THE DONEGAL YOUTH LEAGUE came away from Castlebar’s Milebush Park with a good point following an entertaing stalemate with the Mayo Youth League in their opening FAI Youth Inter-League Cup game.
Mayo Youth League 0 Donegal Youth League 0
It was Eamon McConigley’s men who started the better and almost went ahead after just 3 minutes when Shaun Crossan did well to find Shane Doherty but his close range effort was well saved by Keelan Hawkins in the Mayo goal.
Picture caption: The Donegal Youth League team that drew with Mayo in Castlebar. Picture courtesy of Stephen Doherty.
Doherty then turned provider for Anthony Bogle on 14 minutes but the big Drumkeen striker shot narrowly wide.
Mayo lost at Inishowen in their opening game and they knew they would have to get a grip on the contest and they had two gilt-edged chances to open the scoring on 15 and 18 minutes but Liam Hughes and Connor Heneghan both contrived to miss although to be fair Donegal keeper Sean Friel did well to smother both opportunities.
Friel was again called into action on 22 minutes when making a fine stop from Aaron Mullaney before Donegal finally settled again and began to dominate possession like they had done in the opening stages but were dealt a blow when striker Bogle suffered a nasty looking leg injury on 38 minutes and had to be replaced by Zack Gorman.
While Donegal dominated for long stages Mayo had the better opportunities in a hard fought first half with the lively Mark McDonnell firing just wide on 40 minutes.
Weather conditions deteriorated with torrential downpours which meant that chances were limited for the opening period of the second half before Heneghan forced Friel into a wonderstop on 65 minutes.
Donegal controlled affairs for most of the remainder and had the better of the chances with Shane Doherty hitting the post from an acute angle on 70 minutes after initially doing well to round the ‘keeper.
Zack Gorman somehow saw his point blank effort from close range saved by Hawkins although Mayo maybe should have scored in between those chances but somehow Aaron Mullaney missed at the back post when it seemed easier to score.
Away trips in national competitions are always fraught with danger but Donegal probably happy with the point and have 7 weeks to prepare for their next match in the group which is against Inishowen at home in early January.
Mayo: Keelan Hawkins, Brighton Masuku, Gerry O’Neill, Fusal Fanyoh, Hubert Kawiski,Mark McDonnell, Neil McHale, Connor Heneghan,Aaron Mullaney, Peter McNicholas, Liam Hughes. Subs; David McCracken, Evan Charlton, Gavin Gaughan.
Donegal: Sean Friel, Evan McCrory, Shaun Crossan, Eoghan Kelly, Daniel McLaughlin, Ruairi Friel (Dean McColgan ’88), Oran Higgins (Patrick Carr ’82), Micheal Roarty, Shane Doherty, Anthony Bogle (Zack Gorman ’38), Igor Arriel.Tags: