Date Time Competition Season
8 May 2022 4:00 pm Ulster Senior Football Championship 2022

Match Report

Donegal overcome Cavan challenge

Conor O’Donnell and Paddy McBrearty both found the net late in the second half, to see Donegal advance to the 2022 Ulster Senior Football Final.

The final beckons for Donegal but they had to work for the result, a 2-16 to 0-16 win over a game Cavan opposition will feel hard done by but for Donegal it is a tenth final in 12 years.

Michael Murphy, McBrearty and Jamie Brennan all influential for the men in green and gold, a great result for them building confidence ahead of the final in a few weeks time.

It was Cavan who signalled their intentions after a couple of seconds, Paddy Lynch finding his range to raise the white flag, two frees for Donegal either side of a Gerard Smith score had the game tied at 0-2 after 7 minutes.

Lynch added two quick fire frees to double the Cavan lead, Ciaran Thompson pulled one back for Donegal, but a goal chance was on the cards if he squared it and they could have gone ahead, but James Smith replied to make it a two point game again.

Murphy and Brennan kicked Donegal within a point by the 19th minute, but two well taken scores by Thomans Galligan made it a three point game after 21 minutes. Donegal again hit back through Murphy and Brennan, as very little could separate the two with the scoreline 0-8 to 0-7 after 24 minutes.

Lynch made it a two point game after 24 minutes, but McBrearty and Brenna clawed their team back into the tie at the interval, tied 0-9 to 0-9, a tight half dominated by Lynch on one side and the Donegal forward line at the other, Cavan could have had a goal however after 31 minutes a high ball into Smith his shot cannoned off the bar a great save by Shaun Patton.

Despite Smith getting on the board shortly after the restart, it was all Donegal in the early exchanges Peadar Mogan with the first of four scores to see them 0-13 to 0-10 ahead after 44 minutes. Smith and Gearoid McKiernan hit back for Cavan to put them back within a point after 48 minutes.

McKieran raised the white flag twice in quick succession to draw Cavan level again after 57 minutes, the fifth time the sides were level in the contest, when it looked like nothing could separate them McBrearty pointed, before substitute Conor O’Donnell found the back of the net just after the hour mark, the ball landing perfectly on his boot after a failed Cavan clearance from a high ball. 

From here Donegal had breathing room with McBrearty on hand to score another free after 65 minutes, the game looked beyond doubt as Raymond Galligan stepped up to kick a long range free. McBrearty finished his day with a tally of 1-4 gathering a high ball before turning and hitting the net on 68 minutes.


1Raymond Galligan Goalkeeper 68'
2Jason McLoughlin Defender
3Padraig Faulkner Defender 28'
4Killian Brady 19 Defender
5Luke Fortune Defender
6Killian Clarke Defender
7Conor Brady Defender
8Thomas Galligan Midfielder 20', 22'
9James Smith Midfielder 16', 38', 46'
10Gerard Smith Forward 6'
11Gearoid McKiernan Forward 47', 55', 57'
12Conor Moynagh Forward
13Cormac O’Reilly 21 Forward
14Paddy Lynch Forward 1', 10', 12', 18', 25', 70+4'
15Cian Madden 23 Forward
16Liam Brady
17Michael Argue Midfielder
18Chris Conroy Defender
19Caoimhin O’Reilly 4
20Niall Murray
21Martin Reilly 13
22Cian Reilly
23Oisin Kiernan 15 Defender
24Ciaran Brady
25Benjamin Kelly
26Ryan O’Neill Forward


1Shaun Patton Goalkeeper
2Caolan Ward 7 Defender
3Brendan McCole Defender
4Stephen McMenamin
5Ryan McHugh Defender
6Eoghán Bán Gallagher Defender
17Peadar Mogan 21 Forward 39'
18Hugh McFadden 8 Midfielder
9Jason McGee
10Ciaran Thompson 19 Midfielder 14'
11Shane O’Donnell 23
12Michael Langan Forward
13Patrick McBrearty Forward 68'
7', 28', 59', 64'
14Michael Murphy 3', 19', 24', 42', 44'
15Jamie Brennan Forward 17', 23', 33', 40'
16Michael Lynch Goalkeeper
7Ódhrán McFadden Ferry 2 Forward
8Caolan McGonagle 18 Midfielder 54'
19Conor O’Donnell 10 60'
20Paul Brennan Defender
21Neil McGee 17
22Daire O Baoill
23Niall O’Donnell 11
24Aaron Doherty
25Ethan O’Donnell
26Jeaic McKelvey
  • 74'

    Full Time in Clones, 2-16 to 0-16 in favour of Donegal

  • 74'

    Paddy Lynch with his sixth point, he converts a free

  • 72'

    Yellow for Galligan

  • 68'

    McBrearty hits the net that looks to be that

  • 68'

    Raymond Galligan points a long range free for Cavan

  • 64'

    McBrearty taps over a free

  • 60'

    He is just on the field but Conor O'Donnell finds the net as the ball falls nicely for him to score

  • 59'

    McBrearty puts Donegal ahead again

  • 59'

    Change in the Donegal attack Conor O’Donnell replaces Ciaran Thompson

  • 57'

    McKiernan levels the game for the fifth time

  • 55'

    McKiernan makes it a one point game

  • 55'

    Sub for Cavan Oisin Kiernan in for Cian Madden

  • 54'

    Caolan McGonagle puts the game back to two points

  • 50'

    Donegal sub Ódhrán McFadden Ferry replaces Caolan Ward

  • 47'

    Gearoid McKiernan with a second score in a row for Cavan

  • 46'

    Smith kicks his third to make it a two point game

  • 44'

    Martin Reilly replaces Cormac O'Reilly for Cavan

  • 44'

    Another free another Murphy point

  • 42'

    Murphy kicks Donegal's third in a row

  • 40'

    Jamie Brennan kicks his fourth from play, Donegal lead fort he first time

  • 39'

    Peadar Mogan equalises for Donegal

  • 38'

    James Smith with the opening score of the second half

  • 37'

    Enforced change for Donegal as Caolan McGonagle replaces Hugh McFadden for a HIA

  • 35'

    Second half is underway in Clones

  • 37'

    Half Time in Clones, the game is tied 0-9 a piece

  • 35'

    Two minutes added

  • 33'

    Brennan has them level for the third time

  • 31'

    High ball into Smith is causing issues for Donegal, his shot Canons off the bar a great save by Shaun Patton

  • 28'

    McBrearty converts the free

  • 28'

    McBrearty converts the free

  • 28'

    Padraig Faulkner is booked for a high tackle on McBrearty

  • 25'

    Lynch with yet another point for Cavan

  • 24'

    Murphy with a simple tap over free for a one point swing in the tie

  • 23'

    Brennan makes it a two point game again

  • 22'

    Galligan showing why he was used at full forward a great score

  • 20'

    Thomas Galligan kicks another point for Cavan

  • 19'

    Murphy adds another free

  • 18'

    Paddy Lynch enjoying the occasion with another score this time with an assist off the post

  • 17'

    Jamie Brennan keeps Donegal in the tie

  • 16'

    James Smith hits a beauty for Cavan

  • 14'

    Ciaran Thompson pulls one back for Donegal, but a goal chance was on the cards if he squared it

  • 12'

    Lynch adds another free just two minutes later

  • 10'

    Paddy Lynch kicks Cavan into the lead off a free

  • 7'

    Paddy McBrearty levels with a free

  • 6'

    Gerard Smith kicks Cavan back into the lead

  • 3'

    Michael Murphy levels with a free

  • 1'

    The ball is thrown in and game on!

  • Five minutes to throw in!

  • Two changes for Donegal ahead of throw in Hugh McFadden is into the centre of the field replacing Caolan McGonagle, while Peadar Mogan is named ahead of Ódhrán McFadden Ferry in the half back line, Cavan play as selected

  • With 15 minutes to throw in, no indication that either team has changes to their starting XV

  • Ulster Semi Final day in Clones, as Cavan meet Donegal for a place in the 2022 Senior Football Final, it looks to be a tight enjoyable contest between two familiar opponents, my name is Diarmuid Kearney and I will keep you updated on todays events


St. Tiernachs Park, Clones
St. Tiernach’s Park, Clones, County Monaghan, H23 FK29, Ireland

Diarmuid Kearney is a freelance Sports Journalist based in Co Kerry. He has more than 5 years experience covering domestic and international soccer for different media organisations, while also working for local and national print and digital organisations covering GAA.