DONEGAL SCHOOLBOYS 3 MAYO SCHOOLBOYS 2
(after extra time)
BY CHRIS MCNULTY AT FINN PARK
THE Donegal Schoolboys Under-13s are into the SFAI Inter-League final after overcoming Mayo in a gripping semi-final at Finn Park.
Kevin McHugh’s team were pushed all the way by Mayo and it wasn’t until Donal McBride’s winner in extra time that their passage into the final was sealed.
McBride got on the end of Jack Murphy’s corner to beat Tommy Scahill with a glancing header that flew in off the post.
Murphy played a big part in the win, scoring one and providing the assist for the other two.
Mayo cancelled out the strikes of Stephen Black and Murphy with Eoghan Ryan and Stephen Gill on the mark. But for the intervention of ‘keeper Adrian McLaughlin, Donegal might well have been heading for the exit, but his save to deny Adam Varley proved key in the win.
Donegal took the lead just before half time when centre-back Black steered home from a Murphy corner.
They’d lived dangerously at times with Adam McCaffrey clearing an effort by Kevin Kineally off the line early on.
Mayo drew level when Ryan finally breached McLaughlin’s resistance with a sweetly-struck effort from the edge of the box.
Donegal hit the front when Murphy’s free kick from way out on the right flank deceived Scahill, having taken a slight deflection on the way.
Still, Mayo came back and Donegal were caught by a sweeping counter-attack that ended with substitute Gill deftly lobbing Murphy.
McLaughlin made a superb save to thwart Rossa McAllister but, right on the blow of the half-time whistle in the extra period, McBride popped up with the winner to send Donegal through to next Sunday’s final against Waterford.
SEE MONDAY’S DONEGAL NEWS FOR FULL COVERAGE