DONEGAL MINOR boss Gary Duffy felt his house collapsed when corner stone Daithi Roberts was removed before throw-in.
The Gaoth Dobhair goalkeeper picked up an injury in the warm-up, which forced his departure from the action before it could even begin.
“It’s disappointing,” Duffy said afterwards.
“Losing Daithi Roberts, our influential goalkeeper, he’ll go on and play senior football for Donegal. He’s an exceptional player and our strategy is built around him.
“To lose him, it’s not an excuse, but it put us on the back foot. If you concede so many goals, you’ll be punished for it.”
Donegal, for whom Carlos O’Reilly scored 2-4, led by four points late in the first-half, but Monaghan hit goals either side of the interval to take a real command of the tie.
Duffy said: “We should have been three or four ahead, but it didn’t happen. It’s a game of what-ifs, but the scoreline doesn’t reflect that.”
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