Donegal minors took early control of this game and were well in command, leading 0-7 to 0-3 when Mark McKeever goaled for Armagh, a score that turned the game on its head and the next three scores all came from the boys from the Orchard County. They led by 1-6 to 0-7 when Donegal sub Paul O’Hare got the last score of the half with his first touch to make it 1-6 to 0-8 at the break. Johnny McGroddy, who would hit nine points overall, leveled the game within a minute of the restart but Armagh replied with a Rory Kearney goal and a point immediately thereafter to make it 2-7 to 0-9. Donegal fought back and by end of the third quarter were back on level terms again 2-8 to 0-14.
Despite a red card for wing back Lee Rice, Armagh responded with two further points before a Donegal substitute again scored with their first touch. This time it was Shane Monaghan to edged Donegal ahead for the first time in the second half. The game continued to give great value for money when Armagh equalized again but McGoddy pointed to leave the home team a point ahead as the match entered the first of six minutes of overtime. The additional time was all Donegal as they strode to victory, 2-18 to 2-12, with another Shane Monaghan goal sealing victory after Armagh were reduced to twelve players. Donegal now go on to play Cavan in a second quarterfinal tie next weekend.
Donegal: Daithí Roberts (0-2), Conor Roarty, Kieran Tobin, Dylan Dorrian, Conor Coyle, Jack Gallagher, Ryan McShane, Kealan Dunleavy, Eoin Dowling (0-1), Carlos O’Reilly (0-2), Senan Rooney (0-1), Ciaran Moore, Johnny McGroddy (0-9, 4f), Eric Carr (0-2), Eoin De Burca: Subs used: Paul O’Hare (0-1), Jamie Grant, Shane Monaghan (2-0), Alex McCalmont and Richard O’Rourke.
Armagh: Shea Magill, Peter McGrane, Ryan Shortt, Rory Kearney, Lee Rice, Sean McVerry, Redmond French, Adam Garvey, Dara O’Callaghan, Michael McConville, Dan McCarthy, Oisin King, Caolan Reavey, Mark McKeever, Ciaran Donnelly. Subs used: James Walsh, Shea Vallely, Odhran McKeown, Sean Rocks, Sean Quigley and Niall Dummigan.
Pictures are compliments of Evan Logan and Michael O’Donnell – thanks men.