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Dublin: 8 °C Friday 19 October, 2018


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EirGrid All-Ireland U21 football semi-final
Dublin 1-13 Donegal 0-9


Afternoon all and welcome along to EirGrid All-Ireland U21 football semi-final day. Later it’ll be Kerry against Galway at 4.30pm, first up it’s Dublin against Donegal at 2.30pm.

Here’s the Dublin team picked to start today, we’ll let you know of any late changes.


1. Evan Comerford (Ballymun Kickhams)

2. Darren Byrne (Raheny)
3. Cillian O’Shea (Kilmacud Crokes)
4. Eoin Murchan (Na Fianna)

5. Declan Monaghan (Clontarf)
6. Seán McMahon (Raheny)
7. Cian Murphy (Thomas Davis)

8. Andy Foley (Clontarf)
9. Tom Fox (Kilmacud Crokes)

10. Glenn O’Reilly (Na Fianna)
11. Aaron Byrne (Na Fianna)
12. Brian Howard (Raheny)

13. Chris Sallier (Thomas Davis)
14. Con O’Callaghan (Cuala)
15. Dan O’Brien (Kilmacud Crokes)

Here’s the Donegal team that started in last Monday night’s Ulster U21 final against Derry, we’ll let you know of any late changes here also.


1. Danny Rodgers (Dungloe)

2. Conor Morrison (St Eunan’s)
3. Stephen McMenamin (Aodh Ruadh)
4. Brendan McCole (Naomh Naille)

5. Cian Mulligan (Gaoth Dobhair)
6. Dáire Ó Baoill (Gaoth Dobhair)
7. Eoghan Bán Gallagher (Killybegs)

8. Jason McGee (Cloughaneely)
9. Tony McClenaghan (Moville)

10. Christy McLaughlin (Carndonagh)
11. Stephen McBrearty (Kilcar)
12. Michael Carroll (Gaoth Dobhair)

13. Lorcan Connor (Downings)
14. Michael Langan (St Michael’s)
15. Jamie Brennan (Bundoran)

One late Dublin change in defence, Damien Gavin in for Declan Monaghan.

Mark Coyle comes into the Donegal side for Christy McLaughlin.

Game on, Cork’s James Bermingham is the referee.

Dublin 0-1 Donegal 0-0
3 mins – Con O’Callaghan kicks over an early free for Dublin.

Colm Basquel is in for Dublin, big boost to have the Ballyboden St-Enda’s man.

O’Callaghan a huge loss for Dublin, he upended Donegal’s Conor Morrison off the ball.

Basquel started for Dublin instead of Chris Sallier in attack. In the absence of O’Callaghan, he’ll have a big role to play given his experience.

Dublin 0-2 Donegal 0-0
7 mins – Tom Fox slots over a point to push Dublin two clear.

Sub: Chris Sallier is the sub in for O’Callaghan in the Dublin forward line.

11 mins - Donegal’s shooting letting them down so far with wides from Stephen McBrearty and Eoghan Bán Gallagher. At the other end Dublin players Aaron Byrne and Basquel have been off target.

Dublin 0-3 Donegal 0-0
13 mins – Dublin’s accuracy not deserting them as Glenn O’Reilly splits the posts. Moments before Brian Howard had produced a vital block to deny Donegal as they attacked.

Sub: Donegal take off Mark Coyle and bring in Conor Doherty.

Yellow card for Donegal’s Jason McGee.

And a yellow card for Dublin’s Dan O’Brien. 17 minutes gone and we still await a first score for Donegal.

Dublin are doing a really good job frustrating Donegal and reducing them to pot shots from distance. 21 minutes gone.

Stephen McBrearty the latest Donegal player to be shown a yellow card.

Sub: Dublin make another change as Andy Foley is withdrawn and in comes Aaron Elliott.

Dublin 0-4 Donegal 0-0
23 mins – Nice interplay by Dublin and the move culminates in Sallier switching the focus of the attack with Aaron Byrne profiting to point.

Sub: Niall O’Donnell is in for Donegal for Stephen McBrearty.

Dublin 0-4 Donegal 0-1
24 mins – Finally Donegal get off the mark. The point comes from a free, beautifully struck by Michael Langan after he was fouled himself.

Dublin 0-5 Donegal 0-1
25 mins – Dublin counter attack after a Donegal mistake in their forward line results in a turnover and Glenn O’Reilly pops over a point.

Dublin 0-5 Donegal 0-2
30 mins – Just as we enter injury-time at the end of the opening half, Donegal strike a point from play courtesy of Michael Carroll.

Big goalmouth scramble as Carroll and Lorcan Connor try to net for Donegal but the Dublin defence scramble the ball away for a ’45.

The resultant ’45 from Langan for Donegal drifts wide.

Dublin 0-5 Donegal 0-3
31 mins – Second-half under way and Langan strikes over a lovely point off the outside of his right boot for Donegal.

Chance for Dublin to counter but a poor shot by Basquel after great work initially to create the opening.

Dublin 0-5 Donegal 0-4
33 mins – That’s a brilliant point clipped over off his left foot by Niall O’Donnell, the Donegal substitute. Backed by the wind, they’ve began the second half impressively.

Dublin 0-7 Donegal 0-4
36 mins – Goal chance for Dublin as Aaron Byrne brilliantly scythes through the defence and smashes over a point. Then Cian Murphy follows it up with a superb score.

Sub: Dublin bring in Darragh Spillane for Tom Fox.

Dublin 0-8 Donegal 0-4
40 mins – That’s a healthy cushion Dublin have now as Aaron Byrne slots over a ’45 after a great run initially by Eoin Murchan.

Yellow card for Donegal’s Eoghan Bán Gallagher.

And another yellow shown by referee James Bermingham, this time to Dublin’s Colm Basquel.

42 minutes gone in Kingspan Breffni Park.

Sub: Rory Carr in for Donegal for Cian Mulligan.

Donegal have been so impressive up to this point this season with their performances in Ulster but they haven’t been able to replicate that today. Admittedly Dublin’s defence has been excellent in thwarting them.

Dublin 0-9 Donegal 0-4
45 mins – In the absence of O’Callaghan, Aaron Byrne has stepped up today to star for the Dublin attack. He’s just pointed a free after being fouled himself.

Byrne was in marvellous form in Leinster as he claimed the EirGird Leinster U21 football player award and he’s maintained those high standards.

Dublin 0-9 Donegal 0-5
47 mins – A free from Langan cuts the deficit Donegal face.

Sub: Andrew McGowan the latest sub in for Dublin as Glenn O’Reilly makes way.

Dublin 0-10 Donegal 0-5
49 mins – Dublin’s sense of control isn’t wavering. Darren Byrne comes upfield to cap off a patient move with a point.

Sub: Caolan McGonagle the latest player brought in to try to rescue Donegal. Tony McCleneghan makes way.

Donegal nearly get in for a goal as they create an overlap but Dan O’Brien makes a timely interception for Dublin near his own goal and wins a free out.

Dublin 1-11 Donegal 0-5
51 mins – And that should be that! McMahon gallops forward to receive a well-timed pass from Cian Murphy and boots the ball to the roof of the net with his left foot. Sallier tags on a point soon after and it looks like Dublin can start planning for an All-Ireland final date.

Sub: Stephen Smith replaces Chris Sallier on the Dublin team.

Dublin 1-11 Donegal 0-6
57 mins – It’s a consolation score at this stage but that’s a sparkling point by Donegal forward Niall O’Donnell from the right wing.

Dublin 1-12 Donegal 0-6
58 mins – Substitute Andrew McGowan with the latest point for Dublin.

Dublin’s Brian Howard is the TG4 man-of-the-match for this game. He has put in an exceptional display.

Sub: Shane Clayton in for Dublin for his Ballyboden club mate Colm Basquel.

Dublin 1-12 Donegal 0-7
62 mins - Stephen McBrearty with an impressive point for Donegal.

Dublin 1-13 Donegal 0-7
64 mins – But Dublin counter with Cian Murphy popping over a point.

Dublin 1-13 Donegal 0-8
63 mins – A rush of late points here, another there by Donegal’s Ethan O’Donnell.

Dublin 1-13 Donegal 0-9
65 mins – Another late Donegal point, this time from Michael Langan.

So that’s it, Dublin through to the All-Ireland decider where they will face Kerry or Galway. Thanks for joining us this afternoon.

About the author:

Fintan O'Toole