Monday, June 30, 2014

Sunday June 29 - Junior A Football: Donegal v Armagh-Notre Dame

Donegal 2-21 Armagh-Notre Dame 2-11

Donegal eased their way through most of this Junior A encounter with Armagh-Notre Dame to open a hot Sunday at the Irish Cultural Center.  Donegal found plenty of shooting room and made good use of it.  A converted penalty late in the first half seemed to have put the game beyond the reach of their opponents.  The northerners were forced to reconsider after their opponents started the second half brightly and threatened to rein in the deficit to a more manageable level, but a goal from Christopher Rush and some excellently taken Christy McLaughlin points restored the considerable advantage coming into the final 10 minutes.

Matthew Cutliffe on his way to earning a penalty.
Almost all of the Donegal forwards got on the scoresheet over the first 30 minutes as the scores seemed to come easy.  Pauric McLaughlin got the ball rolling, while Eoin Grant, Christy McLaughlin, and Matthew Cutliffe followed.  Mark Dunphy and Kieran McDevitt combined well on several occasions as Donegal looked unstoppable. 

Armagh-Notre Dame had Robert Quigley isolated on the full forward line and after a couple of fluffed chances, Quigley popped over a handful of points before the break.  Frank Meehan was played through on one occasion and blasted the ball off the crossbar as the Brighton based side began to find their feet.  Donegal hit with a goal from the penalty spot just before half time.  Matthew Cutliffe was fouled in the box and expertly converted the kick himself.  At the break it looked as though, with a 12 point lead, the game was in the bag for Donegal.

And the Donegal corner forward puts it away despite a good effort from Ollie Murphy.
Things got brighter for the Armagh-Notre Dame lads in the second half.  Quigley put two well taken points over the bar before finding the room to fire in a goal.  Conor Kieran fetched well in the middle of the field and found Quigley with the incisive pass.  Andrew Sharkey pointed to bring the Orchard men within seven points, but Donegal managed to get themselves back on top of affairs. 

Christopher Rush, who came on at corner forward netted, and wing back Darren Doherty pointed twice to re-open the large gap.  Armagh continued to work hard and a goal from Frank Meehan late in the game provided some consolation, while Donegal continue unbeaten in the junior A championship.

Donegal:  E. McCarney, F. Donnelly, D. McBride, D. Doherty, D. Green, H. Devine, Peter McLaughlin, M. Dunphy, C. McDevitt, E. Grant, Pauric McLaughlin, M. Cutliffe, C. McLaughlin.  Armagh-ND:  O. Murphy, S. McKenna, D. Morrow, M. Murphy, J. Taggert, C. Horan, C. Kiernan, A. Sharkey, P. Quigg, F. Meehan, B. McGrath, M. Tiffney, R. Quigley.

By Rory O'Donnell

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