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Donegal unhinged in second-half

The Donegal team which lost Saturday's All-Ireland Vocational Schools Football semi-final to Cork at McCann Park, Portarlington.

Cork 1-13 Donegal 0-8

BY CÓILIN DUFFY

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IT WAS a case of the clichéd ‘a game of two halves’ at McCann Park, Portarlington on Saturday, as Donegal lost their grip on the All-Ireland Vocational Schools title, by failing to score in the closing 30 minutes, despite a strong first-half showing.

Seosamh McKelvey’s charges looked in control in the opening half an hour, and indeed led by double-scores in the 29th minute, following a seventh point from senior player Paddy McBrearty.

But, Donegal became unhinged in the second half as Cork gained a foothold at midfield, with luck also not on the side of the Ulster champions.

Donegal had a McBrearty effort ruled wide in the 53rd minute, at a crucial stage for the Tir Chonaill men, even though from this reporter’s angle it was clearly over the crossbar.

Cork led by just three points at this stage, and certainly the game was within Donegal’s grasp, but the Rebels kicked on for victory with a 57th minute Daniel Nyhan goal the icing on the cake as Hughie Murphy’s side advanced to meet Kildare in the decider.

McBrearty fired seven of Donegal’s eight first half points, as they led by 0-8 to 0-5 at the break, but Cork firmly turned the tide on the restart, scoring 1-8 without reply to secure a final berth.

CORK: D Casey; K Dennehy, J Lynch, D Canty; K Crowley (0-1), S O’Sullivan, D Nyhan (1-1); M Murphy, G Farrell (0-1, 1f); G O’Shea, D O’Connor (0-3), C Hyde; M Quinn (0-1), G Barry (0-1), G Finn (0-4, 4f). Subs: R Cahalane (0-1) for Barry (40 mins); J Casey for O’Shea (57 mins); M McNamara for Quinn (59 mins).

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DONEGAL: S McCafferty; C Cunningham, J Coyle, O Porter; D Mulgrew, J Doherty, K Herron; R McNamee, H McFadden; E McHugh (0-1), P McBrearty (0-7, 5f), C McGettigan; K McNern, B McLaughlin, W Gillespie. Subs: C Thompson for McGettigan (39 mins); S Houghton for McLaughlin (47 mins).

REFEREE: D Brazil (Offaly)

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