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As it happened: Donegal v Meath, All-Ireland senior football Super 8s

We followed all the action from Ballybofey as the Ulster champions hosted Meath.

  • Donegal
    2 - 19
  • Meath
    1 - 13
  • 25 - 16
Image : Oisin Keniry/INPHO
95,092 Views 5 Comments

Good afternoon and welcome along to our live coverage of the All-Ireland senior football championship Super 8s clash between Donegal and Meath from Ballybofey.

After reigning supreme in Ulster again, Donegal begin their Super 8s Group 1 campaign against beaten Leinster finalists Meath, who came through a Round 4 Qualifier against Clare to reach this stage of the championship.

Declan Bonner’s Donegal have moved impressively through the gears already this summer and will want to lay down another marker on home soil.

Throw in is at 2pm and we’ll bring you all the action as it happens. 

If you haven’t heard, Dublin manager Jim Gavin has confirmed Diarmuid Connolly is back training with the All-Ireland champions after his move to America to play there for the summer fell through due to Visa issues. More here.

Here’s how the teams will line up this afternoon.


1. Shaun Patton

21. Paul Brennan
3. Neil McGee
4. Stephen McMenamin

5. Ryan McHugh
22. Odhran McFadden Ferry
7. Eoghan Bán Gallagher

8. Hugh McFadden
9. Jason McGee

10. Ciarán Thompson
11. Niall O’Donnell
12. Jamie Brennan

13. Patrick McBrearty
14. Michael Murphy
15. Michael Langan.


1. Andrew Colgan

2. Seamus Lavin
3. Conor McGill
4. Shane Gallagher

5. Donal Keogan
6. Padraic Harnan
7. Gavin McCoy

8. Bryan Menton
9. Shane McEntee

10. Ethan Devine
11. Bryan McMahon
26. James McEntee

13. Cillian O’Sullivan
14. Michael Newman
15. James Conlon.

Conditions are absolutely perfect at Ballybofey, where an expectant home crowd of over 12,000 have packed into the ground ahead of this one. Throw in is fast approaching.

A Meath flag is raised in the crowd Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Declan Bonner before the game Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Andy McEntee before the game Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

A general view of MacCumhaill Park Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

This is the fourth championship meeting between these two counties, with Meath winning the 1990 All-Ireland semi-final [3-9 to 1-7] while Donegal won the All-Ireland qualifiers [1-13 to 0-14] in 2002 and 2017 [Donegal 1-15 Meath 1-14].

Meanwhile, Donegal and Meath met twice in this year’s Allianz League Division 2 with the Ulster men winning both by two points — which way do you see this one going?

Poll Results:

Donegal (290)
Meath (50)
Draw  (7)

We’ve had the national anthem and referee Conor Lane is ready to get us underway. Remember, we have live updates from the All-Ireland SHC quarter-final between Cork and Kilkenny from Croke Park here. A big day of championship action.

Donegal 0-0 Meath 0-1

We’re up and running in Ballybofey and it’s the visitors who have started on the front foot, opening the scoring through Cillian O’Sullivan.

Donegal 0-1 Meath 0-1

Fast start to proceedings here and the home side are level as Paddy McBrearty powers forward and then links up with Jamie Brennan, who gets Donegal on the board from close range. 

Donegal 0-3 Meath 0-1 

Paddy McBrearty at his best as he shows skill and strength to manufacture the space for himself to fire over his first point of the afternoon. Shortly after, Michael Murphy gets in on the act to extend Donegal’s early lead.

Donegal 0-3 Meath 0-2

Meath find a good response as Bryan Menton steps up to land his side’s second of the game. They needed that to settle again. 

Donegal 0-4 Meath 0-2

At the other end, Donegal move it with pace and precision to open Meath up and Jason McGee is the man to finish. 

Donegal 0-5 Meath 0-2

Meath are struggling on kick out as Donegal press high and apply the squeeze. It’s something Andy McEntee’s side are going to have to address as Brennan swings over another point. 

Donegal 0-5 Meath 0-4

Excellent score from Mikey Newman, and Meath have worked hard to stay in touch inside this opening quarter. 

Donegal 0-5 Meath 0-4

It has been end-to-end in Ballybofey so far, with plenty of fascinating contests all over the park. 

Donegal 0-6 Meath 0-4

O’Sullivan has been a livewire for Meath in the opening 17 minutes, causing the Donegal defence plenty of problems, but Newman can’t take advantage from a free won by O’Sullivan.

At the other end, Ryan McHugh shows him how it’s done with a brilliant piece of individual play. 

Donegal 0-6 Meath 0-4

Both teams taking the opportunity to get some fluids on board on what is a hot and sticky afternoon in Ballybofey. Very little between the sides so far.

Donegal 0-6 Meath 0-5

The Ulster champions aren’t having it all their own way and Meath are back to within one, as James Conlon gets himself on the board. 

GOAL! Donegal 1-6 Meath 0-5 (McBrearty)

But, just like that, Donegal strike at the other end. McBrearty wins it out wide and takes full advantage, powering towards goal and firing it high into the net from a tight angle. The hosts lead by four. 

Donegal 1-7 Meath 0-7

It’s important that Meath keep the scoreboard ticking over as Donegal look to pull clear, and back-to-back scores, courtesy of Newman and McMahon, is just what the visitors needed as we approach the break. 

Donegal 1-8 Meath 0-7

Michael Murphy gets his second of the half and Donegal are four ahead again. We’ll have three minutes of added time. 

Donegal 1-9 Meath 0-8

Langan spins and pops over his first score of the day on the stroke of half-time and Donegal lead by five — but Meath hit straight back through McMahon.

What did you make of that first half? 

Paddy McBrearty’s goal put Donegal in control but Meath, to their credit, have worked hard to stay in touch and there are four points between the sides at the break. 

The teams are back out in Ballybofey and we’re ready for the second half. A big 35 minutes of football ahead. 

Donegal 1-9 Meath 0-9

Meath on the front foot from the off as the visitors drive forward from the restart and score through James McEntee.

Donegal 1-9 Meath 0-9

Meath have made a very, very bright start to this half. O’Sullivan does brilliantly to turn his man and his dipping effort forces the Donegal goalkeeper to backpedal and make a save, creating a goal chance for James Conlon — but he hits the post from close range. 

Donegal 1-10 Meath 0-9

McBrearty knocks over Donegal’s first free of the day.

Donegal 1-11 Meath 0-9

Huge let-off for Donegal as Meath’s celebrations have been cut short by the officials. Gavin McCoy has the ball in the net for the visitors but it’s chalked off because he was in the square before the ball came across. 

Donegal 1-11 Meath 0-9

Both sides have made a change, with Paul Brennan making way for Daire O Baoill and, on the Meath side, Shane Walsh replaces James Conlon.

GOAL! Donegal 1-11 Meath 1-9 (Newman)


Donal Keogan bursts through the Donegal defence and is brought down inside the area, leaving referee Conor Lane with little choice but to award the penalty. From the spot, Newman beats Shaun Patton. Game on!

Donegal 1-11 Meath 1-10

There’s now just one point between the sides. Bryan McMahon keeps the momentum with Meath. 

Donegal 1-11 Meath 1-11

Meath are motoring now! Menton collects the loose ball and swings it over to level the scores in Ballybofey. 

Donegal 1-11 Meath 1-11

Donegal’s four-point lead has evaporated in the blink of an eye and Bonner has responded by making a double change. Ciaran Thompson and Niall O’Donnell are replaced by Eoin McHugh and Oisin Gallen. 

Donegal 1-11 Meath 0-12

The visitors lead — and it comes courtesy of a brilliantly worked score finished off by Darragh Campion. What a response this has been from Andy McEntee’s men. 

Donegal 1-13 Meath 1-12

Shane Gallagher takes one for the team there as he picks up a black card and McBrearty knocks over the resulting free. From the following play, Ryan McHugh puts Donegal back in front. 

Donegal 1-13 Meath 1-13

What a chance for McEntee. It just opens up for him and the goal is at his mercy, but he can’t keep his effort down and Meath have to settle for a point.

Donegal 1-15 Meath 1-13

Moments later, Jamie Brennan has a sight of goal for Donegal but, like McEntee at the other end, he goes too high and it’s a point rather than a goal. Oisin Gallen then adds another for Donegal. 

Donegal 1-16 Meath 1-13

Donegal are back in the ascendancy again as McBrearty knocks over another free. They lead by three. 

Donegal 1-17 Meath 1-13

Meath feel O’Sullivan was fouled but their penalty appeals are waved away and then McBrearty extends Donegal’s lead to four.

Donegal 1-17 Meath 1-13

Big moment there as McBrearty is denied a second goal by a brilliant block and Meath are still fighting. 

Donegal 1-18 Meath 1-13

Murphy adds another and Donegal now lead by five as we head into six minutes of added time. 

GOAL! Donegal 2-18 Meath 1-13 (Gallen)

And that’s that. A first championship goal for Oisin Gallen seals victory for Donegal. 

Full-time! Donegal 2-19 Meath 1-13

A valiant effort from Andy McEntee’s Meath comes up short as Donegal, through the imperious Michael Murphy and Paddy McBrearty, get up and running in the Super 8s with a hard-fought win. 

Job done for Donegal in Ballybofey. Thanks for joining us this afternoon, until next time goodbye!

Ryan McHugh with Gavin McCoy Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

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All-Ireland Super 8s Group 1
Donegal 234 Fans
25 - 16
2-19 - 1-13
Full Time
Meath 186 Fans
Sunday, 14 July, 14:00
Yellow Cards
Red Cards
Second Yellow Cards


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