Allianz FL D1: Dublin too strong for Donegal
Allianz Football League Division One Semi-Final
DUBLIN 1-18 DONEGAL 1-14
By Declan Bogue at Kingspan Breffni
Once Paddy Small planted a first half goal Dublin were in control at Kingspan Breffni.
Ultimately the injury concerns in both camps dominated the post match conversations. On that score, Donegal might have more cause for concern as Patrick McBrearty appeared to pull up after taking a shot in one of the final plays of the game.
Odhran MacNiallais, only coming back from a hamstring issue that he nursed going into the league, had to be withdrawn before the half hour mark. Michael Murphy was present, but in a tracksuit as he continues his road back to a hamstring strain against Monaghan.
Dublin have their own injury worries. Dean Rock, Stephen Cluxton, Cian O’Sullivan and John Small still all appear some way off competitive action. On the plus side they got minutes into some of the back up players and had strong showings from the likes of Paddy Small and Cormac Costello.
The major play of the game was the Dublin goal on the half hour. They turned over Michael Langan downfield and make a fast break with Brian Fenton providing the last pass before Paddy Small picked his way past Donegal goalkeeper Shaun Patton to finish to the net.
A late goal came from substitute Eoghan McGettigan to tidy up the margin for Donegal, no sense in any heroics just yet with Down in the Ulster Championship at Newry, but a fortnight away. That will be an interesting test for Donegal, who are now nursing a number of injuries to high profile figures.
Dublin get their campaign off to a start in the first weekend in July when they face the winners of Wicklow or Wexford.
Scorers for Dublin: C Costello (0-6, 5 frees, 1 ‘45’), P Small (1-3, 1 mark), C O’Callaghan (0-3), C Kilkenny (0-2), S McMahon, B Fenton, B Howard, A Byrne (0-1 each).
Scorers for Donegal: P McBrearty (0-6, 2 frees, 1 mark), E McGettigan (1-1), C McGonagle and M Langan (0-2 each), B McCole, N O’Donnell, O’MacNiallais (0-1 each).
DUBLIN: E Comerford; M Fitzsimons, D Byrne, S McMahon; J McCarthy, B Howard, E Murchan; B Fenton, P O’Cofaigh-Byrne; P Small, C Kilkenny, N Scully; C Basquel, C O’Callaghan, C Costello.
Subs: E Lowndes for Murchan (HT), S Bugler for Basquel (50 mins), T Lahiff for O’Cofaigh Byrne, A Byrne for Scully (both 55 mins), P McMahon for Fitzsimons, C McHugh for Kilkenny (both 60 mins), S Carthy for Small (67 mins).
DONEGAL: S Patton; E McHugh, S McMenamin, B McCole; E O’Donnell, R McHugh, O McFadden-Ferry; H McFadden, C McGonagle; C Thompson, O MacNiallais, N O’Donnell; P McBrearty, M Langan, O Gallen.
Subs: C O’Donnell for MacNiallais (29 mins), C Ward for McMenamin (HT), E McGettigan for Gallen (55 mins), D O’Baoill for N O’Donnell, J McGee for H McFadden (both 57 mins), T McClenaghan for E McHugh (59 mins).
REFEREE: Ciaran Branagan (Down).