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Dublin: 11 °C Wednesday 25 April, 2018


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Good evening and welcome to Croke Park where we’re getting set for Round 6 of the Allianz National Football League.

The Dubs are back in HQ hoping to continue their 100% start to the campaign and make it six wins from six in Division 1.

Donegal will have very different ideas, you suspect.

Throw-in is at 7pm.

It’s quiet for now as the teams run through their final preparations in the dressing rooms.

We’re hearing that both teams line out as named. A quick reminder of those lineups coming shortly…

Paddy Andrews arrives Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

TEAM NEWS: Five changes for the Dubs from the side which beat Down last time out.

1. Michael Savage (St Vincent’s)

2. Philly McMahon (Ballymun Kickhams)
3. Jonny Cooper (Na Fianna)
4. David Byrne (Naomh Olaf)

5. James McCarthy (Ballymun Kickhams)
6. Eric Lowndes (St Peregrines)
7. John Small (Ballymun Kickhams)

8. Brian Fenton (Raheny)
9. Denis Bastick (Templeogue Synge Street)

10. Paul Flynn (Fingalians)
11. Paddy Andrews (St Brigids)
12. Ciaran Kilkenny (Castleknock)

13. Cormac Costello (Whitehall Colmcille)
14. Kevin McManamon (St Jude’s)
15. Bernard Brogan (St Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh)


1. Mark Anthony McGinley (Naomh Micheal)

2. Paddy McGrath (Ardara)
3. Neil McGee (Gaoth Dobhair)
4. Eamon McGee (Gaoth Dobhair)

5. Ryan McHugh (Kilcar)
6. Anthony Thompson (Naomh Conaill)
7. Cieran Gillespie (Gaoth Dobhair)

8. Rory Kavanagh (St Eunan’s)
9. Neil Gallagher (Glenswilly)

10. Martin O’Reilly (Seán Mac Cumhaill)
11. Leo McLoone (Naomh Conaill)
12. Odhran MacNiallais (Gaoth Dobhair)

13. Paddy McBrearty (Kilcar)
14. Michael Murphy (Glenswilly)
15. Eoin McHugh (Kilcar)

With no Stephen Cluxton in goal, the honour of captaining the Dubs falls to Denis Bastick who lines up in midfield alongside Brian Fenton.

Here’s a quick reminder of the state of play in Division 1 ahead of throw-in:

Screen Shot 2016-03-26 at 18.47.47 Source:

LATE CHANGES: Two swaps on the Donegal team. Karl Lacey wears 17 and starts in place of Neil McGee; Hugh McFadden, wearing 22, replaces Neil Gallagher.

2 mins – First half chance for Dublin but Paul Flynn sends it left and wide.


THROW IN: We’re underway with Dublin attacking the Hill 16 end in this first half.

3 mins — CHANCE! Great opportunity for Eoin McHugh to get Donegal off to a cracking start. He collects a long ball around the back of the Dublin defence and pokes it past Michael Savage, but the Dubs keeper just gets back in time to scoop it off the line and to safety.

Source: Tommy Grealy/INPHO

5 mins – Applause rings out around Croke Park in tribute to those who lost their lives so tragically in Buncrana last week.

5 mins — OOF! We could feel that all the way up in the Hogan Stand press box. John Small is clattered by Michael Murphy and it completely stops him in his tracks. The Donegal man is booked but he’ll probably argue that he didn’t do a whole lot wrong.

8 mins – Very cagey start here as both sides try to suss out the other’s tactical approach. Boos ring out as the Dublin fans take objection to a succession of Donegal handpasses.

9 mins – A quick free gives Paddy McBrearty the chance to open the scoring but he rushes his shot and sends it wide.

10 mins – Bit loose by Hugh McFadden as he turns over possession carelessly coming out from the back. Dublin can’t make anything of the half-chance though.

11 mins — Donegal 0-1 Dublin 0-0: This was almost worth waiting for. With a couple of quick toe taps, Michael Murphy accelerates away from Denis Bastick and pings the opening point over Savage’s crossbar.

13 mins — Donegal 0-1 Dublin 0-1: The Dubs respond immediately as Costello curls over a free from all of 50 yards.

15 mins — Dublin 0-2 Donegal 0-1: Patient build-up by Dublin pays dividends. Bastick spreads the play out to McManamon on the right wing, and there’s enough daylight between him and Ryan McHugh to curl over a point off his left.

17 mins – Rory Kavanagh follows Michael Murphy and James McCarthy into the notebook. His tackle on John Small was a little high for the ref’s liking.

18 mins – Bad wide by Cormac Costello who hooks a free from directly in front of the posts.

20 mins — Dublin 0-3 Donegal 0-1: Half a chance for Paddy Andrews but there’s a Donegal player covering in behind McGinley to stop it. Costello knocks over a free to extend the Dubs’ lead.

Bernard Brogan surrounded Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

20 mins — GREAT CHANCE! The Dubs should have their opening goal! Brian Fenton bursts through from midfield and finds Costello who goes for power over precision, but sees his shot whistle by the post.

LATEST: It’s Tyrone 0-4 Armagh 0-4 in a game being played in horrible conditions.

23 mins – Eoin McHugh shown yellow as well for a wild sliding lunge after he lost possession in front of the Dublin goal. That’s four yellows in the opening 23 minutes.

24 mins — Dublin 0-3 Donegal 0-2: Donegal are finding it hard to engineer space in Dublin territory but they’re more than happy to play the waiting game. They recycle possession through Hugh McFadden and Rory Kavanagh, before Eamon McGee arrives on the overlap and points.

25 mins — Cormac Costello drops an effort short. That’s two points, two short and two wides for Costello so far.

28 mins — Dublin 0-3 Donegal 0-3: All square as Rory Kavanagh sends Brian Fenton back out onto Jones’ Road with a dummy and points.

Source: Tommy Grealy/INPHO

29 mins — Dublin 0-4 Donegal 0-3: The Dubs get their noses back in front as Flynn pops off the pass to McManamon and he fires over.

30 mins – Wild by Ryan McHugh who gets sight of the Canal End sticks but launches his effort high and wide… so high and wide that Eric Lowdnes gets there first and knocks it out of play for a Donegal sideline. Murphy makes a fine effort of it but it comes back off the post.

33 mins — Dublin 0-4 Donegal 0-4: Paddy McBrearty levels it up again as we approach the break.

32 mins – Dublin are coming under severe pressure just to retain possession within shooting distance of the Donegal goal. Eventually the ball falls to Bastick in just enough space but he can’t hit the target as he turns and gets his shot away.

35 mins — Dublin 0-5 Donegal 0-4: There are 27 players between the Donegal 45 and goal as Dublin try to find a way through. Paddy McGrath shoots out of the defensive line to try to snatch an interception, but Kevin McManamon just beats him to it, and Ciaran Kilkenny applies the finish to give Dublin the lead.


HALF TIME: Dublin 0-5 Donegal 0-4

Rory Kavanagh has the last chance of the half but under pressure from Paul Flynn, he steers his shot wide.

HT: Tyrone 0-8 Armagh 0-6

20,340 is the confirmed attendance in Croke Park this evening.

SECOND HALF: We’re back underway. Will we see a little bit more drama in this second 35? Please let us see a bit more drama…

39 mins — Dublin 0-5 Donegal 0-5: Ryan McHugh goes down under close attention from Andrews and Fenton, and McBrearty steps up to slot the free.

41 mins – A change apiece: Mark McHugh replaces Paddy McGrath; Dean Rock on in the Dublin attack for Bernard Brogan.

39 mins — Donegal 0-6 Dublin 0-5: Odhran MacNiallais sends Donegal into the lead for the first time since the 13th minute.

42 mins – Donegal win a soft free at Paul Flynn’s expense but McBrearty drops it right underneath the crossbar and Savage is able to palm it clear.

45 mins — Donegal 0-6 Dublin 0-6: Rock opens his account, taking a pass from Bastick and cutting back inside Hugh McFadden to point. All square again.

47 mins — Dublin 0-7 Donegal 0-6: Eamon McGee is too loose on Kevin McManamon, and the Dublin man is able to turn and pop a pass inside for Paddy Andrews to finish. That passage started about 20 seconds earlier with a brilliant block from Brian Fenton in Dublin territory.

51 mins — RED CARDS! Both sides down to 14 men as James McCarthy and Michael Murphy are both shown second yellows and the line. There was a little bit of handbags as Murphy slid in with a late foot block on Ciaran Kilkenny, and McCarthy reacted by shoving the Donegal man away.

53 mins – Yellow cards to beat the band now as both Eric Lowndes and Jonny Cooper go into the referee’s book.

55 mins – Rory Kavanagh rushes his shot and it’s wide, much to delight of the Hill 16 end.

56 mins — Dublin 0-8 Donegal 0-6: Brian Fenton is sent clean through on goal by Paul Flynn but pops the ball over the bar for an easy point rather than test McGinley or look for the man inside him.

57 mins — Dublin 0-9 Donegal 0-6: Davy Byrne makes his presence felt in attack, setting up Cormac Costello who stretches Dublin’s lead to three. Donegal haven’t scored in almost 20 minutes and the Dubs have four unanswered in that spell.

Latest: Tyrone 0-11 Armagh 0-8

62 mins — Dublin 0-9 Donegal 0-7: This ain’t over yet as Paddy McBrearty ends Donegal’s scoreless spell and cuts the Dubs’ lead to two.

64 mins – Kevin McManamon skews his shot wide with play is brought back for a Dublin free… which Rock misses.

65 mins — Dublin 0-10 Donegal 0-7: Dublin are pressing forward in numbers now and finding men in space. McManamon pops over a pass to restore their three-point lead.


66 mins — GOAL FOR DUBLIN! Dublin 1-10 Donegal 0-7 (McMahon) That should be that. Donegal turn over possession easily as they try to play their way out from the back. Flynn feeds McManamon who has Philly McMahon haring forward over his shoulder. He keeps his shot low and tucks it past McGinley.

70 mins – There’ll be four additional minutes but Dublin are on the cusp of making it six from six.

FT: Tyrone 0-13 Armagh 1-10 — drama at the death with a last-minute goal for Niall Grimley!

So that’s it from Croke Park but stay with us for more reaction later this evening.

Thanks for reading!

About the author:

Niall Kelly


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