When Donegal needed a hero on St.Patrick’s Day, then Patrick McBrearty was willing to fill the shoes.
McBrearty forgot about the pressure and blasted home a penalty to give Donegal their sixth title Vocational Schools title at Pearse Stadium in Galway yesterday.
The Kilcar lad’s goal at the end of the third quarter was decisive and Donegal will feel justice was done after being denied victory in the drawn game after a mix-up in scores.
Donegal minor McBrearty — who hit 2-6 in the draw — was taken down when they led by 0-9 to 0-8 after 44 minutes and he converted.
Reigning champions Cork never recovered and while Jeff O’Donoghue, Gary Farrell and Michael Vaughan found their range, Donegal had points from Shaun Boyle and John O’Malley to lift the crown for the first time since 2002.
Aside from the penalty, all bar one of the remaining scores from both teams came from play in a high quality game which saw Cork race into a three-point lead in the opening eight minutes.
But by half-time John Joe O’Shea’s team had reduced the margin to 0-6 to 0-5. The sides were level twice in the second half before McBrearty decided the issue with his penalty.
SCORERS — Donegal: P McBrearty 1-1 (1-0 pen), S McGarvey 0-3, S Boyle, J O’Malley 0-2 each, L Barrett, B McNeilis, D White 0-1 each.
Cork: J O’Donoghue 0-4, J Corkery, D Harrington, M Vaughan 0-2 each, G Farrell 0-1 (1f).
Donegal — C McGlynn; J Campbell, A Blair, A McCloskey; M Reilly, P Doherty, N Breslin; D White, L Barrett; S McGarvey, J O’Malley, R McHugh; B McNeilis, P McBrearty, S Boyle.
Sub: S Ellis for Breslin (38).
Cork — S Masters; J Ryan, E Delaney, N McCarthy; L O’Neill, D O’Connell, TJ Brosnan; G Farrell, M Howard; M Sugrue, M Vaughan, D Harrington; S Ryan, J O’Donoghue, J Corkery.
Subs: G Barry for O’Neill( 42); C Flanagan for Harrington (50); A Goold for J Ryan (58).
Ref — D Corcoran (Mayo).