Ulster Under-21 final: Donegal 3-17 0-13 Derry

Donegal's Under-21s celebrate their 13-point win over Derry at the Athletic Grounds
Donegal's Under-21s celebrate their 13-point win over Derry at the Athletic Grounds

Goals by Lorcan Connor, Ethan O'Donnell and Michael Carroll helped Donegal beat 14-man Derry 3-17 to 0-13 in Monday night's Ulster Under-21 football final.

Declan Bonner's men will now play Dublin in the All-Ireland semi-finals on Saturday.

It was Donegal's first provincial Under-21 title since 2010.

Derry had to play most of the second half without dismissed defender Oisin Duffin and two late goals put a gloss on Donegal's margin of victory.

Donegal were 0-4 to 0-1 up by the 10th minute, with Lorcan Connor converting a couple of frees and Michael Langan landing a '45.

But the Oak Leafers found a way to penetrate a packed defence, and went level through Conor Doherty, after Danny Tallon had converted three frees.

Donegal's Cian Mulligan competes against Cathal Mulholland of Derry
Donegal were beaten finalists in 2013, 2014 and 2015 and lost in last year's semi-finals

Goalkeeper Ben McKinless had to be alert to keep out a Tony McCleneghan shot as Donegal pressed, but the Oak Leafers went ahead for the first time in the 21st minute when Shane McGuigan sent over a superb point.

Donegal finished the half in spectacular fashion, with 1-4, including two wonderful Jason McGee scores.

Jamie Brennan's dribble along the left wing set up a goal for Connor, sending his side in with a 1-8 to 0-7 interval lead.

Donegal led by 1-8 to 0-7 at the break, and increased the advantage with scores from Connor and Cian Mulligan, who opened out a six-point lead.

Derry lost their most dangerous attacker Shane McGuigan to a black card, and soon afterward were reduced to 14 men when full-back Duffin, who had earlier been booked, was sent off on black/red cards.

Langan and Connor drilled frees between the posts, but Derry worked hard to create scores for Cathal Mulholland and Peter Hagan.

Donegal's Jason Magee gets to the ball ahead of Patrick Kearney of Derry
Donegal's Jason Magee gets to the ball ahead of Patrick Kearney of Derry

And when skipper Niall Keenan made a brilliant goal-line stop to deny Brennan, before racing upfield to slot over a point, they were still in the hunt, training by five points with 10 minutes to play.

However, the numerical handicap was soon to become too much for a courageous Oak Leaf side to handle.

Donegal were able to pick holes in the defensive set-up of a tiring opponent, and Carroll and Conor Morrison went through for fisted scores.

Substitute O'Donnell sprinted in for a solo goal with five minutes to play, and midfielder Carroll punched home his side's third in stoppage-time.

EirGrid Ulster Under-21 Football Championship final
Donegal: D Rodgers; C Morrison (0-1), S McMenamin, B McCole; C Mulligan (0-1), D Ó Baoill, E Bán Gallagher (0-1); T McClenaghan, J McGee (0-2); M Carroll (1-2), S McBrearty, C Kelly; L Connor (1-5 (0-5f), M Langan (0-3, 1f, 2 '45), J Brennan (0-1). Subs: C Doherty for Kelly (24), N O'Donnell (0-1) for McBreaty (40), E O'Donnell (1-0) for Doherty (53), C McLaughlin for Connor (56), C McGonigle for Langan (58), D Monagle for Mulligan (60)
Derry: B McKinless; N Keenan (0-1), O Duffin, C McGrogan; C Mulholland (0-1), M McEvoy, J Curran (0-1); J Doherty (0-1), P Kearney; P Hagan (0-2, 1f), D Curran, P Coney (0-1); D Tallon (0-4, 4f), S McGuigan (0-1), C Doherty (0-1).Subs: T Flanagan for McGuigan (BC 35), E McGill for Curran (43), J Donaghy for Doherty (43), F Kearney for Coney (56)
Referee: S Hurson (Tyrone).

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