All-Ireland Under-21 semi-final: Dublin 1-13 Donegal 0-9

Donegal were outplayed by Dublin in the All-Ireland Under-21 semi-finals
Donegal were outplayed by Dublin in the All-Ireland Under-21 semi-finals

Ulster champions Donegal's All-Ireland Under-21 challenge ended with a 1-13 to 0-9 semi-final defeat by Dublin.

Just five days after their Ulster final win over Derry, Donegal lacked the energy of the Dubs who killed the game off with a late Sean McMahon goal.

The seven-point success at Breffni Park puts the Leinster title holders into their first final since 2014, when they won the last of their four titles.

Dublin play the winners of the other semi-final between Kerry and Galway.

The Dubs started strongly with Con O'Callaghan, Tom Fox, Glen O'Reilly and Aaron Byrne shooting them into a four-point lead inside the opening quarter.

The Ulster champions' attempts to punish on the counter-attack were repeatedly thwarted by a well-organised defence, and it wasn't until the 24th minute that they registered their first score, a Michael Langan free.

O'Reilly's second score was cancelled out by Michael Carroll, and at the break, Donegal trailed by 0-5 to 0-2.

Con O'Callaghan scored the opening point with a free for Dublin
Con O'Callaghan scored the opening point with a free for Dublin

Dublin led by 0-5 to 0-2 at the break, but the Ulster champions adopted a more attacking approach and were rewarded with two points in the opening three minutes of the second half, Jason McGee and sub Niall O'Donnell trimming the deficit to a single point.

Aaron Byrne's well-taken scores made it 0-8 to 0-4, with 40 minutes on the clock.

Byrne won the free which he converted himself to further stretch the advantage, and Donegal went a quarter of an hour without a score, before Langan landed a free.

Corner-back Darren Byrne got in on the scoring act as the Dubs turned the screw, and they put the outcome virtually beyond doubt when Sean McMahon pushed forward to take Cian Murphy's pass and rifle a shot into the roof of the net on 50 minutes.

Dublin: E Comerford; D Byrne (0-1), C O'Shea, E Murchan; B Howard, S McMahon (1-0), C Murphy (0-2); A Foley, T Fox (0-1); G O'Reilly (0-2), A Byrne (0-4, 2f); C Basquel, D O'Brien, C O'Callaghan (0-1, f), D Gavin.

Subs: C Sallier (0-1) for O'Callaghan (3 BC), A Elliot for Foley (21), D Spillane for Fox (36), A McGowan (0-1) for O'Reilly (47), S Smith for Sallier (56), S Clayton for Basquel (59)

Donegal: D Rodgers; C Morrison, S McMenamin, B McCole; C Mulligan, D Ó Baoill, E Bán Gallagher; T McClenaghan, J McGee (0-1); M Carroll (0-1), S McBrearty (0-1), M Coyle; L Connor, M Langan (0-3, 2f), J Brennan.

Subs: C Doherty for Coyle (14), N O'Donnell (0-2) for McBrearty (23), E O'Donnell (0-1) for Connors (37), R Carr for Mulligan (42), C McGonagle for McCleneghan (49), McBrearty for O Baoill (54)

Referee: J Bermingham (Cork).

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