Last weekend was a very successful one for Donegal adult teams with the u20s emerging from Healy Park with a hard-earned win against Tyrone, the hurlers impressing in the second half of their Nickey Rackard tie against Leitrim after a first-half scare and, of course, yesterday’s thrilling one-point win over Derry in Páir Sheáin Mhic Cumhaill. This weekend both the u20s and the senior footballers face equally stiff challenges with semi-finals against Monaghan and Tyrone, respectively. The u20s are out on Friday evening at Brewster Park against the Farney men at 8 pm and the Senior game is also in Enniskillen at 1.45 on Sunday.
Third Division champions, Derry, gave Donegal a very tough test yesterday and they led from the 6th to the 66th minute. A lot of praise was directed Derry’s way in the post-match analysis but Donegal equally deserve credit in what was the best game so far of this year’s All-Ireland series. Three times Declan Bonner’s team were four point behind but each time rallied to keep in touch and on the third occasion, when the need was greatest, Donegal showed the character and courage to take the lead and hold it. Paddy McBrearty, not having the best of days, epitomised this bravery with his point from distance in the sixth, and what should have been the last, minute of added time. The covering of the Donegal defence and the absence of the same willingness to take on the crucial shot in “added” added time encouraged David Coldrick to blow the final whistle.
Niall O’Donnell, who scored three points from play was named man of the match by both RTE and BBC. Michael Langan and Paddy McBrearty (two frees) also pitched in with three points each while Jamie Brennan (2), Caolan McGonagle (2), Michael Murphy (2, both frees), and Paul Brennan were the other scorers.
Pictures from yesterday’s game, and from the Nickey Rackard and the u20s games, can be accessed via the links below.
Donegal v Derry in the All-Ireland u20B Hurling Championship Quarterfinal on July 13th at Owenbeg at 7.30 pm. Below is a link for anyone who wants to purchase tickets.