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The Irish News Archive: - June 21 1998: 14-man Donegal dethrone Ulster holders Cavan

BREAKING THROUGH... Raymond Cunningham of Cavan pulls away from Donegal’s Noel McGinley during yesterday’s Ulster Senior Football Championship semi-final which saw the northwest county secure a place in the Ulster final where they will meet either Derry or Armagh
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Bank of Ireland Ulster Senior Football Championship semi-final Cavan (holders) 0-13 Donegal 0-15

SHARING a joke with a friendly Donegal hack amongst the waiting media scrum, Brendan Devenney deftly put his finger on the key to the victory which had put him in such good form: “Jesus, boy, maybe we should be playing with 14 men all the time”.

Yesterday’s Ulster semi-final at Clones once again proved a familiar point.

In gaelic football, having a man less is usually good news.

For the second week in succession, the county reduced to 14 players overcame the pre-match favourites with a gutsy team performance and an exhibition of tireless running and possession football.

Referee Martin McBrien will at least be welcome in Armagh and Donegal.

Manager Declan Bonner, in receipt of countless hugs for already achieving quite a lot in his first year in charge, was full of praise for his players, who had covered very blade of grass in pursuit of their first provincial final since 1993.

“In fairness, we kicked that many wides we could have won two matches,” was the honest response, “but the lads were outstanding, every last one of them”.

“You saw Armagh last week, they showed great spirit, and our lads were exactly the same, they were really up for it.”

Rather than making matters worse, Martin Coll’s dismissal after only nine minutes stirred Donegal into life.

Bonner put the lethargic display up to that point down to nerves.

Cavan: Paul O’Dowd; Gerry Sheridan, Terry Farrelly, Ciaran Brady; Anthony Forde, Bernard Morris (capt.), Raphael Rodgers; Dermot McCabe, Patrick Shiels; Ronan Carolan, Larry Reilly, Raymond Cunningham; Jason Reilly, Fintan Cahill, Mickey Graham.

Subs: Finbar Reilly for Sheils (37), Mark Leddy for Jason Reilly (49), Jamie Coffey for Brady (60).

Points: Ronan Carolan 7, Mickey Graham 1, Fintan Cahill 1, Raymond Cunningham 1, Dermot McCabe 1, Raphael Rodgers 1.

Donegal: Tony Blake; Mark Crossan, John Joe Doherty, Barry McGowan; Damien Diver, Martin Coll, Noel McGinley; Noel Hegarty, Jim McGuinness; John Duffy, Adrian Sweeney, John Gildea; Brendan Devenney, Tony Boyle, Manus Boyle.

Subs: Brian Roper for Duffy (56), James McHugh for Sweeney (62).

Points: Tony Boyle 5, Manus Boyle 3, John Duffy 2, Noel McGinley 1, Brendan Devenney 1, John Gildea 1, Damien Diver 1, Brian Roper 1.

Attendance: 26,811.

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TYRONE minor captain Brian McGuigan is out of the Ulster Championship semi-final against Derry next Sunday after breaking his collarbone in a friendly against Cork at the weekend.

McGuigan was involved in an accidental clash with an opponent in the early stages of Saturday’s game at Portlaoise.

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ENGLAND central defender Gareth Southgate has been declared fit to face Romania in tonight’s World Cup qualifier in Toulouse.

Coach Glenn Hoddle said the Aston Villa player proved his fitness during a training session at the squad’s training camp in La Baule yesterday morning. Southgate was sidelined for three days after picking up ankle and foot injuries in training on Tuesday.

He was back in training this morning but unless he suffers an adverse reaction today, Hoddle maintains he will be able to face Romania.

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