Jim McGuinness celebrates another Ulster title. Presseye/Russell Pritchard/INPHO

Donegal reverse 2013 result to claim Ulster football title

Monaghan couldn’t live up to last year’s performance.

Donegal 0-15

Monaghan 1-9

DONEGAL HAVE WON their third Ulster senior football title in four years with a three point win over Monaghan in Clones this afternoon.

It was sweet revenge for Jim McGuinness’ men who lost last year’s decider to the same opponents but today’s game was far from a vintage affair.

A low-scoring first half started with a pair of missed frees from Conor McManus and Michael Murphy before Karl Lacey – a late edition to the Donegal starting XV – opened the scoring when a speculative ball broke his way.

Eamonn McGee and Colm McFadden added points of their own before Paul Finlay finally opened the scoring for Malachy O’Rourke’s men on 14 minutes.

It would take another nine minutes before Finlay tapped over the game’s next score though that prompted Donegal to kick on; stretching their advantage to three points once more with scores from Anthony Thompson and Colm McFadden (2).

Odhran MacNiallais pointed either side of Rory Beggan and Finlay scores to send Donegal in with 0-6 to 0-4 half-time lead.

Morgan Treacy / INPHO Morgan Treacy / INPHO / INPHO

The second half started with pointed frees for either side before Donegal increased their advantage to four points through McFadden again.

However, the Farney gave themselves a great chance of winning back-to-back titles for the first time since 1930 when Christopher McGuinness powered through to bury the ball past Paul Durcan in the Donegal goal to make it 0-10 to 1-6.

Monaghan were unable to build on that goal though as Donegal regrouped and re-established a four point cushion with scores from Ryan McHugh, Patrick McBrearty and Murphy.

A late Conor McManus score reduced the final deficit to three but it was far too little, too late as Donegal pick up their eighth Ulster title.

Scorers for Donegal: Colm McFadden 0-4 (0-4f), Odhran MacNiallais and Patrick McBrearty 0-3 each, Michael Murphy 0-2 (0-2f), Ryan McHugh, Karl Lacey and Anthony Thompson 0-1 each.
Scorers for Monaghan: Paul Finlay 0-4 (0-3f), Christopher McGuinness 1-0, Rory Beggan 0-2 (0-1f, 0-1’45) Vincent Corey, Kieran Hughes and Conor McManus 0-1 each.

1. Paul Durcan (The Four Masters)

2. Eamonn McGee (Ghaoth Dobhair)
3. Neil McGee (Ghaoth Dobhair)
6. Frank McGlynn (Glenfin)

5. Anthony Thompson (Naomh Conaill)
22. Karl Lacey (The Four Masters)
7. Paddy McGrath (Ardara)

26. Neil Gallagher (Glenswilly)
9. Christy Toye (Naomh Mícheál)

4. Ryan McHugh (Chíll Chartha)
11. Leo McLoone (Naomh Conaill)
12. Odhrán Mac Niallais (Ghaoth Dobhair)

17. Darach O’Connor (Naomh Conaill)
14. Michael Murphy (Glenswilly)
15. Colm McFadden (Naomh Mícheál)

Subs: Patrick McBrearty for O’Connor, Rory Kavanagh for Toye, Martin McElhinney for MacNiallais, Declan Walsh for McLoone, Dermot Molloy for McFadden.

1. Rory Beggan (Scotstown)

2. Ryan Wylie (Ballybay)
3. Drew Wylie (Ballybay)
4. Colin Walshe (Doohamlet)

5. Dessie Mone (Clontibret)
6. Vinny Corey (Clontibret)
7. Fintan Kelly (Clones)

8. Dick Clerkin (Currin)
9. Darren Hughes (Scotstown)

10. Paudie Mc Kenna (Truagh Gaels)
11. Stephen Gollogly (Carrickmacross)
12. Paul Finlay (Ballybay)

13. Dermot Malone (Castleblayney Faughs)
14. Kieran Hughes (Scotstown)
15. Conor McManus (Clontibret)

Subs: Christopher McGuinness for McKenna, Owen Duffy for Gollogly, Karl O’Connell for Kelly, Pádraig Donaghy for Malone, Gavin Doogan for Clerkin.

Referee: Maurice Deegan (Laois).

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