DONEGAL MINORS’ All-Ireland dreams were broken by clinical Galway in this afternoon’s semi-final at Croke Park.
Donegal 1-11 Galway 2-12
Robert Finnerty, who scored 1-5 in all, and Desmond Conneely hit the goals in either half to send Stephen Joyce’s men into next month’s final against Kildare or Kerry at the expense of game Donegal.
Galway always had some semblance of control on proceedings with Finnerty’s goal in the first half key.
A cracking goal late in the game by Enda McCormick brought Donegal closer, but they’d left themselves with much too much to do and Galway took a deserved win.[adrotate group=”38″]
A goal in the fifth minute by Finnerty had the Tribesmen ahead 1-6 to 0-6 at the break and when Conneely added a second goal, eleven minutes from time, Donegal’s hopes were dashed.
Niall O’Donnell and Eoghan McGettigan had Donegal two points ahead early on, but Galway hit back with a goal.
Desmond Conneely picked up a loose ball following a long ball in – already their third time going for the long approach – and Finnerty fired past Gavin Mulreany.[adrotate group=”37″]
Evan Murphy and Finnerty, from a free, put Galway in command and they could have had another goal only for Barry Goldrick shooting wide.
Three-in-a-row by Finnerty had Galway four up, but Donegal stayed in touch with scores by O’Donnell and Jason McGee before the Tir Chonaill men were dealt a blow when Aidan McLaughlin was forced off with a head injury.[adrotate group=”46″]
Galway were better in every department with a lively attack, spurred by the razor-sharp Finnerty.
It was a stop-start show by Donegal in the first half-an-hour, but Shaun Paul Barrett’s team were no strangers to making life difficult for themselves.
Against Antrim on the opening night of the Championship, O’Donnell dug Donegal out of a hole and they had to steady the wobbles against Monaghan in the Ulster semi-final.[adrotate group=”70″]
Slow starts against Derry in the Ulster final and Cork in the All-Ireland quarter-final threatened to derail the carriage, but Donegal got over the line each time.
JD Boyle’s point late in the half brought Donegal to withing a goal at the break, Galway ahead 1-6 to 0-6.
O’Donnell might have bagged a goal for Donegal when, after a neat move and a great pass in by Seaghan Ferry, the St Eunan’s man shot off the ground, but an instinctive save from Cormac Haslam’s feet kept Donegal out.[adrotate group=”46″]
Ferry was black carded in the 39th minute and Galway pulled away again with Conneely and Barry Goldrick kicking points.
Peadar Mogan, again to the fore for Donegal, hit three points in a row for Donegal, but when Conneely fired home nine minutes from the end it was game, set and match.
Termon’s McCormick scored a great goal, following a one-two with Mogan and he fired across Haslam and into the far corner from 20 metres, but with Ross Murphy and Evan Murphy hitting points it was Galway’s day.[adrotate group=”53″]
In added time, Odhrán McFadden-Ferry was close to a Donegal goal, after an assist by Shane McGrath, but Haslam saved.
Donegal: Gavin Mulreany; Seaghan Ferry, Aaron McCrea, Mark Curran; Aaron Deeney, JD Boyle (0-1), Aidan McLaughlin; Jason McGee (0-2, 1 ‘45), Kieran Gallagher; Nathan Boyle, Niall O’Donnell (0-2, 1f), Enda McCormick (1-0); Peadar Mogan (0-3, 2f), Eoghan McGettigan (0-2), Odrhán McFadden-Ferry. Subs: Odhrán Shiels for McLaughlin (18), Shane McGrath for Boyle (39), Brian O’Donnell for Ferry (black card, 41) Gary Molloy (0-1) for Boyle (45), Daniel Lyons for McCrea (52).
Galway: Cormac Haslam; Eoghan Deeley, Sean Mulkerrin, Eoin McFadden; Adam Quirke, Ernan McDonagh, Fionnán McGarvey (0-1); Sean Raftery, John Maher; Finnian Ó Laoi, Evan Murphy (0-2, 1f), Ryan Forde; Robert Finnerty (1-5, 4f), Desmond Conneely (1-2, 2f), Barry Goldrick (0-1). Subs: Ross Murphy (0-1) for Maher (54)Tags: