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Donegal downed the
Kingdom back in 1987 too

This Sunday on county final day there is a departure from the norm when honouring a team from the past with the All-Ireland winning U-21 Donegal team being remembered.

This Sunday on county final day there is a departure from the norm when honouring a team from the past with the All-Ireland winning U-21 Donegal team being remembered.

The multi-talented squad was backboned by the players from Killybegs, who had dominated underage football around that time.

Under the management of current county chairman, PJ McGowan, assisted by Jimmy White and Joe Winston, they needed a replay to finally close out the final against a Kerry side that included Mick Galwey, who was to later to represent Munster and Ireland at rugby with distinction.

It was no surprise that Manus Boyle was the main marksman for Donegal, something that he was emulate throughout his career, hitting big totals in the big games.

One of the memories of the final is of captain John ‘Razda’ Cunningham doing a jig on the platform after he was presented with the Clarke Cup by Mick Loftus, then President of the GAA.

In what must have been the longest ever All-Ireland winning campaign at this level, Donegal had to play eight matches to finally succeed, with their Ulster final and All-Ireland final games going to replays.

They had started with a one point win over Fermanagh at the end of March in their only home game of the campaign, before accounting for Derry, Armagh and Monaghan (after replay).

In the All-Ireland semi-final they defeated Laois in Carrick-on-Shannon before travelling to take on Kerry in Tuam. A John Cunningham penalty helped them to a replay and in the replay a month later in Dr. Hyde Park, Roscommon, they were victorious by 1-12 to 2-4.

The full campaign was as follows:

March 14, Ballyshannon, preliminary round

Donegal 2-7, Fermanagh 2-6

Scorers: Luke Gavigan 2-0; Manus Boyle 0-4; Dermot Ward 0-2, Barry McGowan 0-1.

April 4, Bellaghy, first round

Donegal 3-5, Derry 1-7

Scorers: Manus Boyle 1-3; Barry Cunningham 1-1; Tommy Ryan 1-0; Brian Mor Gallagher 0-1

April 19, Lurgan, Ulster semi-final

Donegal 1-9, Armagh 1-6

Scorers: Manu Boyls 1-3; Paddy Hegarty, Luke Gavigan 0-2 each; Joey McDermott, Barry McGowan 0-1 each.

May 3, Irvinestown, Ulster final

Donegal 0-7, Monaghan 1-4

Scorers: Dermot Ward 0-2; Manus Boyle, Barry Cunningham, Joey McDermott, Barry McGowan, John Sweeney 0-1 each.

May 10, Irvinestown, Ulster final replay

Donegal 1-11, Monaghan 0-8

Scorers: Paddy Hegarty 1-1; Manus Boyle, Dermot Ward, Barry McGowan, Barry Cunningham 0-2 each; Luke Gavigan, Tommy Ryan 0-1 each.

May 17, Carrick-on-Shannon, All-Ireland semi-final

Donegal 1-7, Laois 1-6

Scorers: Dermot Ward 1-1; Manus Boyle 0-4, Barry McGowan, Tommy Ryan 0-1 each.

June 7, Tuam, All-Ireland final

Donegal 1-7, Kerry 0-10

Scorers: Mamus Boyle 0-4; John Cunningham 1-0 pen; Barry Cunningham, Luke Gavigan, Dermot Ward 0-1 each.

July 5, Dr. Hyde Park, Roscommon - All-Ireland final replay

Donegal 1-12, Kerry 2-4

Scorers: Manus Boyle 1-7; Tommy Ryan, Seamus Ward, Dermot Ward, Paddy Hegarty and Barry McGowan 0-1 each.

The full scoring list from the eight games read

Manus Boyle 3-28

Dermot Ward 1-9

Luke Gavigan 2-4

Barry Cunningham 1-5

Paddy Hegarty 1-4

Barry McGowan 0-7

Tommy Ryan 1-3

John Cunningham 1-0

Joey McDermott 0-2

Brian Mor Gallagher 0-1

John Sweeney 0-1

Seamus Ward 0-1

The team in final replay was: Danny Gallagher (Dungloe); John Joe Doherty (Naomh Columba), John Connors (Dungloe), Thomas Maguire (Ardara); Diarmaid Keon (Aodh Ruadh), John Cunningham (Killybegs, capt), Paul Carr (Naomh Columba); Barry Cunningham (Killybegs), John Ban Gallagher (Killybegs); Paddy Hegarty (Naomh Columba), Tommy Ryan (Termon), Barry McGowan (Killybegs); Dermot Ward (Glenfin), Manus Boyle (Killybegs), Luke Gavigan (Ardara). Sub used: Seamus Ward (Glenfin).

For the first game in Tuam, the same team started with Conor White (Killybegs) and Joey McDermott (Glenfin) coming on as substitutes.

Ohers on the panel included:

Brian Gallagher (Gaoth Dobhair); Cormac McGarvey (Naomh Mhuire); Peter McIntyre (St. Eunan’s); Emmet Golden (Bundoran); John Sweeney (Dungloe); and Semus Doohan (Cloughaneely).

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