Date Time Competition Season
4 June 2023 4:00 pm Sam Maguire Cup 2023

Match Report

Clinical Derry Have Five To Spare Over Donegal

Derry applied a ruthless touch to earn a high-scoring victory against Donegal as four goals were shared in an action-packed game in Ballybofey.

Despite only managing a draw last week, Derry had their foot firmly on the throttle early on at MacCumhaill Park, Padraig Cassidy and Ben Heron pointing early on.

Conor O’Donnell and Oisin Gallen heaved Donegal level, but the hosts were blunt, lacking in Derry’s ruthless finishing in the final attacking third.

Heron almost grabbed a goal but was denied by Shaun Patton, Shane McGuigan and Ciaran Thompson swapped points as the score board ticked over 0-3 to 0-3.

Ciaran McFaul and Gallen’s second kept them at a stalemate as Donegal kept biting back but the Ulster Champions then demonstrated their class.

Four points in six minutes, McFaul, McGuigan, Niall Toner and Brendan Rogers all keeping calm and slotting over the bar as the visitors opened a four-point lead, 0-4 to 0-8.

Gallen breathed fresh life into the Ballybofey crowd with two cooly converted frees but McGuigan had the final scoring say of the half, his third point sending Derry in three points ahead.

The sides swapped two further points each as the second half commenced, Thompson’s second reducing the Derry lead. 

However, Conor Doherty’s goal with forty-five minutes played shifted the dynamic, an emphatic finish from the youngster after Conor McCluskey brilliantly freed him. 

Gallen tried rallyting the Donegal troops with his fifth but Rogers and Cassidy pointed to stretch the away lead out to six, 0-10 to 1-13. 

Determined to get singlehandedly get Donegal motoring, Gallen hit his most miraculous act of the match, three points in as many minutes making it a goal-game.

Cruel timing though as Derry ruthlessly struck again, Lachlan Murray bundling a goal home with his first touch off the bench to put daylight between them. 

A spitied home showing continued, returning captain Patrick McBrearty and Gallen’s ninth (yes, ninth, an epic performance) bringing them up to fifteen points.

Padraig McGrogan strolled through a strained home defence to slot Derry’s third goal, the Ulster Champions hitting top form in a relentless showing.

A nine-point difference would have been misrepresentative of the match, but youngster Rory O’Donnell gave Ballybofey late cheer, his goal as a substitute the last act, a five point gap at full time, 1-15 to 3-14.

Both sides now still have an opportunity to progress, Derry play Clare in their final group four game and on this form, will be irrepressible, they will look to find consistency.

Donegal must take the positives from today and with a more clinical edge in converting chances, they will be optimistic of getting what they need against Monaghan to make the Sam Maguire quarterfinals.


1Shaun Patton Goalkeeper 39'
2Mark Curran Defender
3Brendan McCole Defender
4Caolan McColgan Defender
5Caolan Ward 18 Defender
6Eoghán Bán Gallagher Defender
7Odhran Doherty 23 Defender
8Caolan McGonagle Midfielder
9Jason McGee 25 Midfielder
10Daire O Baoill 17 Forward 35'
11Jamie Brennan 21 Forward
12Ciaran Thompson Forward 19', 43'
13Hugh McFadden Forward
14Oisin Gallen Forward 14', 24', 33', 35', 47', 53', 53', 54', 62'
15Conor O’Donnell Forward 12', 41'
16Gavin Mulreaney Goalkeeper
17Patrick McBrearty 10 Forward 60'
18Jeaic McKelvey 5
19Brian O’Donnell Defender
20John Ross Molloy
21Luke McGlynn 11 Forward
22Johnny McGroddy
23Stephen McMenamin 7
24Kieran Tobin Defender
25Rory O’Donnell 9 Midfielder 74'


1Odhran Lynch Goalkeeper
2Christopher McKaigue 19 Defender
3Eoin McEvoy 17 Defender
4Conor McCluskey Defender
5Conor Doherty Defender 45'
6Gareth McKinless Defender
7Padraig McGrogan Defender 66'
8Conor Glass 23 Midfielder
9Brendan Rogers Midfielder 31', 38', 48'
10Niall Toner 15 Forward 30'
11Padraig Cassidy Forward 4', 42', 50'
12Ethan Doherty Forward
13Ciaran McFaul 20 Forward 22', 25'
14Shane McGuigan Forward 18', 27', 35'
18Benny Heron 8'
16Ryan Scullion Goalkeeper
15Niall Loughlin 10 Forward
17Declan Cassidy 3 Defender
19Shea Downey 2 Defender
20Lachlan Murray 13 Forward 57'
21Ben McCarron Defender
22Paul McNeill Defender
23Paul Cassidy 8 Forward 63'
24Conleth McGuckian Defender
25Manus Doherty
26Diarmuid Baker Forward

Past Meetings

1-16 1-14
Ulster SFC
St. Tiernachs Park, Clones

0-16 0-15
Ulster SFC