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Donegal second-half comeback sees off 14-man Cork in All-Ireland quarter-final

They now advance to an All-Ireland semi-final on 21 August.

Cork's Colm O'Callaghan in action against Donegal's Peadar Mogan.
Cork's Colm O'Callaghan in action against Donegal's Peadar Mogan.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Donegal 2-13
Cork 0-13

Fintan O’Toole reports from Croke Park

DONEGAL PRODUCED A storming second-half display to propel themselves past Cork and into the Electric Ireland All-Ireland minor football semi-final at Croke Park this afternoon.

The Ulster champions looked to be in trouble when they only struck a single point in the opening 25 minutes of the game and they trailed 0-10 to 1-3 at the interval.

Cork, inspired by livewire attacker Mark Buckley, were excellent in that opening period and but for a fine strike to the net by Donegal midfielder Jason McGee in the 27th minute, the Rebels would have been further ahead.

Yet Donegal took over in the second-half with Aidan McLaughlin, McGee and Niall O’Donnell all producing eye catching performances.

And their success was sealed in injury-time when Kieran Gallagher and Eoghan McGettigan combined to set up the chance for substitute Shane McGrath to drill his shot to the net.

Cork finished with 14 men after defender Alan McCarthy was shown a second yellow card in the 52nd minute. Defeat marked the end of their 2016 campaign and it was a disappointing outcome given their enterprising and vibrant first-half play.

Scores were hard to come by in an opening quarter disrupted by a lengthy stoppage when Cork goalkeeper Mark White had to be withdrawn after suffering an injury in a heavy fall.

But Cork exploded into life in the second quarter with five points withou reply courtesy of Buckley (2), Damien Gore (2) and a stylish score by midfielder Tadhg Corkery.

They were ahead 0-6 to 0-1 when McGee netted but the Rebels responded with four of the last five points of the opening period – a brace from the impressive Buckley.

Yet Donegal emerged a far stronger proposition in the second-half as they quickly wiped out Cork’s advantage. O’Donnell (2) and McLaughlin set the tone with early points.

Buckley provided some respite for Cork with a 37th minute score before Donegal hit another three on the bounce courtesy of a pair from O’Donnell and another white flag raised by Enda McCormack.

Cork hung in there with substitute Cathal O’Mahony nailing a long-range free to leave the teams tied at 1-9 to 0-12 entering the final quarter.

However Cork could only add one more point to their tally as Donegal’s organised defensive structure frustrated their attacking efforts.

The dismissal of McCarthy was another setback and McGrath’s goal sealed Donegal’s progression to an All-Ireland semi-final meeting with Galway on 21 August.

Aidan McLaughlin with Chris Og Jones Donegal's Aidan McLaughlin with Cork's Chris Óg Jones Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Scorers for Donegal: Niall O’Donnell 0-5 (0-4f), Jason McGee, Shane McGrath 1-0 each, Peadar Mogan 0-3 (0-3f), Aidan McLaughlin, Enda McCormick 0-2 each, Eoghan McGettigan 0-1.

Scorers for Cork: Mark Buckley 0-5 (0-1 ’45), Damien Gore 0-4 (0-3f), Tadhg Corkery, Cathal Maguire, Colm O’Callaghan, Cathal O’Mahony (0-1f) 0-1 each.

Donegal

1. Gavin Mulreany (Naomh Náille)

2. Seaghan Ferry (Gaoth Dobhair)
3. Aaron McCrea (Four Masters)
4. Mark Curran (Dungloe)

5. Odhrán Shiels (Fanad Gaels)
6. JD Boyle (Naomh Conaill)
7. Aidan McLaughlin (Maigh)

8. Jason McGee (Cloughaneely – captain)
9. Kieran Gallagher (Naomh Conaill)

10. Nathan Boyle (Aodh Ruadh)
11. Niall O’Donnell (St Eunan’s)
12. Enda McCormack (Termon)

13. Peadar Mogan (Naomh Náille)
14. Eoghan McGettigan (Naomh Conaill)
15. Odhrán McFadden-Ferry (Gaoth Dobhair)

Subs

17. Shane McGrath (Aodh Ruadh) for Shiels (half-time)
18. Aaron Deeney (St Eunan’s) for McCrea (36)
21. Brian O’Donnell (Kilcar) for Boyle (53)
20. Gary Molloy (Kilcar) for McFadden-Ferry (63)

Cork

1. Mark White (Clonakilty)

2. Alan McCarthy (St Finbarrs)
3. Aidan Browne (Newmarket)
4. Liam O’Donovan (Clonakilty – Vice Captain

5. Sean Minihane (Ilen Rovers)
6. Nathan Walsh (Douglas – Captain)
7. Rory O’Driscoll (Garnish)

8. Cathal Foley (Kilmichael)
9. Tadhg Corkery (Cill na Martra)

10. Chris Óg Jones (Iveleary)
11. Colm O’Callaghan (Eire Óg)
12. Cathal Maguire (Castlehaven)

13. Damien Gore (Kilmacabea)
14. Mark Buckley (Dohenys)
15. Sean O’Sullivan (Mitchelstown)

Subs

16. Kevin McMahon (Kilshannig) for White (inj) (12)
20. Sean Ryan (Ballinascarthy) for Minihane (half-time)
23. Cathal O’Mahony (Mitchelstown) for Maguire (44)
18. Jason Twomey (Éire Óg) for O’Driscoll (45)
24. Ryan Fowley (Buttevant) for O’Sullivan (50)
19. Luke Fahy (Ballincollig) for Óg Jones (54)

Referee: Jerome Henry (Mayo)

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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