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Dublin: 10 °C Friday 3 April, 2020

Both sides finish with 14 men as late Mannion goal steers Dublin to victory

Dublin snatched a one-point win at Croke Park.

Dublin and Donegal players tussle for possession.
Dublin and Donegal players tussle for possession.
Image: Tom O'Hanlon/INPHO

Dublin 1-15
Donegal 1-14

PATIENCE WAS A theme of tonight’s Division 1 encounter, and Dublin’s composure was the differential factor again as a late Paul Mannion goal sealed victory for Dessie Farrell’s side.

The goal was credited to Mannion for helping the ball into the net from a high ball in, but really the score was the result of a scramble in the Donegal goal with goalkeeper Shaun Patton and full-back Neil McGee unable to stop the ball from resting in the net.

Donegal came close to snatching a draw at the death through points from Paddy McBrearty and Hugh McFadden. But the victory goes to Dublin, meaning they remain unbeaten in the league under Farrell’s watch.

Michael Murphy finished the tie with 0-6, including an impressive first-half mark before he was sent off late in the game along with Dublin defender John Small.

Donegal opened proceedings with two long passages of play, with Murphy getting them off the mark with a free which he earned in the third minute.

The Glenswilly man had just picked up a yellow card for catching Dublin full-back Davy Byrne with a late high challenge.

michael-murphy Donegal's Michael Murphy. Source: Tom O'Hanlon/INPHO

Donegal’s patient play reaped a major reward three minutes later when midfielder Hugh McFadden raced through unopposed before tucking his shot into the bottom corner off his left foot.

Dublin were equally patient with possession, as the pace of the game remained quite pedestrian. Seán Bugler registered Dublin’s first point before Murphy and Ciarán Kilkenny traded points from well-fetched marks.

By the 18th minute, Murphy’s tally was already at 0-3 as he steered a brilliant free off the ground between the posts from out near the sidelines.

Donegal should have two first-half goals when the ever-lively Ryan McHugh broke forward. The versatile Kilcar defender linked up well with Jamie Brennan but McHugh’s shot was at a perfect height for goalkeeper Evan Comerford who continues to deputise for Stephen Cluxton.

Brennan fisted the ball over the bar from the rebound to ensure Donegal came away from the move with something to offer the scoreboard.

Brian Howard left Dublin trailing by just 0-4 to 1-5 on 27 minutes with a fine individual effort that saw him round his man before sweeping the ball over the bar after gathering a pass from Michael Fitzsimons.

With both sides starting to play more open football, Dublin were the superior side in the final stages of the side. They outscored their Ulster opponents by 0-3 to 0-1, with Bugler, Rock and Kilkenny rattling off three points without reply.

Despite that burst, Donegal still held the advantage at half-time, leading by 1-6 to 0-7.

The second half began with much livelier exchanges, hitting eight points between them in the opening 25 minutes.

It began with two quickfire Donegal points from Ciaran Thompson and Peadar Mogan. Rock, Howard and substitute Cormac Costello combined to make it a one-point game after 45 minutes.

Murphy kept Donegal in front with a super point, and they engineered two more goal chances in the subsequent 10 minutes. Caolan McGonagle tried to nip in under a high ball, but was bettered in the air by Comerford.

McBrearty should have finished from close range but his bullet hit Comerford in the face, with the Dubs keeper needing some treatment for the blow.

An equalising point from substitute Colm Basquel on the hour-mark proved to be the starting point of Dublin’s drive to victory, with Mannion’s decisive goal following shortly after.

Scorers for Dublin: Dean Rock (0-4 3f), Paul Mannion (1-0), Sean Bugler, Ciaran Kilkenny,  Brian Howard and Brian Fenton (0-2 each), Colm Basquel, Cormac Costello and David Byrne (0-1 each).

Scorers for Donegal: Michael Murphy (0-6 3f, 1 mark) Hugh McFadden (1-1), Jamie Brennan (0-2), Peadar Mogan (0-2), Michael Langan, Ciaran Thompson and Patrick McBrearty (0-1 each).


1. Evan Comerford (Ballymun Kickhams)

2. Eoin Murchan (Na Fianna)
3. Davy Byrne (Naomh Olaf)
4. Mick Fitzsimons (Cuala)

5. Niall Scully (Templeogue Synge St)
6. John Small (Ballymun Kickhams)
7. Cillian O’Shea (Kilmacud Crokes)

8. Brian Fenton (Raheny)
9. Craig Dias (Kilmacud Crokes)

10. Brian Howard (Raheny)
11. Ciarán Kilkenny (Castleknock)
12. Sean Bugler (St. Oliver Plunkett Eoghan Ruadh)

13. Paul Mannion (Kilmacud Crokes)
14. Kevin McManamon (St Judes)
15. Dean Rock (Ballymun Kickhams)


20. Cormac Costello (Whitehall Colmcille) for Dias (HT)
17. Colm Basquel (Ballyboden St Enda’s) for McManamon (51)
18. Aaron Byrne (Na Fianna) for Bufgler (67).
26. Paddy Small (Ballymun Kickhams) for Rock (72).



1. Shaun Patton (Naomh Adhamhain)

2. Caolan Ward (Naomh Adhamhain)
3. Neil McGee (Gaoth Dobhair)
4. Eoin Ban Gallagher (Na Cealla Beaga)

5. Ryan McHugh (Cill Chartha)
22. Daire Ó Baoil (Gaoth Dobhair)
7. Odhran McFadden Ferry (Gaoth Dobhair)

8. Hugh McFadden (Na Cealla Bega)
9. Michael Langan (Naomh Micheal)

10. Paul Brennan (Realt na Mara, Bundoran)
11. Ciaran Thompson (Naomh Conaill)
12. Caolan McGonagle (Buncrana)

20. Peadar Mogan (Naomh Naille)
14. Michael Murphy (Gleann Tsuili, Captain)
15. Jamie Brennan (Realt na Mara, Bundoran)


17. Niall O’Donnell (Naomh Adhamháin) for Brennan (46).
13. Patrick McBrearty (Kilcar) for McGonagle (51).
24. Brendan McCole (Naomh Náolle) for Ward (54).
19. Eoin McHugh (Kilcar) for Brennan (61).

Referee: Maurice Deegan (Laois)

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About the author:

Sinead Farrell  / reports at Croke Park

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