Donegal have too much class for Down
By Ciaron Noble
Down 1-12 Donegal 2-25 Donegal were levels above their opponents on Sunday afternoon beating Down 2-25 to 1-12 in Parc Esler in Newry. Donegal came into the game as hot favourites, however, Declan Bonner’s team knew they couldn’t be complacent given the shock defeat they suffered in the Ulster Final against Cavan last year. The visitors started on the front foot by scoring four unanswered points from Paddy McBrearty, a couple of Michael Murphy scores and a Ryan McHugh point. Donegal were on top at every aspect, their movement was quality throughout as players linked up to create some lovely opportunities. Michael Langan and McBrearty were able to hit scores from long range when needed.
Despite their dominance in the 1st quarter, Donegal only led by 2 points at the first water break 0-06 to 0-08. Barry O’Hagan was keeping his team in the contest, scoring five of their first six points. In the second quarter, Bonner’s men racked up the scores extending their lead. Ryan O’Donnell and Ciaran Thompson got the best of the scores, but the moment of the half came when Rory Burns opted for his first short kick-out which was picked off by Jamie Brennan who steamed towards the net, taking a questionable amount of steps, before he buried the ball in the back of the net. It was 0-08 to 1-15 going into the break. Paddy Tally’s men got a lifeline when Caolan Mooney scored a goal early in the 2nd half. However, Down would later be reduced to 14 men, Gerard McGovern receiving a red card. Donegal continued to dominate the game as they eased passed Down. McBrearty scored a goal late on, getting their second of the game. It finished 1-12 to 2-25. Donegal will face an inform Derry in the quarter-final. Michael Murphy was forced off due to injury in the 1st half, his team mates will be hoping he’ll be fit for the next game. Donegal have started with an impressive performance.
Scorers for Donegal: P McBrearty 1-6 (0-2f), J Brennan 1-1, R McHugh and M Langan (0-1f, 0-1 ’45) 0-4 each, P Mogan 0-3, M Murphy 0-2 (0-1 f), C Thompson, N O’Donnell, E McHugh, E O’Donnell and C O’Donnell 0-1 each.
Scorers for Down: B O’Hagan 0-8 (0-3f, 0-1m), C Mooney 1-0, L Kerr 0-2, (0-1f), D O’Hagan and J Guinness 0-1 each.
1. Shaun Patton (St Eunan’s)
2. Brendan McCole (St Naul’s) 3. Neil McGee (Gaoth Dobhair) 4. Stephen McMenamin (Killygordon)
5. Ryan McHugh (Kilcar) 6. Odhran McFadden-Ferry (Gaoth Dobhair) 7. Eoghan Ban Gallagher (Killybegs)
8. Hugh McFadden (Killybegs) 9. Caolan McGonagle (Buncrana)
10. Ciaran Thompson (Naomh Conaill) 11. Niall O’Donnell (St Eunan’s) 12. Michael Langan (St Michael’s)
13. Patrick McBrearty (Kilcar) 14. Michael Murphy (Glenswilly) 15. Peader Mogan (St Naul’s)
E McHugh for McCole (26) J Brennan for Murphy (29) E O’Donnell for Thompson (52) C O’Donnell for N O’Donnell (55) P Brennan for N McGee (63)
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1. Rory Burns (Castlewellan)
2. Peter Fegan (Burren) 3. Gerard McGovern (Burren) 4. Gerard Collins (Downpatrick)
5. Pierce Laverty (Saval) 6. Darren O’Hagan (Clonduff) 7. Daniel Guinness (Carryduff)
8. Caolan Mooney (Downpatrick) 9. Ryan McEvoy (Kilcoo)
10. Liam Kerr (Burren) 11. Ceilium Doherty (Kilcoo) 12. Barry O’Hagan (Clonduff)
13. Conor McCrickard (Liatroim) 14. Liam Middleton (Liatroim) 15. Corey Quinn (Mayobridge)
D Savage for Middleton (42) S McConville for McEvoy (42 ) J Guinness for Kerr (46) C McCartan for Fegan (55) K McKernan for McCrickard (59)
Referee: Maurice Deegan (Laois).