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Donegal secure safe passage to Ulster quarter-finals with assured win over Cavan

Ryan McHugh and substitute Cian Mulligan both hit the net to help Donegal to an eight-point victory.

Image: Evan Logan/INPHO

Donegal 2-20

Cavan 1-15

Alan Foley reporting at Ballybofey

DONEGAL HAD EIGHT points to spare over Cavan in their Ulster SFC preliminary round clash in Ballybofey on Sunday afternoon.

Following an open and reasonably entertaining contest, Declan Bonner’s team now take on Derry in the last eight at Celtic Park in two weeks’ time.

At one stage in the first half, Donegal outscored Cavan 1-9 to 1-0 to open up a seven-point lead.

Michael Langan and Ciaran Thompson in excelled during that fruitful stage, with both finishing the afternoon with three points from play.

Cavan’s goal on 16 minutes was tucked away neatly by Caoimhin O’Reilly, following great approach play from Killian Clarke, who cut inside and opened up the whole Donegal defence single-handedly.

That made the score 1-3 to 0-4 for Cavan but Donegal dominated from then on until the 30th minute. The hosts’ goal came from Ryan McHugh, who slapped a Murphy free past Galligan as it dropped short on 24 minutes.

Cavan’s hopes were boosted as they claimed the last three scores of the first half, with Gearoid McKiernan and Niall Murray both scoring, but Donegal were still 1-10 to 1-6 ahead at the break.

Michael Murphy would kick six points in all and Donegal kicked six in succession at the start of the second half, moving the home team into a 1-16 to 1-6 lead. Cavan had another decent spell with McKiernan playing a central role and they managed to get the deficit down to five points.

Patrick McBrearty hadn’t scored all afternoon but he clicked into gear with four points in the last 11 minutes. And Donegal substitute Cian Mulligan rammed home his side’s second goal in the last minute to confirm the win.

Scorers for Donegal: Michael Murphy (0-6, 3f), Patrick McBrearty (0-4), Ciaran Thompson (0-3), Michael Langan (0-3), Jamie Brennan (0-2), Leo McLoone (0-1), Caolan Ward (0-1), Ryan McHugh (1-0), Cian Mulligan (1-0).

Scorers for Cavan: Gearoid McKiernan (0-7, 2f), Caoimhin O’Reilly (1-3, 3f), Cian Mackey (0-2, 1f), Bryan Magee (0-1), Niall Murray (0-1), Adrian Cole (0-1).

Donegal

1. Shaun Patton

2. Eoghan Ban Gallagher
3. Neil McGee
4. Caolan Ward

5. Stephen McMenamin
6. Paul Brennan
7. Ryan McHugh

8. Hugh McFadden
9. Leo McLoone

10. Ciaran Thompson
11. Michael Langan
12. Frank McGlynn

13. Patrick McBrearty
14. Michael Murphy
15. Jamie Brennan

Subs:

Ciaran McGinley for Thompson (52)
Eamonn Doherty for McMenamin (58)
Cian Mulligan for McHugh (59)
Mark McHugh for McGlynn (65)
Stephen McBrearty for J Brennan (68)
Caolan McGonagle for Langan (60)

Cavan

1. Raymond Galligan

2. Jason McLoughlin
3. Padraig Faulkner
4. Niall Murray

5. Killian Brady
6. Ciaran Brady
7. Conor Moynagh

8. Killian Clarke
9. Bryan Magee

10. Cian Mackey
11. Oisin McKiernan
12. Enda Flanagan

13. Caoimhin O’Reilly
14. Gearoid McKiernan
15. Conor Bradley

Subs:

Fergal Reilly for K Brady (22)
Niall Clerkin for Murray (half-time)
Adrian Cole  for Magee (43)
Martin Reilly for O’Reilly (45)
Dara McVeety for Flanagan (52)
Ryan Connolly for Bradley (70).

Referee: David Gough (Meath)

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Alan Foley

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