There was a deluge of water leading up to kickoff in this match, the Canton pitch that was once starved for water getting a month’s worth in an hour. When the teams stepped out onto the soggy grass, it was raining goals for Donegal.
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Cian Clinton opened the scoring for Donegal by corralling a beautiful chip pass by Ciaran Byrne and finishing to the bottom corner. After Clinton took a free off the ground and lofted it over the bar, Donegal waved the green flag again. Karl Archibald found space at the far post and punched home a Byrne pass that came across the square.
Peter Carr played very well in the midfield for the Mac’s, his long strides covering serious ground. Ross Fin was another bright light for the Northerners and he carried the ball with power out of centre back. But Donegal’s pace in the forward ranks gave them a boost on a day when the pitch made any passing near impossible. Archibald and Clinton added two more goals, Clinton’s on a bursting solo run, and Donegal led 4-09 to 0-00 at the break.
The second half began with more of the same, as Clinton added a fifth goal straight off the throw in. Peter Carr scored a beautiful long-range point for the Mac’s, slicing the ball with the outside of his right boot. But the Donegal defense forced them into too many efforts from distance, with the corner back pairing of Declan Scott and Conor Byrne sweeping up inside.
Donegal walked away from this one with the full two points in hand, 5-15 to 0-03.
By Mark Dunphy