 0-1, Sean Martin 0-1, Sean McLaughlin 0-1.
Monaghan scorers: Max McGinnity 2-4, 2f, Bobbie McCaul 1-0, Tommy Mallon 0-2, Eoghan McFarland 0-1.
Monaghan: Oran Finnegan; Conor Curran, Niall Meehan, Shane Freeman; Johnny Laville, Charlie McQuillan, Packie Doogan-Burke; DJ McElvaney, Sahil Arya; Canice Murphy, Tommy Mallen, Shea Casey; Max McGinnity, Eoghan McFarland, Bobby McCaul. Subs: Shea Casey for Finlay Foy (h/t); Jack Lynch for S Freeman (h/t); Sean O'Connell for Mallon (55), Nathan McGeough for Murphy (60).
Donegal: Zach Conlon; Shaun McMenamin, Niall Prenderville, Donal Gallagher; Finbar Roarty, Eoghan Kelly, Sean Martin; Cian McGee, Lorcan McGee; Karl Joseph Molloy, Conor McGinty, Cian McMenamin; Mark McDevitt, Ryan Barrett, Daithi Gildea. Subs: Odhran Doherty for C McGee (h/t); Padraig Coyle forD Gildea (35); Sean McLaughlin for R Barrett (50), Kevin Lynch for K J Molloy (56), Seanan Carr for M McDevitt (60).
Referee: Barry McMenamin (Cavan).
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