Donegal manager Jim McGuinness. Andy Paton/INPHO
Moving On

'We had a good case' - McGuinness celebrates suspension overturn with encouraging win

Donegal advanced to the McKenna Cup final with a convincing result against Monaghan.

Monaghan 0-11

Donegal 4-14

A WEEK THAT started with Jim McGuinness facing a proposed eight-week ban for Donegal’s fielding of an ineligible player in the Dr McKenna Cup ended with no suspension and a very encouraging semi-final win over Monaghan

The Donegal manager took the case of 17-year-old Finbarr Roarty to the Ulster Hearings Committee on Thursday, to learn that the “alleged infraction was not proven.”

Following Donegal’s 4-14 to 0-11 win over Monaghan in Castleblayney, the focus on McGuinness was more on the last week than the upcoming one.

“We had a good case,” he said of the appeal. “There was an administrative error and the rulebook was not clear as well. Who is the ‘person in charge of the team?’ and where does the role of the coach end and the administrator begin?

“That rule when it was brought initially was to deal with juvenile football, where people we managing young fellows and then chairpersons and secretary were getting major sanctions. But this is senior football and we have senior executives, who deal with the goings-on off the pitch. There’s probably something there in terms of the rulebook.

“We take it on the chin as we should’ve known but it was an administrative error. I came out after that game and spoke to the media about how well he had done and if there was any malice involved that would be the last thing we would be doing.”

Against Monaghan, two goals from Oisin Gallen, one from man-of-the-match Odhrán Doherty and another in the second half from first-timer Ronan Frain sealed a 15-point win.

Monaghan played a pressing game – which included goalkeeper Darren McDonnell – and were constantly picked off by a Donegal side who were strong in the turnover and then blistering on the break.

McDonnell was caught upfield for Gallen’s opening goal on eight minutes and Doherty smashed home a second in the 19th minute to put Donegal into a lead of 2-4 to 0-1.

By half-time it was 3-9 to 0-4, with the third goal coming again from Gallen, blasting home a penalty after Ryan O’Toole had touched the ball on the ground. Donegal’s fourth came courtesy of Ronan Frain, a debutant who palmed home Luke McGlynn’s centre midway through the second half.

Monaghan’s only real threat came from Stephen Mooney, who scored eight points – six of which were frees – and to make matters worse, lost Sean Jones and Conor McCarthy to early injuries. Donegal will take on Derry in the final on Saturday ahead of the visit of Cork on the opening weekend of Division 2.

Monaghan scorers: Stephen Mooney 0-8, 7f; Barry McBennett, Gary Mohan and Ciaran McNulty 0-1.

Donegal scorers: Oisin Gallen 2-4, 1m, 1f; Jamie Brennan 0-3; Odhrán Doherty and Ronan Frain 1-0; Karl Joseph Molloy 0-2, 2f; Shane O’Donnell, Oisin Caulfield, Patrick McBrearty, Ryan McHugh, Luke McGlynn, 0-1.

Monaghan: Darren McDonnell; Ryan O’Toole, Killian Lavelle, Kevin Loughran; Kevin Sheridan, Colm Lennon, Conor McCarthy; Michéal McCarville, Gary Mohan; Barry McBennett, Stephen O’Hanlon, Joel Wilson; David Garland, Sean Jones, Jason Irwin. Subs: Stephen Mooney for Jones (2), Darragh McElarney for McCarthy (14), Darragh Treanor, Michael Hamill, Andrew Woods and Thomas McPhillips for Lennon, Wilson, Garland and O’Toole (half-time), Bobby Walker for Lavelle (46); Francis Hughes and Ciaran McNulty for Mahon and Bennett (52), Jack McCarron for O’Hanlon (56)

Donegal: Shaun Patton; Mark Curran, Domhnall Mac Giolla Bhríde, Stephen McMenamin; Ryan McHugh, Caolan McGonagle, Jeaic Mac Ceallabhuí; Oisín Caulfield, Ciarán Moore; Ciarán Thompson, Odhrán Doherty, Shane O’Donnell; Patrick McBrearty, Oisin Gallen, Jamie Brennan. Subs Luke McGlynn for Gallen (half-time); Peadar Mogan for McMenamin (46), Ronan Frain for O’Donnell (48), Rory O’Donnell got Doherty (42), Aaron Doherty and KJ Molloy for McBrearty and Thompson (58), Daithí Roberts for Patton (63).

Referee: Mark Loughran (Tyrone)

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