Donegal eventually cruised to an impressive victory over 14-man Cavan in an absorbing Ulster Minor Football Championship affair in Kingspan Breffni Park on Sunday evening.
Eric Carr's three points at crucial stages in this hard- fought affair paved the way for victory.
And, while this victory was thoroughly deserved, the sending off of Cavan’s inspirational full-back Peter Smith just before half time was a key moment in this thrilling match.
Smith was given a straight red card for a most clumsy challenge on Donegal’s wing back Conor Coyle (who shipped four really heavy hits).
Donegal went in at half time leading by 0-10 to 1-5 after an interesting shoot-out in the opening half.
And, while brave Cavan had the better of the early stages of the second half, once again super sub Shane Monaghan struck for goal with devastating effect in the 45thminute.
Monaghan was in the right place yet again to take a pass from the hard- working Ciaran Moore before calmly finding the net to put the winners ahead by 1-13 to 1-7.
And even though there were 15 minutes remaining, the result was never in any doubt with Irish International U-17 soccer star Sean McEvoy rounding off a richly entertaining match with a wonderful goal for Cavan as he beat four Donegal defenders before smashing the ball to the net in the 63rdminute.
But man of the match was clearly Eoin Dowling, as the St Eunan’s midfielder gave a superb exhibition of high fielding and accuracy that will live long in the memory.
Donegal now have a five week break for Leaving Cert exams etc and now meet reigning champions Monaghan in the Ulster semi-final
Donegal: Daithi Roberts; Jamie Grant Kieran Tobin, Dylan Dorrian; Conor Coyle, Jack Gallagher (0-1), Ryan McShane; Kealan Dunleavy, Eoin Dowling (0-43f); Carlos O’Reilly, Paul O’Hare (0-2) Ciaran Moore (0-1); Jonathan McGroddy (0-75f) Eric Carr (0-3), Eoin De Burca. Subs: Shane Monaghan (1-0) for Carlos O’Reilly Richard O’Rourke for Eoin De Burca (43), Eoin Martin for Paul O’Hare (57), Shane Meehan for Kieran Tobin (59) Alex McCalmont for Jamie Grant (60), Matthew Gallagher for Eric Carr (61),
Cavan: Alan Murray; Cian Reilly, Peter Smith (0-1) Ronan Trainor; Cian Farrelly (1-0) James McCahill, Caolan McCabe (0-1); Philip Smyth, Caoimhin McGovern (0-1); Sean McEvoy (1-0) Fiontann O’Reilly, Tiarnan Madden (0-1); Evan Kelly, Darryl McGurren (0-21f), Jack Tully (0-1). Subs: Jack Mooney for Cian Farrelly (44), Colin McKiernan for Evan Kelly (47), Matthew McGahern for Fiontann O’Reilly (50), Shane Tynan for Ronan Trainor (35), Caolan O’Reilly for Darryl McGurren (56),
Referee: Dan Mullan (Derry).
See this week's Donegal Post for more.
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