Donegal 1-13 Fermanagh 0-05

Donegal’s outstanding full-forward Paddy McElwee struck for the clinching goal in the 45th minute as the home won this tepid Ulster U20 Championship match at a canter in Ballybofey last night (Wednesday).

The Ernesiders, who had given the home side a fair challenge in the opening half, were penalised for a late foul on senior squad member Luke McGlynn. And they were caught cold by a quick free from Oisin Caulfield who found Seanan Carr who fed McElwee for the simplest task of punching the ball to the empty net.

McElwee’s goal put the winners into a 1-10 to 0-05 lead and they leisurely added on three more points from Caulfield and McGlynn to seal victory.

For an outgunned Fermanagh side, who had a 10th-minute goal disallowed for a square ball, Diarmuid Owens had a fine hour.

It looked like a close call after midfielder Jarlath Flanagan punched a loose ball to the net, but it was cancelled out due to a square ball.

30 seconds later, Fermanagh had a great chance of a point, but the ball was blazed wide.

And that was a five-point turnaround as Donegal went down the field and McGlynn hit a fine point for the winners.

A lively-looking Donegal settled swiftly, and Seanan Carr swept over a point from a mark after just a minute.

Late sub for Fermanagh Michael Burns levelled matters with an angled point for the visitors.

The languid McElwee hit a great long-range point for the home side and Finbarr Roarty added another one after five minutes.

But Fermanagh, who had some towering players in central slots, were growing into the game and the impressive Owens left just a point between the sides after eight minutes.

The Ernesiders had the ball in the Donegal net in the ninth minute when a long ball from Cian O’Brien broke to Flanagan and he punched the ball to the net.

But referee Diarmuid Boylan disallowed the goal for a square ball.

The Ernesiders had a great chance of a point but Jack Quinlan hit wide 30 seconds later.

Donegal responded in style with Eoghan Kelly finding McGlynn with a great ball and he slung over a superb point to which McElwee added another to put Donegal ahead by 0-05 to 0-02 midway through the half.

Fermanagh’s Conor O’Hanlon pointed a free as McElwee again responded.

Donegal had the better of the exchanges in the run-up to the break with Karl Joseph Molloy landing a brace of points along with a single point from Oisin Caulfield.

Owens, who was causing Donegal some problems replied for Fermanagh as the home side led by 0-08 to 0-04 at the break.

The excellent McElwee and Owens swapped points on the restart as Donegal moved up the gears as McGlynn and McElwee hit further points before the former’s clinching goal.

Both sides ran their bench but there was never any doubting Donegal’s greater strength in depth in the end.

Donegal: Damien McGowan; Cormac Gallagher, Finbarr Roarty (0-01), Karl Magee (0-01); Finn Coll, Oisin Caulfield (0-02), Sean Martin; Conor Reid, Shaun Ward; Conor McGinty, Luke McGlynn (0-03,2f) Seanan Carr (0-01); Eoghan Kelly, Patrick McElwee (1-03,1f), KJ Molloy (0-02f).

Subs; Cian McMenamin for Cormac Gallagher (43), Kevin Lynch for KJ Molloy and Daithi Gildea for Seanan Carr (53), Adam McGeever for Oisin Reid (54), Luke Clerkin for Finn Coll (58)

Fermanagh: Shane Mulligan; Cal McAnespie, Liam MacEnri, Adam O’Callaghan; Jamie McCaffrey, Shaun McCarron, Michael Burns (0-01); Jarlath Flanagan, Lughaidh Donnely; Cian O’Brien, Conor O’Hanlon (0-01) Diarmuid Owens (0-03); Jack Quinlan, Sean Conlon, Keelan Fitzpatrick.

Subs; Damien Og Kelly and Mattie McDermott for Jarlath Flanagan and Keelan Fitzpatrick (h-t), Caolan Brennan for Jamie McCaffrey (40), Shay Deazley for Michael Burns (56), Lanty Feely for Cian O’Brien (58)

Referee: Diarmuid Boylan (Monaghan)