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Donegal Under 17s defeat Derry to reach League semi

Donegal u17 manager Gary Duffy.

Derry 1-13 Donegal 0-18

Donegal qualified for the semi-finals of the Ulster Under 17 League after they recorded a hard-fought win over Derry in Celtic Park tonight.

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Derry got the first score of the game from Enda Downey, but Donegal responded well with points from Rory O’Donnell, Michael Coughlan, and Stephen McFadden.

The Oak Leaf county scored the next three points, before Shane O’Donnell levelled matters in the 16th minute, with an excellent effort off his left foot.

The home side missed a good goal chance from Eoin Hawe, but the lively forward did kick a good score moments later.

Stephen McFadden and Enda Downey traded points, before Gary Duffy’s team landed the last two scores of the first half from Anthony Doherty and Shane O’Donnell (free).

Donegal led by a point at the break, and O’Donnell converted a free in the 32nd minute.

Conleith McGuckin and Senan Rooney swapped points before Nathan Byrne fired over, and Stephen McFadden landed a treble.

Derry gave themselves some hope with a goal from John McErlean in the 39th minute.

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However, Duffy’s charges replied well with points from Rooney and Anthony Doherty.

Paddy Campbell’s Derry side kept battling and reduced their deficit to three points again.

Shane O’Donnell converted a free for the visitors, before Killybegs man Corey Byrne made a great penalty save from Downey.

O’Donnell and Dylan Doogan helped themselves to points for Donegal, while Shay Murray kept the scoreboard ticking at the other end.

Derry kicked three points in the closing exchanges to put two between the teams, but Duffy’s side held on to win.

They are away to Antrim on Saturday, but are already assured of a League semi spot regardless of the result in that match.

Donegal: Corey Byrne; Aaron Gilhooley, Cillian Gildea, Caolan Gallagher; Eoin Doherty, Shane Gillespie, Jamie Grant; Michael Coughlan (0-1), Rory O’Donnell (0-1); Shane O’Donnell (0-5, 3fs), Anthony Doherty (0-2), Stephen McFadden (0-5, 2fs); Josh Conlon, Nathan Byrne (0-1), Senan Rooney (0-2). Subs: Leo Dunphy for Conlon (23 mins), Dylan Doogan (0-1) for Byrne (51 mins), Seamus Og Byrne for E.Doherty (53 mins), Eric Carr for A.Doherty (54 mins), Ronan Frain and Donal Higgins for McFadden and Gallagher (59 mins).

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