BY CHRIS MCNULTY
DONEGAL Under-21 captain Patrick McBrearty wants to erase the pain of twelve months ago when he leads his side into the Ulster final against Cavan on Wednesday night.
McBrearty starred on Wednesday night as Donegal defeated Armagh 0-15 to 0-10 in Breffni Park to book a rematch with Cavan, who defeated them in the 2013 final.
The Kilcar man was on fire against the Orchard, hitting eight points in a splendid display that sets up the final mission.
“We’re back where we want to be,” McBrearty said.
“We were disappointed last year not to go the extra step. We’re hoping that, with the group of players we have here, we can go a step further this year.”
McBrearty pointed the way and was helped by excellent displays from Martin O’Reilly, Ryan McHugh and Eoin McHugh. Now he’s hoping to emulate the Michael Murphy-captained Donegal of 2010, who are the last team to defeat Cavan in the Ulster Under-21 Championship with Cavan having won the last three titles.
The Donegal skipper is privileged to have the chance.
He said: “It’s a massive honour. I was delighted when Maxi gave me the shout at the start of the year. To lift the Cup next week for Donegal would be a massive dream come true.”
Donegal led 0-7 to 0-4 at half-time on Wednesday night, in a game moved from Omagh to Cavan late in the day after Healy Park was ruled unplayable. While Armagh came back at them for a time, Donegal’s big players saw them through and Darach O’Connor scored a late point after coming on as a sub.
McBrearty said: “We showed good character. We didn’t let them come level with us at after the early part of the game. There’s a good mentality in the team.
“But we’re not finished yet and we definitely have homework to do. We could have had three or four goals out there, so that’s something that we will have to work on. Maxi and Rory will gather us together again and evaluate it all to get us ready for the final.”