Christopher's 3-5 Donegal 1-17
Donegal won their first 2 points of the 2014 season with a comprehensive win over Christopher's. Powered by midfielders Matt Smyth and Gavin Gallagher, Donegal opened a 6 point lead at the break. Almost like the Shannon Blues in the previous game, Christopher's struck 3 goals in the second half, but even then, there was too much between the teams for them to turn Donegal.
|Donegal worked well together to win both points on Sunday.|
Donegal outplayed Christopher's for the first 30 minutes of the game. Christopher's lost their center forward, Aldo Matassa, to a hand injury after 5 minutes, which dented their prospects for the rest of the game. The 2009 champions looked like they were lacking in ideas going forward, whereas Donegal got some great movement in the forward line. Gary Clancy was the man of the moment, tallying 5 of the northerner's nine scores. Gavin Gallagher and Matt Smyth proved to be a reliable midfield engine, and at center back Mark Canny engineered plenty of turnovers. Canny was the start of many moves into Christopher's territory, while Christopher's broke down on the Donegal half back line. The sides were tied at 3 points each 15 minutes into the game, but Donegal then proceeded to take over and limit Christopher's forays forward. The final six Donegal scores of the half went unanswered, leaving Christopher's wondering where they would come from for them in the second period.
|Christopher's were on the back foot for most of the game.|
Christopher's second half efforts were rewarded with 3 goals, one each from Pat Delaney, Ivan Casey, and McAllister as they tried to raise their game. Darren Doherty had cancelled out the major from Delaney, leaving Christopher's with too much ground to cover before the final whistle. Earlier in the half the Donegal lead had extended to 8 points thanks to points from Matt Smyth, Doherty, and Kieran McDevitt. With Smyth in charge in the middle of the field and Clancy having his shooting boots on, Donegal were not to be denied. The first goal brought Christopher's within 5 points, but Doherty got it right back for Donegal. With Donegal keeping the points column ticking over, it was two steps forward and one step back with each subsequent Christopher's goal. Clancy put the final score of the game over the bar to cap a good performance from Donegal in their quest to return to the playoff stages.
By Rory O'Donnell