Donegal secure spot in first McGurk Cup final with win over UU
Conor McGurk Cup Section A: Ulster University 1-17 Donegal 3-26; Section B: Down 5-30 Louth 0-11
DONEGAL secured a place in a first ever Conor McGurk Cup final with what was, in the end, a comfortable Section A win over Ulster University on Saturday afternoon.
However, UU were right in the game until the latter stages of the second-half, when a black card resulted in them having to play out the remainder of the match with 14 men.
There was only a point in it at half-time as a wonderful finish to the net by Cain Ferguson kept UU in touch, Donegal leading by 1-8 to 1-7. Gerry Gilmore's pointed conversion from a sideline cut was the pick of the visitors' first-half scores. At the second-half water break, the gap was still only two points, Donegal leading by 1-17 to 1-15, but that black card put the nails in the students' coffin, with the men from the north-west converting a penalty soon after.
“We're delighted, it's great preparation for the league and once we got a chance after the victory last week to push to get to the final – which has always been between Down and Antrim over the last four or five years – it was nice to break that duck and get over the line to get to it,” said Donegal manager Mickey McCann.
“We're looking forward to it and we've two good games under our belt now, which is the main thing. The score doesn't reflect the game, there was nothing in that game, up until the last 10 minutes I think we were maybe one or two points up and just pulled away.
“We pushed on then and gained momentum whereas they lost momentum. But it was a very tough game and the score doesn't reflect it. We're delighted to get to the final and looking forward to meeting Down, which is up another level.”
In Saturday's game in Section B, the Ards men confirmed their place in Wednesday's final with an emphatic victory over Louth at Ballela. Eoghan Sands, Ruairí McCrickard (two) and Pearse Óg McCrickard were among the goals for Ronan Sheehan's men.
Wednesday's final will take place at the Dub, with an 8pm throw-in.