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Third quarter blitz sees Donegal past Antrim in Ulster SFC semi-final

Jim McGuinness’ overcame some wayward first half shooting to run out comfortable winners.

Michael Murphy has top scored for Donegal.
Michael Murphy has top scored for Donegal.
Image: Presseye/William Cherry/INPHO

Donegal 3-16

Antrim 0-12

DONEGAL OUTSCORED ANTRIM by 2-4 to 0-1 in the opening 15 minutes of the second half to run out comfortable winners in their Ulster SFC semi-final clash in Clones today.

Jim McGuinness’ men had gone into the break level at seven points apiece after wayward shooting and poor decision making in the first half contributed to seven wides for the 2012 All-Ireland winners.

However, their accuracy improved in the third quarter as goals from Leo McLoone and Darach O’Connor ended the game as a contest, moving Donegal into a nine point lead from which they never looked back.

It was all so different from the first half where the 1/12 favourites couldn’t find any momentum and their wides allowed the Saffrons – playing in black today – draw level on more than four occasions.

Ultimately, Donegal used the so-called ‘moving quarter’ to stretch clear, limiting their opponents to jut one point from play in the second period as they reached their fourth consecutive Ulster final.

Scorers for Donegal: Darach O’Connor and Leo McLoone 1-2 each, Dermot Molloy 1-1, Odran Mac Niallais 0-4, Michael Murphy 0-3 (0-2f), Colm McFadden 0-2 (0-1f), Christy Toye 0-2.
Scorers for Antrim: Tomas McCann 0-3 (0-2f), Brian Neeson 0-3 (0-3f), Mark Sweeney 0-2, Paddy Cunningham 0-1 (0-1f), Paul McCann, Tomas McCann and Conor Murray 0-1 each.

DONEGAL
1. Paul Durcan
2. Eamon McGee
3. Neil McGee
4. Paddy McGrath
5. Frank McGlynn
23. Darrach O’Connor
7. Anthony Thompson
8. Neil Gallagher
20. Odran MacNiallais
10. Christy Toye
11. Leo McLoone
12. Ryan McHugh
13. Patrick McBearty
14. Michael Murphy
15. Colm McFadden

Subs: Martin McElhinney for Gallagher (16), David Walsh for McBrearty (50), Dermot Molloy for O’Connor (56), Luke Keaney for Toye (60), Declan Walsh for N McGee (66), Martin O’Reilly for McLoone (70).

ANTRIM
1. Patrick Flood
2. Kevin O Boyle
6. Justin Crozier
4. Niall Delargy
19. Paddy McBride
21. Sean McVeigh
7. James Laverty
8. Michael McCann
9. Niall McKeever
10. Conor Murray
11. Mark Sweeney
12. Paul McCann
13. Brian Neeson
14. Kevin Niblock
15. Tomas McCann

Subs: Ryan Murray for Paul McCann (47), Tony Scullion for McBride (50), Brian Neeson for Cunningham (54).

Referee: Barry Cassidy (Derry)

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About the author:

Steve O'Rourke

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