Ulster University maintain winning run to clinch top spot

Ulster University 0-15
ATU Donegal 0-9

By Michael McMullan

THE winning run continued for Ulster University on Wednesday with victory over ATU Donegal to finish top of their Ryan Cup section and earn a home quarter-final.

Both teams came into the game in the back of wins against QUB and St Mary’s, but UU settled first and finished stronger to come away with a deserving win.

Donegal were excellently drilled and will wonder how the game would’ve panned out had their second half goal chance crept inside the post to level the game.

With the wind at their back, the visitors led the Letterkenny based side 0-8 to 0-2 at the break, with Kealan Dunleavy getting the home side off the mark in the 27th minute after trailing by six points.

During their period of dominance Barry Dillon’s charges should’ve found the net only for ‘keeper Toye getting his angles right to deny Ryan Jones.

Magill, Pól McKervey and corner back Conall Devlin all landed points as Ulster University used the wind to great effect after breaking Donegal down with their swarm defence.

Donegal manager Maxi Curran brought county star Jason McGee on at half-time and four unanswered points changed the game, with Mark McAteer looking lively early on and Jack McSharry adding two well-taken points.

A point from the impressive Ryan Magill broke the momentum, but back came Donegal with a goal chance. With three points between the teams, 0-9 to 0-6, O’Donnell galloped up the left side of the pitch with purpose before he pulled his low shot wide of the far post.

It was a let off, with a counter-attacking Ulster University side always able to tag on enough scores to keep a hold of the game.

With minutes remaining, tempers began to flare with referee McFeely issuing a warning to both sets of players. The next player to step out of line was walking.

After a second hop ball, Jason McGee was awarded a free and when Aodhan Donaghy didn’t retreat McGee thumped the ball at Donaghy before going down.

Donaghy was shown a straight red card for dangerous play with McGee hobbling off.

Holding a four-point lead, Ulster University added points from Gareth Donaghy and Ronan McCaffrery to cement their win.

Donegal face an away trip to DCU in the last eight with Ulster University hosting either UCD or TU Dublin who face off next week to decider second place in Group 1C.

UU: O Lynch; R Convery, R McCaffrey (0-1), C Devlin (0-1); R Jones, R Magill (0-3), J Largo Elis; A Donaghy (0-2), T Close (0-1); P McKervey (0-1), K Gallagher, R Cunningham; B McCarron (0-2, 1f), D McEnhill (0-2f), C Moore
Subs: C Daly (0-1) for P McKervey (44), G Donaghy (0-1) for C Moore (52)
Yellow cards: B McCarron (20), R Convery (33)
Red card: A Donaghy (59)

ATU: J Toye; A Gilhooley, K Tobin, D Dorrian; J Gallagher, B Corrigan, K McGroddy; R McFadden, C O’Donnell (0-3); K Dunleavey (0-1), J McSharry (0-2), M McAteer (0-1m); L Gaughan, R O’Donnell (0-1), B McGarvey (0-1)
Subs: J McGee for R McFadden (HT), E Dowling for A Gilhooley (45), F Doherty for D Dorrian (51), B McGettigan for M McAteer (55), D McMenamin for J McGee (INJ 61)

Referee: E McFeely (Donegal)

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