Saturday 19 January 2019

DONEGAL .......................... 3-14DUBLIN ............................ 0-17



:In a team full of Tir Chonaill heroes, the pocket rocket from KIlcar stood out - not just for his 2-2 from play but his boundless energy, alertness to the breaks and defence-splitting surges during that second half. One Stephen Cluxtonp finger-tip away from what would have been a well-deserved hat-trick.


JIM McGUINNESS: The Donegal manager has masterminded several incredible coups during his four years in the hotseat, but this stands as the greatest ambush of all. After an uncertain start, his players executed his master-plan to a tee. Spied a weakness at the heart of the Dublin defence and exploited it to its maximum. Two of his subs, Christy Toye and Paddy McBrearty delivered crucial momentum.RATING 9

JIM GAVIN: His first big defeat on the line, and a poor day all round for the Dubs supremo. His dummy team switches - starting Jack McCaffrey and Cormac Costello - patently didn't work. Most critically of all, allowing Rory O'Carroll to be dragged far from full-back and the failure to have any defender holding the middle - be it centre-back and/or sweeper - resulted in recurring chaos. RATING 5


JOE McQUILLAN: A welcome antidote to the previous night's controversy at the Gaelic Grounds. The Cavan official used his cards judiciously: wasn't afraid to flash an early yellow to James McCarthy for a 'frontal' foul and correctly brandished that endangered species otherwise known as the black card to Neil McGee and Paddy McGrath, albeit Michael Murphy was arguably lucky to only see yellow for his punch-tackle on Diarmuid Connolly. RATING 8

SCORERS - Donegal: R McHugh 2-2, C McFadden 1-3 (0-2f), M Murphy 0-3 (2f), P McBrearty 0-2, K Lacey, R Kavanagh, O Mac Niallais, F McGlynn 0-1 each. Dublin: D Connolly 0-5 (1f), P Flynn 0-4, B Brogan 0-3 (1f), A Brogan, P Andrews 0-2 each, P McMahon 0-1.

DONEGAL: P Durcan; N McGee, E McGee, P McGrath; A Thompson, K Lacey, F McGlynn; O Mac Niallais, R Kavanagh; David Walsh, L McLoone, R McHugh; C McFadden, M Murphy, N Gallagher. Subs: C Toye for Walsh (27), P McBrearty for McLoone (43), Declan Walsh for N McGee (black card 58), M McElhinney for Kavanagh (60), D O'Connor for McFadden (64), M O'Reilly for Mac Niallais (70).

DUBLIN: S Cluxton; P McMahon, R O'Carroll, M Fitzsimons; J McCaffrey, J Cooper, J McCarthy; MD Macauley, C O'Sullivan; P Flynn, A Brogan, D Connolly; C Costello, E O'Gara, B Brogan. Subs: N Devereux for McCaffrey (ht), K McManamon for Costello (41), D Rock for O'Gara (48), P Andrews for A Brogan (53), D Daly for Cooper (62), P Mannion for O'Sullivan (68).

WIDES: Donegal 6 (4+2); Dublin 13 (4+9).

YELLOW: Donegal 2 (Gallagher 7, Murphy 62); Dublin 1 (McCarthy 1).

BLACK: Donegal 2 (N McGee 58, McGrath 73); Dublin 0.

ATT: 81,500

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