Antrim surprised Donegal in the Electric Ireland Ulster Quarter –final at Ballybofey on Sunday when the defeated their highly fancied opponents after extra time 0-21 to 2-14.
This was a game of the highest quality with both sides looking likely to win it at various stages and both sets of players deserve great credit for the entertainment they served up over the course of the seventy plus minutes of the game.
Aaron Doherty opened the scoring for the home side before Donegal were denied two goal chances courtesy of two great saves from Antrim keeper Michael Byrne.
Antrim settled after a nervy opening and gradually began to exert control with team captain Eoin Nagle and centre back Eoghan Mc Cabe driving their team mates on. With corner forward Liam Quinn in outstanding form the visitors began to get on top on the scoreboard and with half time only minutes away had established a 0-10 to 0-3 lead. However a goal from team captain Peadar Mogan gave Donegal renewed confidence and ensured the gap at the end of the first half was down to four points.
The pace never let up in the second half with both teams going all out for the win. Donegal were on top in terms of possession but solid defence from the Antrim lads kept them at bay until Shea Doherty hit two huge points to tie the game with five minutes remaining.
When Lanty Molloy put Donegal 1-12 to 0-14 up with time almost up it looked like Donegal would edge the contest. However this is an Antrim side with great heart and self belief and once again they dug deep to force extra time with Liam Quinn converting a last minute free to take the game to extra time.
The first period of additional time saw Donegal hit the net to move 2-13 to 0-16 in front before Antrim landed two late points to reach the break trailing by two. Hugh Mc Gettigan’s side emptied the bench in search of the win and were rewarded when substitute Ruairi Brolly drew the game level with a fine brace of points in the space of three minutes before Tiernan Mc Aleer sealed a famous win for the visitors on a final score of 0-21 to 2-14.
Antrim can now look forward to a semi final clash with the winners of next week’s clash between championship favourites Derry and Tyrone.