By Mike Fitzpatrick
Donegal 3-19, Fermanagh 1-11
Having already beaten their Ulster rivals twice in the regular season, Donegal’s fears coming into this junior football A semi final
against Fermanagh were probably at a minimum. Victory breeds confidence, and despite the Ernemen’s impressive performances versus some of the other sides in Division A, they just couldn’t pull it off against this Donegal side.
As a club, Donegal is firing on all cylinders this season. Their senior side has reached the semi finals of their championship, and remain one of the favorites for the overall title; now the junior side has clinched a spot in the junior A final.
Donegal increased their already potent strike force with Armagh’s Peter Loughran, and Tony O’Donnell proved to be a welcome addition to the lineout when he scored two fine goals.
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Donegal went all out for victory from the first blow of Jimmy Naughton’s whistle. With O’Donnell and Loughran terrorizing the Fermanagh backline before the half was over, Donegal led by an impressive nine points.
Fermanagh had their own lethal weapon in Sean McGuckian, who’s talent with a dead ball decreased Donegal’s lead by a three point margin, meaning that going into the break, Fermanagh needed two goals to climb back into contention.
It was not to be however.
Despite the Erne lads improved performance towards the end of the half, Donegal retained control. Loughran continued his scoring streak with another trio of points, and together with efforts from Dermot Boylan, Gary Dowd, John Levins and Anton Diver, Donegal steamed ahead.
A 14-point victory for Donegal was how it ended, meaning that Fermanagh is out of the competition, having been defeated by its northern nemeses three times in the space of the season.
Donegal: Frank Molloy, Enda Lohan, Mark McClafferty, Paddy Burns, Eoin Farrell, Eamon Shaughnessy, Gary Rocks, John Levins (0-3), Gary Dowd (0-2), Liam Gallagher, Peter Loughran (1-6), Tadhg O’Donovan, Dermot Boylan (0-3), Tony O’Donnell (2-1), Anton Diver (0-3). Subs: Sammy Brogan (0-1), Leslie McGettigan, Mickey McBride, James Doherty, Pat McGill, PJ Colgan
Fermanagh: Alan Beatty, Damien Boyle, Ciaren Lee, Noel McGovern, Pauric Monaghan, Dermot Boylan, Marty McGlade, Paul McGuirk (0-1), Alan O’Neill (0-1), Garret McLoughlin (0-1), Sean McGuckian (1-7), Darren Doherty, Colm Walsh, Joe Egan, Sean Melly.