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Cadbury All-Ireland Under 21 Football Championship Semi-Final – Donegal 0-12 Tipperary 0-4

April 17, 2010 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Donegal defeated Tipperary by 0-12 to 0-4 in the Cadbury All-Ireland Under 21 Football Championship Semi-Final on Saturday in Parnell Park Dublin. 


Murphy sends Donegal into U21 decider 

From the web site 

Saturday, April 17, 2010 

Michael Murphy kicked six points as Donegal gave a much-improved second half performance to seal a 0-12 to 0-4 victory over 14-man Tipperary in the Cadbury GAA Football All-Ireland U21 semi-final at Parnell Park on Saturday night.  Donegal led by 0-3 to 0-1 after a tight first half, but the dismissal of Tipperary’s Ciaran McDonald after the break helped Donegal and Murphy to take complete control in the final 20 minutes. 

A tepid first half produced just one point from play – a Leo McLoone effort for Donegal after a mazy run through the Munster champions’ defence. Despite the absence of open, attacking football, both sides had goal chances in the opening 30 minutes. Aldo Matassa, the Tipperary wing-forward, was the first to go close, walloping a fierce shot off the crossbar after he had weaved through a thicket of yellow-shirted defenders. Murphy, inevitably, had Donegal’s best goal-scoring chance, but he sent a shot just wide after beating McDonald to a high ball just before the break. Jim McGuinness’s Donegal side led 0-3 to 0-1 at the break, before the game, thankfully, sprung to life after the interval. 

Murphy, the Donegal full-forward, started the half like he meant business, kicking a fine point from  play inside the opening minute. Tipperary’s prospects of progressing to an All-Ireland final were then dealt a fatal blow when their full back, McDonald, who had managed to keep Murphy relatively quiet to this point, was dismissed after picking up a second yellow card for a foul on Donegal’s danger man. 

John Evans, the Tipperary boss, reacted by bringing John Coghlan back into the full-back line to mark Murphy, but by now another pointed free from the 2009 Young Footballer of the Year had nudged the Ulster men into a four-point lead. Séan Carey temporarily stemmed the tide with Tipp’s first point from play, but Murphy was in irresistible form and he immediately exerted his dominance over his new marker to reinstate his team’s comfortable buffer. 

Tipperary pulled another point back through Carey before Peter Acheson wasted their best opportunity of the half, blasting a shot off a defender after Robbie Kiely had presented him with a glorious chance. Dermot Molloy instantly made Tipperary pay by popping over a point with his fist when he might have goaled from a tight angle. Alan Moloney gave Tipperary hope when he reduced the gap to four with a glorious left-footed point from way out on the touchline. However, that was to prove to be Tipperary’s last score of the game and Donegal finished by kicking four successive points to seal a comfortable win. Murphy kicked his fifth and sixth points of the night, while Molloy and James Carroll were also on target for the Ulster champions.


Donegal advance as Tipp fall foul of Murphy 

Donegal 0-12 Tipperary 0-04 

By Fintan O’Toole from the Irish Examiner newspaper 

Monday, April 19, 2010 

THE attacking genius of Michael Murphy has caused suffering for plenty teams in recent seasons and Tipperary’s U21s became the latest victims of the Glenswilly man’s prowess in Saturday night’s All-Ireland U21FC semi-final in Parnell Park. Murphy was at the core of Donegal’s drive for success here, contributing half of their total, but his influence extended beyond scoretaking. He provided his team with a brilliant focal point and gave the second-half leadership that steered his side towards an All-Ireland date with Dublin in a fortnight.  That will be an evocative clash for Donegal football as they collide with the county their seniors trumped on a famous September afternoon in 1992 and indeed the game will represent the first All-Ireland football final a Donegal team has contested since that day. 

If Murphy’s strong input was one key element in deciding this game, then the other indisputably centred on the fate that befell his marker Ciaran McDonald. The Tipperary captain is an inspirational player and for 32 minutes he fought a terrific tussle with Murphy, as his resolute and clever play only yielded one point from play to the Donegal man. But the Aherlow youngster’s night ended when referee Damien Brazil flashed a yellow card in the 32nd minute that coupled with a booking in the ninth minute, led to McDonald trooping off in disconsolate fashion. Both bookings seemed harsh.  In Tipperary manager John Evans’ eyes, the first yellow card was a moment of panic by the match official: “I think he just panicked with the first yellow but the referee’s entitled to be nervous just like everyone else.  “Ciarán was doing tremendously well and he had the upper hand on Michael Murphy in the first half. These are the decisions that are made and we have to abide by them.” 

What was certain was how Donegal exploited the numerical advantage.  They led 0-5 to 0-1 after Murphy tapped over the free awarded following McDonald’s sending off and from there until the end, played intelligent and controlled football. Their rotating cast of midfielders – Conor Classon, Leo McLoone, Kevin Mulhern and Danny Curran – gave them a strong foothold, while in defence Paddy McGrath and Declan Walsh excelled.  The calm and alert Mark McHugh, son of Donegal great Martin, exerted a sizeable influence as well while James Carroll and Dermot Molloy assisted Murphy in the scoring stakes. 

By the end of the third quarter Donegal led 0-8 to 0-3 and their leading attacking trio embellished their advantage to read 0-12 to 0-4 at the final whistle. But manager Jimmy McGuinness was quick to pinpoint the sending off as the moment when the match turned irrevocably in their favour.  “It changed the game. I feel for the lad. He’s a phenomenal player and it was a phenomenal tussle between himself and Michael before that. It definitely had a huge bearing and it freed things up for us around the middle.  “We’re delighted though. It’s great for the lads as four months ago this moment was a long way away. They’ve worked very hard to get here.” 

After a stunning season, Tipperary ultimately limped out of the championship. Aside from the loss of McDonald, other factors hastened their exit. Munster final man-of-the-match Peter Acheson spent Friday night in hospital with illness and although he lined out here, he was unable to command midfield proceedings like he had in the provincial decider. Scores proved difficult for Tipperary to source and they only managed two points from play over the hour. Tipperary came desperately close to goaling twice but Aldo Matassa’s stinging drive in the 24th minute cannoned off the crossbar and in the 43rd minute Acheson’s low shot was tipped away by Peter Boyle.  Alan Moloney and Padraig O’Dwyer were shining lights for Tipperary yet Donegal were always difficult to break down, with their physical play and ploy of pulling 13 players behind the ball. But their persistent second-half battling in the face of impossible odds led to praise from Evans afterwards.  “I’m very proud. They went for 27 minutes with fourteen men but they didn’t lie down. When these lads line up with those U21s from last year and year before, Tipperary can have a bright senior team down the tracks.” 

Scorers for Donegal: M Murphy 0-6 (0-3f), D Molloy 0-3 (0-1f), J Carroll 0-2, L McLoone 0-1. 

Scorers for Tipperary: S Carey 0-2 (0-1f), C Sweeney (0-1f), A Moloney 0-1 each. 

DONEGAL: P Boyle; D Walsh, C Boyle, P McGrath; E Doherty, D Curran, K Mulhern; L McLoone, C Classon; D McLaughlin, D Molloy, T McKinley; A McFadden, M Murphy, M McHugh.
Subs: J Carroll for McLaughlin (half-time), P McNelis for McKinley (45), C Morrisson for McFadden (60), D Murphy for McGrath (60), S O’Kennedy for Curran (60) 

TIPPERARY: K Kenrick; D Lynch, C McDonald, R Kiely; D Dwyer, J Coghlan, P O’Dwyer; A Moloney, P Acheson; S Carey, B O’Brien, A Matassa; C Sweeney, S Egan, M O’Dwyer.
Subs: P McEvoy for M O’Dwyer (ht), T Hanly for Matassa (45), B O’Meara for Egan (48), G Ryan for O’Brien (55), D Heffernan for Carey (60). 

Referee: Damien Brazil (Offaly)


Team News 

The Tipperary U-21 Football team to play Donegal in the All Ireland U-21 Football Semi-Final on Saturday evening in Parnell Park, Dublin shows one change from the team which started against Kerry in the Munster final. Shane Egan of Galtee Rovers, who scored 2 crucial second half points in that game after coming on as a half time substitute, will start at full forward in place of Brian O’Meara. The team is:  

1          Kieran Kenrick             Moyle Rovers  
2          Robbie Kiely                Arravale Rovers          
3          Ciaran McDonald         Aherlow           Captain
4          Donal Lynch                 Commercials   
5          Padraig O’Dwyer          Eire Óg-Annacarty      
6          John Coghlan                Moyne-Templetuohy   
7          Dara Dwyer                 Moyle Rovers  
8          Alan Moloney               Rockwell Rovers         
9          Peter Acheson              Moyle Rovers  
10        Sean Carey                  Moyle Rovers  
11        Bernard O’Brien           Aherlow          
12        Aldo Matassa               Commercials               
13        Conor Sweeney            Ballyporeen
14        Shane Egan                  Galtee Rovers  
15        Michael O’Dwyer         Arravale Rovers  

Match Preview  

Cadbury GAA Football U21 Semi-final Previews  

From the web site  

Friday, April 16, 2010  

The Cadbury GAA Football U21 Championship reaches the All-Ireland semi-finals stage on Saturday, when Munster champions Tipperary face Donegal and Dublin go head-to-head with Connacht kingpins Roscommon.    

Cadbury GAA Football All Ireland U21 Championship 2010 semi-finals  

Saturday, April 17
Parnell Park: Tipperary v Donegal, 7.30pm  

These are heady days for Tipperary football, with the historic victory over Kerry last month the latest in a series of impressive performances. At Senior level the Premier County achieved promotion in successive years in the Allianz Football National League (although they were relegated this season), while at Minor level they contested the last two provincial finals.  

It looked as if it could be another hard luck story for the U21s before that stunning success at Tralee. The irony of the win is that Tipperary are managed by John Evans, a native of Kerry.  

Just 200 spectators attended the semi-final joust with Limerick at Thurles where the foundations for victory were laid in the opening half against the wind (0-9 to 1-3). The hosts increased the lead to five points on the restart and that was also the margin at the final whistle as a fourth successive final berth was secured.  

Not surprisingly, Tipperary were massive underdogs for the final against Kerry. The Kingdom had 25 provincial titles to their credit, Tipperary none. Kerry also enjoyed the home advantage of Tralee and had sauntered past the reigning Cadbury All-Ireland U21 champions Cork in the quarter-final before trouncing Waterford. It all pointed to a comfortable Kerry victory, but Tipperary hadn’t read the script.  

Initially it looked as if things would go as expected with the hosts leading by 1-2 to 0-1 after 15 minutes despite playing against the wind. The visitors dominated thesecond quarter thanks to Peter Acheson’s efforts, and Bernard O’Brien’s goal helped them into a 1-4 to 1-2 interval lead. Kerry hit three unanswered points in the third quarter before Séan Carey levelled for the underdogs. A couple of Shane Egan points edged the visitors clear and a lone Kerry reply was not enough to deny them a historic victory.  

Other surprise successes in recent times by Limerick and Waterford brought mixed fortune at the All-Ireland semi-final stage…the former beat Westmeath in 2000, the latter lost to Dublin three years later. Tipperary will be hoping to emulate the Shannonsiders today.  

In years to come when the 2010 Cadbury GAA Football U21 Championship is recalled, the one charge that will not be levelled against it was that it was predictable.   

Ulster was no exception to this unpredictability with Donegal (in their first provincial final for ten years) taking the crown for the first time since 1995, when, incidentally, they also defeated Cavan. Such a relatively novel pairing did no harm to the attendance, as more than 6,000 spectators made their way to Brewster Park, Enniskillen for last Wednesday week’s encounter.   

Initially, little separated the sides, but a goal by Michael Murphy just before the break gave Donegal a reasonable cushion. However, the Breffni men had the better of the third quarter and closed to within a point, but potential parity was snatched away by a quick goal and a point from Dermot Molloy, with Donegal eventually easing to a slightly flattering seven points victory.  

Naturally, many of the after-match plaudits were directed towards the two leading marksmen, but the Donegal defence has been key in their regaining the title after a 15-year lapse. They have yet to concede a goal in the campaign, and with the opposition averaging less than nine points per match, they are proving an incredibly difficult proposition.  

Down had been in pursuit of a third successive provincial title but were thumped by Cavan in the quarter-final, while the All-Ireland Minor champions for the last two years, Tyrone and Armagh, didn’t muster a win between them. Derry assumed favouritism after wins over Tyrone and Fermanagh but fell to the eventual champions in the penultimate round.  

Five of the starting XV ten days ago (Walsh, McLoone, Molloy, Carroll and Murphy) played in Donegal’s provincial Minor title win four years ago, and they provide the nucleus as the county faces into its first All-Ireland semi-final since they went down to Kerry in 1995 (1-5 to 2-6). In all Donegal have played in five semi-finals with a record of two wins and three losses.


April 17, 2010
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
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