All-Ireland U21FC final: Dublin down Donegal

May 01, 2010

Dublin's Gary Sweeney
By Cóilín Duffy

Dublin 1-10
Donegal 1-8

Dublin claimed their second ever Cadbury All-Ireland Under 21 football title thanks to a gutsy display before 8,492 spectators at Kingspan Breffni Park tonight.

Jim Gavin's charges held out, despite three minutes of second half injury-time, during which Michael Murphy sent a penalty effort off the cross-bar.

Late points from Ciaran Dorney and Dean Rock proved vital, in a game which Dublin dominated in the opening half, but saw Donegal gifted a life-line after a first half injury-time goal from Leo McLoone edged the Ulster champions ahead at the interval.

Michael Murphy may have been Donegal's scorer-in-chief coming into this game, but the Glenswilly clubman was tightly marshalled, as Dublin full-back Rory O'Carroll gave an outstanding display.

O'Carroll was only caught on one occasion during a keenly contested opening half, but despite Murphy's advances the Donegal full-forward's goal effort blazed wide of the target in the 30th minute.

However Donegal maintained pressure in injury-time, with Leo McLoone's 31st minute goal earning the Ulster champions a slender 1-4 to 0-6 interval lead.

Despite Mark Coughlan furnishing an equaliser for Dublin within a minute of the restart, scores from Murphy and substitute Cillian Morrison edged Donegal ahead by the 43rd minute.

Dublin regained the lead after Gary Sweeney bagged a goal with 13 minutes remaining, but the Metropolitans found it hard to shake off Donegal.

Dermot Molloy equalised with 10 minutes remaining, but Dublin always held the edge in the closing stages.

Dublin were keen to set the ground running with a second minute Robert McCarthy point settling Jim Gavin's charges early on.

But quick-fire Donegal quickly took the lead thanks to a brace of pointed frees from Gary Sweeney.

Jimmy McGuinness's charges may now have been in front, but they were firmly on the back-foot over the next 14 minutes as Dublin took control.

Midfielder Conor Classon was unable to extend Donegal's lead to two points, with their first wide in the eighth minute, as Dublin edged back ahead, following two Dean Rock scores.

Rock and Ciaran Dorney both had chances blaze wide of the target, but with Sweeney, Nicky Devereux and Rock bagging points, Dublin held a comfortable 0-6 to 0-2 lead in the 19th minute.

Dublin looked unstoppable, having registered five points in a row and Donegal losing shape.

But the Tir Chonaill side regrouped sufficiently as a brace of Dermot Molloy points cut the gap at 0-6 to 0-4 with two minutes remaining before the break.

Two goal chances fell Donegal's way in the space of a minute, and despite Murphy failing to convert after he rounded O'Carroll, McLoone quickly made amends.

Mark McHugh fed McLoone and following some good inter-play with Cillian Morrison, who drew advancing Dublin goalkeeper Vincent Whelan; the Naomh Conaill clubman fired the ball to an empty net.

Dublin regained the lead in spectacular fashion, when substitute David Quinn fed the in-rushing Gary Sweeney for a 47th minute goal.

But Donegal still had the potential to claim a first All-Ireland success since 1982, and pushed the Leinster champions to the edge in the final quarter.

The sides were tied at 1-7 apiece with 10 minutes remaining, but once Ciaran Dorney edged Dublin ahead in the 54th minute they wouldn't relinquish the lead.

A first point from a free for Michael Murphy cut the deficit to a point with a minute of normal time remaining.

Substitute Barry O'Rorke edged Dublin two points clear as the game entered injury-time, but hearts were sent racing when Murphy stepped up for a 62nd minute penalty kick.

However Murphy placed too much power in his place-kick, with the Glenswilly man left to watch on in disappointment as his effort blazed off the cross-bar.

From there Donegel had no comeback with Dublin captain Johnny Cooper accepting the cup on behalf of his jublinant team-mates after the game.

Dublin - V Whelan; E Culligan, Rory O'Carroll, D Nelson; J Cooper, J McCarthy, N Devereux (0-1); S Murray, C Mullins; M Coughlan (0-1), T Furman, G Sweeney (1-1); R McCarthy (0-1), D Rock (0-4, 2f, 1 45), C Dorney (0-1). Subs - D Quinn (Lucan Sarsfields) for R McCarthy (HT); C Reddin for J McCarthy (38); B O'Rorke (0-1) for Furman (44); S McGuinness for Nelson (49); N Brogan for Dorney (63)

Donegal - P Boyle; P McGrath, D Walsh, C Boyle; K Mulhern, D Curran, E Doherty; L McLoone (1-0), C Classon; M McHugh, T McKinley, A McFadden; J Carroll, M Murphy (0-2, 1f), D Molloy (0-1). Subs - C Morrison (0-1) for McFadden (29); D Murphy for McKinley (29); C McGinley for Carroll (54); S O'Kennedy for Curran (58)

Ref - Marty Duffy (Sligo)

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