Donegal’s two wins against Breffni opposition in Clones on Sunday was preceeded by a win for our young hurlers on Saturday against the same opposition. In the Celtic Challenge the Donegal u-17s came out top in an exciting tussle with Cavan at Kingspan Breffni Park in the Corn Tom Hogan Quarter-final. Throwing in at noon at the sun-drenched Cavan venue, Adie Gaffey’s squad put in a top-class performance and were triumphant against a fancied Cavan squad. Next up is a semi-final on May 14th in Ballyconnell against Kildare.
Cavan 3-11 4-13 Donegal
Hurting from a disappointing loss to Sligo a few adjustments were made to the line-up. Oísin Diver was introduced to the full back line and David Horgan moved to midfield – both excelled on the pitch ensuring Donegal would advance to the semi-final.
Donegal were first off, the mark, Donal Farrelly from the throw in, quick ball to full forward Thomas McMenamin who batted out to John Kealy, who slipped the ball over the bar. Cavan won a free on their next attack, Cavan’s number 11 Dylan McKeever struck the upright from the resulting free, Ben Brennan was first to pounce, and his shot was put out by Donegal’s Brendan O’Carroll for a 65, which Cavan failed to convert. Four minutes in Cavan registered their first score, a long range free from McKeever. Points were exchanged and Donegal’s David Horgan got two super points from play, Thomas McMenamin bagged two goals the second goal on 15minutes followed a minute later by another from Fionn Farren and Donegal looked comfortable.
Cavan 0-5 3-2 Donegal
With 10 minutes to go to half time, the impressive Dylan McKeever would give Cavan a lifeline with a solo run from mid-field and slammed to the net. Frees were exchanged and Donegal finished 5 points clear at half time.
Cavan 1-7 3-6 Donegal
Cavan upped their game and started the second half looking the better team, they were unfortunate not to get scores on the board with the super Donegal half back line of Ben McDaid, Stephen Browne and Eunan Gallagher standing strong. Ten minutes in the Cavan goal did come from full forward Ben Tully and now Cavan were only three points adrift. The Donegal response was swift with four unanswered points taking them seven clear. With just over twenty minutes gone Cavan hit their purple patch with an unanswered 1-3, the goal a 21meter free from Dylan McKeever. Cavan trailing by two points and time almost up Donegal’s Eoghan Walsh would find the net from the tightest of angles taking Donegal five points clear and guaranteeing the result.
Cavan 3-11 4-13 Donegal
This was an excellent end to end contest with outstanding free taking from both sides, Cavan’s Dylan McKeever would register 1-7 and Donegal’s Brendan Gaffey 0-7 from placed balls.
Cavan: Niall Curran, Darragh Crowe, Tom McNulty, Rory Gordon, Phillip McKeon, Dylan Adams (capt), Euan Crossan, Stephen Sheridan, Matthew McDermott, Mark Davis, Dylan McKeever (2-9, 1-7fs), Ben Brennan, Daire Leddy, Ben Tully (1-1), Aaron Crowe (0-1).
Donegal: Brendan O’Carroll, Killian Barr, Oisín Diver, Michael Doogan, Ben McDaid, Stephen Browne Eunan Gallagher, David Horgan (0-2), Donal Farrelly, Eoghan Walsh (1-2), Aidan McKinney, Brendan Gaffey (0-8,7fs), Fionn Farren (1-0), Thomas McMenamin (2-0), John Kealy (0-1). Altan McDermott for Kealy 50min, Oisin Kerr for Farren 52min, Michael McCarron for Thomas McMenamin 53min.