DECLAN BONNER INSISTS Donegal’s continuation in the Dr McKenna Cup has more than served its purpose following last night’s victory over Armagh.
Bonner’s team came good in the end to seal a 0-20 to 1-10 win over the side managed by Kieran McGeeney and set up a final meeting with Tyrone on the weekend of February 17/18.
In the last decade, the team’s records in the competitions couldn’t have been much different with Donegal defeating Armagh last night to claim a first final appearance since before Jim McGuinness and all that in 2010.
On the other hand, Mickey Harte’s Tyrone are now gunning for seventh successive success in the curtain-raising competition in Ulster.
Last night at Celtic Park in Derry – the venue chosen by the Ulster Council after both Ballybofey and Armagh failed morning pitch inspections – Donegal recovered from a four-point deficit to win comfortably in the end.
Eamon McGeown, the Armagh full-forward, enjoyed a fine first half and gave Donegal plenty to think about in the first 35 minutes.
McGeown, at the second attempt after an excellently fielded ball and initial shot that was saved by Donegal goalkeeper Mark Anthony McGinley, tucked home a goal for Armagh on 12 minutes.
That established a lead of 1-3 to 0-2 but from then on, Donegal managed to grasp control, with Patrick McBrearty kicking six first half points.
It was level, 1-6 to 0-9, at half-time but Donegal were in complete control after the break with Stephen McBrearty and Niall O’Donnell both coming off the bench to kick three points apiece.
Niall O’Donnell came off the bench to score three points for Donegal in last night’s Dr McKenna Cup semi-final win over Armagh at Celtic Park
Nathan Mullins put in a man of the match at midfield, with two points, while Patrick McBrearty’s excellent form from last year with club and county continues, with the Kilcar forward scoring eight in all.
“We didn’t start that well and struggled a fair bit especially with that early direct ball coming in from Armagh,” Bonner added. “But listen, we got in all square at half-time without us playing that well in the first half.