Wolfe Tones 1-10 Donegal 0-11
Wolfe Tones tallied a win to get their season off to a good start. The game was close until substitute Sean Kelly netted shortly after entering play. Trailing by five points coming into the final 5 minutes, Donegal almost pulled off a late comeback with a flurry of scores, but the goal that would be needed to win the game evaded them to the relief of an anxious Tones support.
|Donegal's Darren Grant looks for help.|
A strong first half performance from the Tones saw them into a 2 point lead at the break. The Tones lined out with Paudie Kenneally at center back and Jack Lynch at center forward, both graduates of the underage ranks. Dean Curran set the tone with a well taken point with the opening Tones attack, and every time the Derryman was in possession things looked promising. There were a couple of fluffed chances, but Curran did manage 2 more as the ball went in to his corner early. Ronan Jones also put in a good 30 minutes, and with the Tones moving the ball well the light blues tallied 7 points. Donegal had Corofin man, Liam Silke at center back, and in the forward line Gwedoore man Michael Carroll looked strong leading the line. Lee Carr got Donegal off the mark and points were added by Carroll and Christy McLaughlin. 0-7 to 0-5 at the half in favour of the Tones.
|Neil McEneaney tries to block Dean Curran's shot.|
The pace of the game slowed a little in the second half, with the Tones nursing their slender lead. Donegal pointed through Lee Carr following a good forward run by Silke, and Carroll pointed from a free, while for the Tones it was Eoin Buggie who kept the Tones noses ahead with a score. The deadlock was broken by a goal scored by substitute Sean Kelly. The Tones veteran netted into the far corner from a tight angle, and Jones added two, one from a free. The score was to prove decisive. The Tones then played keep ball, using up time and killing the game, but lost Conlaodh Deeney to an Injury. It was not over though as Donegal made a late surge, three points in a row from Brian Donnelly, Ciaran McDevitt and Gavin Reilly drew them within a score. Deeney’s absence in the back line was felt. There were some nervous moments on the Tones line in the final minutes as twice high balls into the box were punched goalwards, and Shane Hayes was called on to be alert as both were on target but neither had the power to beat Hayes. A win for the Tones to get off the mark.
Tones: Shane Hayes, Aaron Moore, Keith Gill, Conlaodh Deeney, Paudie Kenneally, Eoin Buggle, Ian Whelan, Ronan Jones, Mike O’Brien, jack Lynch, Patrick Collins, Dean Curran, Thomas Beckett.
Donegal: Hugh Boyle, Jason Noctor, Neil McEneaney, Gavin Reilly, Liam Silke, Darren Doherty, Brian Donnelly, Darren Grant, Sean Donnelly, Michael Carroll, Ciaran McDevitt, Christy McLaughlin, Lee Carr.