Ulster Senior Football Championship Quarter-Final
Donegal 2-16 Derry 0-16
Goals from Hugh McFadden and Cian Mulligan proved to be the key scores as Donegal defeated Derry by six points in the North West derby. Patrick McBrearty produced his best performance of the season, hitting 0-8, including five long range monsters from play.
Donegal manager Declan Bonner will have been much the happier as his side ran in six points up at half-time. Bonner’s men came racing out of the blocks at sun-kissed Celtic Park, and when Leo McLoone nonchalantly knocked over his second point of the half it handed Donegal a 0-4 to no score after eight one-sided minutes.
Mark Lynch, back in an unfamiliar sweeping role, finally opened Derry’s account in the 11th minute with a free, but Donegal countered immediately and decisively to score a goal through Hugh McFadden.
Ryan McHugh did all the hard work in the build up to the goal before midfielder McFadden slipped the ball below Ben McKinless.
Lynch and Emmet Bradley returned fire for the Oakleafers to reduce their arrears to 1-4 to 0-3 before Donegal’s Patrick McBrearty came to the party and his rapid-fire brace stretched the Tir Chonnail lead to 1-7 to 0-3.
To their credit, the home battled back once more. Emmet Bradley was at the heart of the mini revival scoring the next four points himself to leave just a goal between the two sides.
But stung into remedial action, Donegal tapped on the gas and hit the last three scores of the half, including another McBrearty brace, to give themselves a 1-10 to 0-7 lead at the break.
Both sides traded blows throughout an evenly contested third quarter. Emmet Bradley was outstanding for Derry finishing with figures of 0-8, three of which came from play. The big Glen man also hit the post in the 64th minute.
But Donegal were always able to keep their opponents far enough away to avoid any late Derry come-back. With Patrick McBrearty slowly coming to the boil mid-way through the second half, Donegal led 1-15 to 0-13 with 10 minutes to go.
Cian Mulligan’s 63rd minute goal finally snuffed out Derry’s last real hope of an upset. The Oakleafers battled to the end, but the combination of a succession of wides and Donegal, at times, pulling all 15 men behind their own ’45 conspired to kill off the home side.
The winners proceed to meet Down in the semi-final.
Scorers for Donegal: Paddy McBrearty 0-8 (3f), Hugh McFadden and Cian Mulligan 1-0 each, Leo McLoone 0-3, Ryan McHugh 0-2, Michael Murphy 0-2 (1f), Jamie Brennan 0-1.
Scorers for Derry: Emmet Bradley 0-8 (5f), Mark Lynch 0-5 (4f), James Kielt 0-2, Niall Toner 0-1.
DONEGAL: Shaun Patton, Paddy McGrath, Neil McGee, Eoghan Ban Gallagher, Caolan Ward, Paul Brennan, Ryan McHugh, Hugh McFadden, Leo McLoone, Ciaran Thompson, Michael Landan, Frank McGlynn, Patrick McBreaty, Michael Murphy, Jamie Brennan.
Subs: Stephen McMenamin for Neil McGee (11), Odhran MacNiallais for Michael Langan (HT), Cian Mulligan for Paul Brennan (43), Ciaran McGinley for Ciaran Thompson (49), Daire O Baoill for Paddy McGrath (60), Mark McHugh for Frank McGlynn (65).
DERRY: Ben McKinless, Paul McNeill, Brendan Rogers, Karl McKaigue, Kevin Johnston, Christopher McKaigue, Sean Leo McGoldrick, Conor McAtamney, Michael Bateson, Padraig Cassidy, Emmet Bradley, Patrick, Coney, Enda Lynn, Shane McGuigan, Mark Lynch.
Subs: Liam McGoldrick for Sean Leo McGoldrick (HT), Jack Doherty for Michael Bateson (HT), Carlus McWilliams for Brendan Rogers (51), Niall Toner for Shane McGuigan (54), Peter Hagan for Padraig Cassidy (60), James Kielt for Conor McAtamney (60).
REFEREE: Maurice Deegan (Laois).