In The Irish News - Apr 6 1998: Donegal's Brendan Devenney lands knockout blows to send Cork crashing out of league title race
National Football League quarter-final: Donegal 2-14 Cork 1-9
DONEGAL’S 21-year-old rising star Brendan Devenney produced the knockout punches with two terrific goals to send Cork crashing out of the league title race yesterday.
He struck after four minutes 45 seconds and on the half hour as Donegal displayed their full collection of football craft, skill and inventive expansive football.
A sparkling performance, will send them into Sunday’s showdown with Leinster champions Offaly in good heart and with a spring in their step. Offaly defeated Galway in their quarter-final at Hyde Park.
Declan Bonner, their manager, will feel well satisfied with the quality offered at Croke Park.
A highly-entertaining match, it was also too loose at times, and Donegal’s man-marking and pressurising space on the opposition when not in possession will need some practice.
A treble of outstanding saves by keeper Paul Callaghan illustrated the need to continue to tighten their belts, but on the plus side Donegal’s level of attacking fluency will make them a handful for all comers in the weeks ahead.
Noel Hegarty again excelled.
His build-up play, vision and distribution emphasised his importance to the team, as did an outstanding performance from right full back Barry McGowan.
He made some vital interceptions, and was adventurous in his prominent abilities to join in and support the attack.
In the forward line Devenney sparkled, while Tony Boyle and John Duffy produced some marvellous play.
Donegal: P Callaghan, B McGowan (0-1), J J Doherty, D Diver, N McGinley, M Coll, N Hegarty, J McGuinness (0-2), J Ruane (0-1), S Carr, A Sweeney (0-1), B Roper, J Duffy (0-1), T Boyle (0-6), B Devenney (2-2).
Subs: B Murray for Duffy (53 mins).
Cork: M Maguire, E Sexton, B Corcoran, A Lynch, C O’Sullivan (0-3), S Og O hAilpin, D Wiseman, N Murphy (0-1), M Monaghan, B Walsh (0-1), J Kavanagh (1-3), C Crowley, A O’Regan (0-1), P Hegarty, A Dorgan.
Subs: B Collins for Sexton (halftime), M O’Donovan for Lynch (26 mins), S O’Brien for Crowley (42 mins).
Referee: B White (Wexford)
National Football League quarter-final: Derry 1-9 Mayo 0-10
A determined Derry swept into their fourth league semi-final of the 90s with victory over Mayo.
Their victory was fully deserved even if a wasteful Mayo made the task much easier with 11 wides and a couple of missed goal chances in front of 9,000 spectators at Markievicz Park.
Dermot Heaney was the dominant player in the centre of the park, with Anthony Tohill also very effective in a defensive midfield role.
Johnny McBride had an outstanding game in defence, sharp and safe.
Time and again he broke up Mayo attacks with either a timely interception or strong catch.
Horan was Mayo’s best forward even if guilty of some woeful finishing.
Their slow build-up was easily countered by Derry McFlynn, McKeever and Downey showing great composure.
Keeper McCloskey showed his class with a couple of sharp saves in the second half. Coleman’s 17th minute goal was clinically taken and proved the difference between the sides at the final whistle.
Derry: E McCloskey, K McKeever (capt), H Downey, J McBride, P McFlynn (0-1), S M Lockhart, J McGurk, A Tohill, D Dougan (0-2), G Magill, G Coleman (1-0), E Burns (0-2), J Brolly (0-3), D Heaney (0-1), S McLarnon.
Subs: F McCusker for J McGurk (27 mins), S Downey for S McLarnon (45 mins).
Mayo: P Burke, K Mortimer, D Heaney, P Holmes, G Morley, J Nallen (capt), J Casey, P Fallon, D Brady, J Horan (0-3), L McHale, C McMenamin (0-3), K McDonald, R Dempsey, M Sheridan (0-4).
Subs: D Nestor for P Fallon (45 mins), D Byrne for R Dempsey (54 mins), R Connelly for K McDonald (56 mins).
Ref: J Bannon (Longford).