Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sun Aug 21 - Junior A Football Semi-Final: Donegal v Shannon Blues

Shannon Blues 1-4 Donegal 1-10

Donegal prevailed in a lack-lustre game where there was not a lot to enjoy in the way of flowing football or scoring. Conditions were hot and humid which did not help matters. Donegal were always ahead in the game. A goal from the Blues kept them in it in the first half, but in the second Donegal pulled ahead with a string of early scores and the Blues could not find their way back into it.

Donegal's Derek Nolan and The Blues Pat Murray contest.
The first half was a stop-start affair with the referees whistle sounding frequently. The net billowed once at each end. Leading by two points, Dan Green hit the back of the net for Donegal to put them in an early commanding position. There was almost a second for the northerners soon afterwards, but Alan Garry stretched out his left arm to save well from close range. The Blues got themselves back into contention during the latter stages of the second half. Budding star Conor Fitzgerald picked up a loose ball played across the face of the goal by Ken Kileen. Fizgerald shot low and hard and the Blues were back in the picture. Gary Henry followed with two points, one from play and another from a free. At the mid-way point the Donegal led by a score of 1-4 to 1-2.

Dean Matthews was the marksman for Donegal following the restart. The Donegal number eleven put three points on the trot over the bar, two from frees. Derrick Nolan at center back and Padraig McLaughlin in midfield kept played the ball well into their forward line, while the Blues struggled to get much going in their direction. The Blues had a couple of chances at reducing the deficit with a goal, but on each occasion the shot was directly at Christy McLaughlin in goal for Donegal. Substitute Kevin Coyle solidified Donegal’s second half advantage with a couple of lovely points and the chances of the Blues pulling off an upset faded. Donegal will now meet Wolfe Tones in the final next week following a rather unconvincing win.

Blues:  A. Garry, M. Green, P. Moriarty, T. Hernon, N. Murray, B. Driscoll, P. Murray, G. Walsh, K. O’Sullivan, C. Fitzgerald (1-0), M. Keegan, G. Henry (0-4), K. Kileen.  Donegal:  C. McLoughlin, K. McGee, B. Friel, N. McLaughlin, D. Nolan, P. Wanish McLaughlin (0-1), A. McGirr, P. McLaughlin, E. McCarney, P. Boyce (0-2), D. Matthews (0-5), L. Carr, D. Green (1-0).  Sub:  K. Coyle (0-2).
By Rory O'Donnell

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