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Brolly proves chip off the old block to point Antrim into semi-final

Donegal 2-14 Antrim 0-21 (after extra-time)

By John Campbell

Antrim achieved a significant breakthrough in the Ulster minor football championship at Ballybofey yesterday when they defied the odds to dismantle Donegal's title ambitions

A fusion of unrelenting commitment, cohesive teamwork and a generous ration of individual skills ultimately parachuted the Saffrons into a semi-final meeting with Derry or Tyrone and elicited strong praise from manager Hugh McGettigan.

"These lads are made of great character and I think they showed on this occasion that they just don't want to hear of the word defeat. They put in a tremendous effort and have obviously provided the county with a boost," declared McGettigan.

Substitute Ruairi Brolly, son of Derry legend Joe, had brought Antrim back on level terms with two fine points before Tiarnan McAteer fired over the all-important winner.

An opening flourish had brought Antrim six points with Liam Quinn in particular on song.

Donegal, though, profited from an out of the blue goal from a Peadar Mogan free to which Paddy Dolan and Oisin Gallen added points to keep them in touch at 0-12 to 1-5.

In a tense second half Antrim were restricted to just three points, Lanty Molloy appearing to have secured victory for Donegal before Quinn landed a late free to leave the score at the end of normal time 1-12 to 0-15.

And in a pulsating bout of extra-time it was Antrim who prevailed. Quinn and Nagle hit the target before Brolly's vital brace and then McAteer landed a late winner.

Donegal: C Randals; L Gavigan, A Deeney, C McGlynn; C McFadden 0-1, J McKelvey, P Murphy; R Doherty, C O'Donnell 0-2; P Dolan 0-1, A Doherty 0-2, B O'Donnell; P Mogan 1-3 (1f), O Gallen 1-2, C McGroddy 0-1. Subs: T Magowan 0-1 for B O'Donnell (40), S Doherty for Dolan (44), L Molloy 0-1 for McGroddy (48), J McSherry for C O'Donnell (61), Dolan for Gallen (BC 70). Yellow cards: Dolan (16), Mogan (44), A Doherty (74).

Antrim: M Byrne; E Kelly, J Toner, A Mulholland; J Gribbin, E McCabe, J McCaffrey 0-1; E Gibson, J Maybin; E Nagle 0-2, D McErlaine 0-1, T McAteer 0-4; L Quinn 0-7 (3f), D McEnhill, R Kelly 0-3. Subs: M Doherty 0-1 for McCaffrey (40), J Lenehan for Maybin (44), R Brolly 0-2 for Kelly (49), K McCann for Gibson, P Henvey for Gibson (both 56), J McCann for McErlaine (BC 64), M Donnelly for K McCann (BC 67), J McCaffrey for Kelly (74). Yellow cards: McCaffrey (21), Maybin (36), McCabe (47).

Referee: Steven Campbell (Tyrone)

Belfast Telegraph

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