Monday, July 15, 2013

July 14 - Senior Football: Donegal v Shannon Blues

Donegal 0-9 Shannon Blues 0-18

Shannon Blues underlined their championship credentials with a victory over a game Donegal side that ran out of steam and ideas in the final 15 minutes.  In spite of the scoreline it still very much a game with 10 minutes to go, but the Shannon Blues turned the screw and put 6 points on the trot over the bar in the final quarter to put themselves top of the table with 9 points from 5 games.

Antrim man Sean Burke helped Donegal stay in the game
in the first half, but the Tir Chonaill men
ran out of steam in the second.
It was a closely contested opening period.  There were some fine saves, the first came from Donegal keeper Sean Connolly who saved well from Darragh Treacy, and shortly afterwards Darragh O'Brien between the posts for the Blues did well to keep a close range shot from Sean Burke out.  The Blues opened a 3 point lead through Barry John Keane and Darragh Treacy scores after 5 minutes, and signs looked ominous for the northerners.  Donegal settled however, and were soon back on level terms.  Center forward Sean Burke was key to their success.  The St. Galls man accounted for two of Donegal's 7 first half points, both fine efforts and for a period Donegal enjoyed the bigger share of possession.  Shane Brennan, Gary Maguire, and Aaron Connolly also contributed to the scoreboard tally.  While the breaks may have been slightly in Donegal's favour, the Blues always looked dangerous going forward.  Any time the Blues broke upfield a score was on the cards.  Led by Darragh Treacy at center forward the forward line was efficient and running smoothly.  Conor McHugh, Keane, and Sean Moriarty pointed.  At the break it was a one point Blues lead.

Cathal McHugh was part of a formidable Shannon Blues
forward line that tallied 18 points.
In the second period the Blues opened a gap of 4 points as, with their challenge flagging, Donegal introduced a plethora of subs to bring some fresh legs into the fray.  A couple of points from Pat Hughes and Maguire stemmed the tide somewhat and with 15 minutes left there was 2 points in it.  But the forays forward began to fall on fallow ground for Donegal.  The Blues started to win most of the ball around the middle of the field and close down the spaces in which the Donegal forwards needed to operate.  Keane, Kieran Hurley who entered as a sub, and Treacy put the game beyond the reach of Donegal in the final 15 minutes with some well taken points as the Blues finished the game by far the stronger of the 2 teams.  Shannon Blues alone at the top with 2 games to go before the playoff stages.

Donegal:  S. Connolly, M. Canning, S. Tim, M. Cannon, T. Caldwell, J. Dolan, A. Connolly (0-1), T. Gallagher, P. Hughes (0-1), S. Burke (0-2), G. Maguire (0-4), R. Rafferty, S. Brennan (0-1).  Blues:  D. O'Brien, K. Hartnett, G. Ryan, P. Domican, S. Brosnan, S. Moriarty (0-1), S. Kiely, B. Hartnett, A. Duffy (0-2), D. Treacy (0-2), C. McHugh (0-1), BJ Keane (0-9), C. McHugh.  Subs:  K. Hurley (0-1), R. Blaine (0-1), M. Butler (0-1).

By Rory O'Donnell

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