Clinical Donegal dispatch Cavan to go back-to-back in Ulster

Donegal 1-24
Cavan 2-16 

Declan Bogue reports from St Tiernach’s Park, Clones 

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DONEGAL HAVE RETAINED their Ulster senior football championship title after denying Cavan on their return to the provincial decider with a clinical display in Clones.

Declan Bonner’s side moved seamlessly through the gears to record a comfortable victory in front of 29,000, and book their place in the All-Ireland Super 8s.

It was Donegal’s fifth Ulster championship crown this decade, in what was the highest-scoring Ulster decider ever. 

Back in 2011, they needed a Michael Murphy penalty to eke out 1-11 to beat Derry for their first Ulster title in 19 years, but they produced a performance of such staggering maturity that many will see them as the next best challengers to stopping Dublin getting their fifth consecutive All-Ireland.

Bonner handed a first senior debut to Gaoth Dobhair’s Odhran McFadden-Ferry and he responded by blotting out Cavan playmaker Martin Reilly throughout.

They gathered 0-13 in a blistering first half but were helped somewhat by a toothless Cavan attack that never got functioning until the game lost some of its shape in the second half.

There was the hint of a brave Cavan fightback, led by Gearoid McKiernan in the second half when they trimmed the margin to six points.

Michael Murphy lifts the silverware.

Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

However, Jamie Brennan fastened onto a piece of broken play to dodge past Conor Moynagh and Jason McLoughlin to hammer home the decisive goal.

Cavan rallied with Cian Mackey squaring to fellow sub Conor Madden to fist home, and a second came when a brilliant Moynagh delivery found Stephen Murray to punch home.

Donegal meanwhile passed up three goalscoring chances to fist over points as the game wound down. It was that kind of evening for them.

They now have a home game in their first Super 8s games as reward for winning their province. Watch out for them.

Scorers for Donegal: Jamie Brennan 1-4, Paddy McBrearty 0-5 (1f), Michael Murphy 0-4 (3fs), Ciaran Thompson and Jason McGee 0-2 each, Ryan McHugh, Eoghan Ban Gallagher, Daire O’Baoill, Hugh McFadden, Niall O’Donnell, and Michael Langan 0-1 each.

Scorers for Cavan: Gearoid McKiernan 0-6 (3fs), Conor Madden 1-1, Stephen Murray 1-0, Dara McVeety 0-3, Conor Moynagh, Conor Brady, Oisin Pierson, Jack Brady, Caoimhin O’Reilly, and Cian Mackey (f) 0-1 each. 


1. S Patton

2. P McGrath
3. N McGee
4. S McMenamin

5. R McHugh
6. O McFadden-Ferry
7. EB Gallagher

8. H McFadden
9. J McGee

10. C Thompson
11. N O’Donnell
12. J Brennan

13. P McBrearty
14. M Murphy
15. M Langan.


D ÓBaoill  for O’Donnell (43)
F McGlynn for McGee (54)
P Brennan for McFadden-Ferry (61)
O Gallen for Thompson (63)
L McLoone for Langan (71)
C Ward for Murphy (74).


1. R Galligan

2. J McLoughlin
3. P Faulkner
4. C Moynagh

5. M Reilly
6. K Clarke
7. C Rehill

8. Conor Brady
9. G McKiernan

10. O Kiernan
11. D McVeety
12. N Murray

13. Ciaran Brady
14. O Pierson
15. G Smith.


S Murray for N Murray (29)
C Mackey for Smith (HT)
C Madden for Kiernan (HT)
T Galligan for C Brady (51)
C O’Reilly for Pierson (54)
J Brady 0-1, for Rehill (70).

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