Published Sunday, 31 August 2014
Donegal's Colm McFadden celebrates scoring a goal (© Presseye)
The Ulster Champions went into the game as underdogs, but survived an early onslaught from the Leinster side to secure a one point half-time lead thanks to a Ryan McHugh goal.
A second McHugh goal and another three pointer from Colm McFadden effectively secured the victory for Jim McGuinness's side, as the much-vaunted Dublin side failed to muster a response.
The game began as expected, with Donegal opening the scoring only to find themselves almost immediately under the cosh, as Dublin displayed the fluidity of play and accuracy of shooting that had made them the bookie's favourite to retain their crown.
The Dubs hit nine superb points from play in the opening 25 minutes, and although Donegal just about stayed in touch, only a brilliant save from goalkeeper Paul Durkan prevented Dublin from further extending their lead.
Alan and Bernard Brogan were among the scorers, and Paul Flynn landed four points as Jim Gavin's side threatened to run riot, before Donegal embarked on a remarkable turnaround.
Unanswered points from Ryan McHugh, Odhrán MacNiallis and Michael Murphy reduced the deficit to two, before McHugh found the net for the game's opening goal.
A high ball lofted into the danger zone was broken by Murphy for Colm McFadden, who fed the youngster to fire low past Stephen Cluxton.
The sides exchanged points to close the half with Donegal a single score ahead, but it didn't take long for McHugh to extend that lead to four when he found the net again early in the second half, fisting home from Anthony Thompson's pass.
Donegal's tails were up, and while Dublin rallied with three successive points, their mood wasn't helped when McFadden stole in ahead of the defence and cleverly rounded Cluxton for his side's third goal.
The Dubs were looking increasingly desperate and were guilty of wasting a glut of scoring chances in the final quarter, hitting nine wides in the second half.
Ultimately Donegal were fully deserving of what was a sensational victory, with Jim McGuinness's side running out winners by 3-14 to 0-17.
They will now face Kerry in the decider on 21 September.
© UTV News