Friday evening at Brewster Park proved to be a graveyard for ambitions of young Donegal footballers for the second week in succession last night as two late Fermanagh points put an end to Donegal’s run in the Ulster u20s championship before it had even started. The minors bowed out last Friday night in the Ulster semi-final against Monaghan.
The Ernesiders started at a gallop leading by three points to no score by the eight minute. They reacted immediately each time Doengal scored until the Tír Conaill lads hit a purple patch from the 20th minute to record three on the trot and briefly take the lead 0-6 to 0-5 on the stroke of half-time. However, two additional time points saw the hosts turn over 0-7 to 0-6 leaders at the break.
Fermanagh dominated most of the second period and led by three points when again Donegal pulled off a late revival scoring three in succession again to level matters by the 28th minute. Donegal’s momentum was such, and Fermanagh looked jaded, that they seemed poised to take the lead despite a silly sending off of Paddy Dolan immediately after he scored the equalizer. However, again Fermanagh scored twice in added time to gain victory 0-14 to 0-12.
While Donegal could have won the game with their late surge over the course of the 70 odd minutes, including added time, Fermanagh were worth their win. They now go on to play Derry in the Ulster semi-final and what was largely a very dis-appointing season for the u-20s, at least on the field of play, has wound to a close. Donegal manager Gary McDaid stated he was “devastated” with the defeat after a “savage effort throughout the year” by a squad that gave everything in Brewster Park last night.