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Dublin: 7°C Sunday 7 March 2021


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Good evening and welcome to tonight’s live coverage of the clash between Dublin and Donegal at Croke Park.

Here’s how the teams will start:


1. Stephen Cluxton (Parnell’s)

2. Philly McMahon (Ballymun Kickhams)
3. Michael Fitzsimons (Cuala)
4. Eric Lowndes (St Peregrine’s)

5. Brian Howard (Raheny)
6. James McCarthy (Ballymun Kickhams)
7. Jonny Cooper (Na Fianna)

8. Brian Fenton (Raheny)
9. Michael Darragh Macauley (Ballyboden St Enda’s)

10. Niall Scully (Templeogue Synge Street)
11. Con O’Callaghan (Cuala)
12. Ciarán Kilkenny (Castleknock)

13. Paul Mannion (Kilmacud Crokes)
14. Dean Rock (Ballymun Kickhams)
15. Paddy Andrews (St Brigid’s)



Three late changes to the Dublin team. Cian O’Sullivan replaces Philly McMahon, Eoin Murchan replaces Eric Lowndes and Jack McCaffrey replaces Paddy Andrews.

After Tyrone’s heavy 4-24 to 2-12 win over Roscommon in the Super 8s opener, Donegal will hoping to avoid a similar result against Dublin.

But Declan Bonner’s side should be well-equipped to take on the All-Ireland champions, even without injured star Paddy McBrearty.


Dublin 0-1 Donegal 0-0

From the throw-in Michael Darragh Macauley bombs forward and slips a pass to Niall Scully who wins a free. Dean Rock applies the finish.


Dublin 0-2 Donegal 0-0

A poor Shaun Patton kick-out is intercepted by Dublin and they win another free for Rock to swing over. Nervy start here by Donegal.


Dublin 0-2 Donegal 0-1

A quick counter-attack from Donegal sees Jamie Brennan open their account with a good left-footed effort.


Dublin 0-2 Donegal 0-2

Frank McGlynn makes a great run forward and kicks a booming score from the 45.


Dublin 0-2 Donegal 0-3

Donegal take the lead after an incredible score from a difficult angle.


Dublin 0-3 Donegal 0-3

Ciaran Kilkenny is fouled and Rock nails the free. Dublin have yet to score from open play.


Dublin 0-3 Donegal 0-4

Michael Murphy slots over a 45 with a crisp strike.


Dublin 0-4 Donegal 0-4

Con O’Callaghan forces a brilliant save from Patton but Kilkenny scoops up the rebound and scores his first point from three attempts.


Dublin 0-4 Donegal 0-5

After a few wides for both teams, Cluxton hits a bad kick-out into the hands of Murphy who scores his second. Very bright start by Donegal.


Dublin 0-5 Donegal 0-5

Brilliant show and go from Brian Howard before he splits the posts off the left foot. Superb effort there. That’s his fifth point of the championship.


Dublin 0-6 Donegal 0-5

Dublin show good patience with 15 Donegal players behind the ball. Cian O’Sullivan is fouled as he receives a pass in the D and Rock’s free sends Dublin one in front.


Dublin 1-6 Donegal 0-5

Niall Scully with a brilliant run through the Donegal defence for the opening goal of this game. Immediately at the far end Jamie Brennan latches onto a pass and points.


Dublin 1-7 Donegal 0-7

Again Dublin show good patience and Howard slots over his second. Dublin are beginning to turn it on now. Ciaran Thompson curls over a fine point at the far end.


Dublin 1-7 Donegal 0-7

Ryan McHugh kicks another wide, Donegal’s sixth. Michael Fitzsimons pulls off a brilliant interception on Jamie Brennan to deny Donegal a goal-scoring opportunity.


Dublin 1-8 Donegal 0-7

Rock curls over his fifth free, this one from a tricky angle on the left wing.


Dublin 1-8 Donegal 0-8

Murphy lands a fine point from wide on the right.


We’ll have two minutes of stoppage-time.


Dublin 1-9 Donegal 0-8

James McCarthy lands a ball on the net for his opening score of the day.


CHANCE! A Shaun Patton kick-out went badly astray to O’Callaghan but the Cuala ace couldn’t beat Patton from close-range.


HT – Dublin 1-9 Donegal 0-8


First-half talking points

  • Half-time came at the right time for Shaun Patton, who needs to get his head sorted after a few bad short kick-outs to Dublin forwards.
  • That was a superb first-half from Brian Howard, he kicked two points in what could be a coming-of-age performance by the 20-year-old.
  • Realistically Donegal need to be within striking distance when Dublin start running their bench in the third quarter.
  • It’s such a pity Paddy McBrearty is out, he’d have fancied those couple of goal chances that fell to Donegal in the first period.

The attendance in Croke Park today is 53,501.


The second-half is back underway…


Dublin 2-9 Donegal 0-8

Scully’s second goal arrived after a swift move involving Howard and Jonny Cooper.


Dublin 2-10 Donegal 0-8

Rock clips over a point off his left.


Dublin 2-10 Donegal 0-10

McHugh drives forward and kicks a score to bring Donegal within six.


Dublin 2-10 Donegal 0-11

Jamie Brennan kicks a score after good work from Eoin Ban Gallagher.


Dublin 2-10 Donegal 0-12

Michael Langan scores his first of the day to bring Donegal within four.

Macauley is replaced by Cormac Costello on the Dublin team.


Dublin 2-11 Donegal 0-12

Costello bombs forward and drives over a point. Dublin needed that.

Kevin McManamon is introduced for Paul Mannion, who hasn’t been near his best today.


SAVE! Patton saves well from Brian Fenton after a brilliant through ball by McManamon.


Paul Flynn is introduced for Brian Howard.


Dublin 2-12 Donegal 0-12

Rock swings over a free to leave six between them.


Dublin 2-12 Donegal 0-13

After a Jack McCaffrey goal chance at one end, Donegal break upfield and Leo McLoone is fouled by Scully. Murphy does the rest from the free.


Dublin 2-13 Donegal 0-13

Costello fists over his second point of the game.


Dublin 2-14 Donegal 0-13

Flynn strokes over a lovely curling effort. That move started with a fine Fenton mark at midfield.


Dublin 2-14 Donegal 0-14

Langan scores his second.

Eric Lowndes is in for McCaffrey.


Dublin 2-14 Donegal 0-15

Murphy’s fifth free leaves five between the teams.


Stephen McBrearty replaces Jamie Brennan on the Donegal side.


Dublin 2-14 Donegal 0-16

McBrearty is immediately involved and feeds McLoone who’s fouled by Lowndes. Murphy tags on the free.


Dublin 2-15 Donegal 0-16

Flynn scores his second after Dublin played keep ball for a couple of minutes.


FT – Dublin 2-15 Donegal 0-16

About the author:

Kevin O'Brien


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