Donegal 0-16 Cork 1-11
DONEGAL will contest the All-Ireland senior football final for the first time in 20 years after their magical season continued with victory in this afternoon’s semi-final clash over Cork in Croke Park.
The Ulster champions were outstanding in the second-half as they powered in front after being ahead by a point at the interval. A late Colm O’Neill goal in injury-time gave Cork some hope but it only succeeded in trimming Donegal’s winning margin to two points as they had done enough to book their spot in the final on September 23rd.
The opening exchanges of the game were tight and fiercely contested with Cork, who brought in Ciaran Sheehan and Daniel Goulding to their team beforehand, seeing more of the possession yet unable to forge ahead. In the 13th minute the teams were tied at 0-3 apiece yet there was a positive development for Cork in the attacking skills of Colm O’Neill as he kicked some quality points thereafter.
Donegal matched them in that department though with midfielder Rory Kavanagh and centre-back Karl Lacey inspirational to ensure they were level at 0-6 apiece by the 27th minute. Cork, who had Eoin Cadogan in magnificent form throughout, edged in front through Ciaran Sheehan when he pointed but scores from David Walsh and Mark McHugh helped Donegal to lead 0-8 to 0-7 at the break.
Jim McGuinness’s side emerged from the second-half in a determined fashion and began to monopolise the exchanges. Colm McFadden, Frank McGlynn, Lacey and Anthony Thompson were all on target and Cork could only muster an Aidan Walsh point in reply as they trailed by 0-12 to 0-8 after 44 minutes. Sheehan notched a point to cut the gap to three and Cork did see a Colm O’Neill goal bound effort in the 46th minute cannon off the crossbar.
That proved a pivotal moment as Donegal kicked for home, helped by the huge dominance that Glenswilly’s Neil Gallagher was exerting at midfield while substitute Walsh and Kavanagh also put in huge shifts in that department. Mark McHugh was also to the fore for the north-west county and when McFadden converted a ’45 in the 58th minute, they were ahead by 0-15 to 0-10.
Colm O’Neill and Martin McElhinney swapped points in the finale, and while Donegal did spurn some gilt-edged chances in the closing moments, they were able to survive and not even that late finish to the net by O’Neill could alter the course of the game. Donegal held on before a crowd of 55,169 to spark huge scenes of celebration as they get set to face either Dublin or Mayo in the decider.
Scorers for Donegal: Colm McFadden 0-5 (0-2f, 0-1 ’45), Michael Murphy 0-3 (0-3f), Karl Lacey 0-2, Frank McGlynn, Anthony Thompson, David Walsh, Martin McElhinney, Mark McHugh, Rory Kavanagh 0-1 each.
Scorers for Cork: Colm O’Neill 1-3, Ciaran Sheehan 0-3, Paul Kerrigan 0-2, Aidan Walsh, Daniel Goulding (0-1f), Patrick Kelly 0-1 each.
DONEGAL: 1. Paul Durcan (Four Masters); 2. Paddy McGrath (Ardara), 3. Neil McGee (Gweedore), 4. Frank McGlynn (Glenfin); 5. Eamonn McGee (Gweedore), 6. Karl Lacey (Four Masters), 7. Anthony Thompson (Naomh Conaill); 8. Neil Gallagher (Glenswilly), 9. Rory Kavanagh (St Eunan’s); 10. Ryan Bradley (Buncrana), 11. Leo McLoone (Naomh Conaill), 12. Mark McHugh (Kilcar); 15. Colm McFadden (St Michael’s), 14. Michael Murphy (Glenswilly), 13. Patrick McBrearty (Kilcar). Subs: 19. David Walsh (St Brigid’s) for Bradley (29), 17. Martin McElhinney (St Michael’s) for Kavanagh (58), 25. Declan Walsh (Malin) for McGlynn (68), 22. Daniel McLaughlin (St Michael’s) for McBrearty (72), Christy Toye (St Michael’s) for McFadden (72).
CORK: 1. Alan Quirke (Valley Rovers); 7. Noel O’Leary (Cill na Martra), 3. Michael Shields (St Finbars), 4. Eoin Cadogan (Douglas); 5. Paudie Kissane (Clyda Rovers), 6. Graham Canty (Bantry Blues), 10. Fintan Goold (Macroom); 8. Alan O’Connor (St. Colum’s), 9. Aidan Walsh (Kanturk); 21. Ciaran Sheehan (Éire Óg), 11. Patrick Kelly (Ballincollig), 12. Paul Kerrigan (Nemo Rangers); 13. Colm O Neill (Ballyclough), 14. Donncha O’Connor (Ballydesmond), 19. Daniel Goulding (Éire Óg). Subs: 20. Pearse O’Neill (Aghada) for Goold (half-time), 23. Denis O’Sullivan (Ballinascarthy) for Alan O’Connor (47), 15. Nicholas Murphy (Carrigaline) for Donncha O’Connor (55).
Referee: David Coldrick (Meath)