Donegal’s minor footballers have made history by reaching their first ever All-Ireland semi-final after defeating Dublin by a single point in a thrilling semi-final clash at Croke Park this afternoon.
However, at one stage it looked ominous for Declan Bonner’s side as, after 15 minutes, they trailed by four points on a scoreline of 0–1 to 0-05, the Donegal youngsters recording five wides – their only score coming from a free.
However, John Campbell turned the game Donegal’s way, first finding the net before putting over two excellent points to put his side ahead.
Dublin took the lead as early as the second minute through a Jack Burke point but Downings’ Lorcan Connor drew Donegal level three minutes later with a free.
A lively Dublin put over four unanswered points before Campbell took the game by the scruff of the neck.
First, he punched the ball to the back of the net after being picked out by McGlenaghan in the 22nd minute.
A minute later, he turned his man brilliantly to put over the bar to draw Donegal level.
He then pounced on a poor kick out by Dublin keeper Whelan to put two between the sides.
A brilliant long distance point from Connor increased the lead to three a minute later.
Saddler pulled a point back for Dublin before McBrearty put over a point t from distance to put three between the sides at half-time.
The Dubs made the perfect start to the second half, putting over a point from the throw-in.
They reduced the deficit to a single point four minutes later from a free conceded by Niall Friel, for which he received a black card being replaced by Morrison.
An excellent point from Mulligan put two between the sides before O’Callaghan’s four point of the game from a free reduced the deficit once again in the 38th minute.
McBrearty finished a great Donegal move with a fantastic point from a narrow angle to increase the lead to two points in the 41st minute.
Saddler took advantage of some poor defending by Donegal bring make it a “one point game” before McBrearty put over another brilliant point restore his side’s two point lead.
The game was once again turned around as Jack Burke found the back of the net as the Donegal defence failed to react quickly to a Dublin free kick and they extended the lead to two with a point almost immediately.
Another Connor free brought Donegal within a point on a scoreline of 1-11 to 1-10 with ten minutes left on the watch.
Stephen McBrearty put over an excellent long distance point in the 57th minute to draw Donegal level.
Ethan O’Donnell sent the Donegal fans wild with delight with less than two minutes to go when he pounced to thump over the bar and secure the Tir Chonaill minors their first ever appearance in an All-Ireland final when they will take on Kerry.
Now, it’s over to Jim McGuinness and his boys – come on Donegal !!!