Donegal 0-12 Connemara Gaels 0-7
First points of the new senior football championship went to Donegal following a very entertaining game against the Connemara Gaels. Donegal were by far the more clinical of the teams and converted their chances, while the Gaels wastefulness will be something they will look at correcting before the next outing. Donegal took an early lead and held on to it, but may have considered themselves to be fortunate to be ahead at the break. In the second half as legs tired it was Donegal who took their scores when it counted and ended up 5 point winners.
|Kieran McDevitt is Watched my Michael Coyne.|
Donegal had the better of the early exchanges and went into a 3 points to one lead. After Patrick Cunningham opened the scoring for the Gaels, Donegal fired off points from Shane Carthy, and 2 from Corey Gallagher with his nice easy style. The Gaels were on the defensive as Donegal had most of the possession and worked the ball through the lines well. The Gaels got a foothold in the game and had the lion’s share of the possession for the second quarter of the game, but could not find the range to convert chances into scores. As the misses piled up for the Gaels so did the frustration, and Donegal’s lead remained intact.
Cunningham eventually converted for the Gaels, and the score was answered by Carthy for Donegal, who made more of their opportunities. Paddy McGee and Cunningham pointed to draw the scores level, before Lee Carr curled one over to make it a 0-5 to 0-4 Donegal lead at the break.
|Ryan Caffrey Burst Forward for the Gaels.|
Early in the second half it looked like Donegal suffered a blow as Corey Gallagher pulled up with what looked like a serious leg injury and had to leave the fray. Donegal lifted their game thereafter with Shane Carthy pointing three times to extend the northerners lead. The Gaels started to look tired and when in possession supporting options were few for the man with the ball. An AJ Maguire point gave the Gaels a lift, and after Carthy restored the lead it could have been a goal for the Gaels as Colman Mulkerrins burst through and chipped just over the bar from an angle.
A one score game heading into the final quarter. The sides exchanged points, a lovely Darren Green score for Donegal was answered by a Paddy McGee point that sneaked over the bar. Lazarus rose from the dead and Corey Gallagher sensationally re-entered play. Gallagher was involved in a sweeping move that led to the insurance point for Donegal. Colman Mulkerrins had a goal chance blocked, and with the following move, Donegal swept downfield with Gallagher finding Carthy to pop the ball over. Carthy added a final point to put a cap on Donegal’s win. The Gaels will look back and rue the missed scoring chances, and for Donegal, well, another win in the bag for the northerners.
Donegal: H. Boyle, M. Canny, A. O’Sullivan, J. Newall, J. O’Brien, S. Doherty, S. Carthy, C. Gallagher, G. Reilly, N. Egan, L. Carr, D. Green, C. McDevitt. Subs: Diarmuid Moyne, Liam McCrea.
Gaels: E. Connolly, M. Coyne, C. Kileen, P. McGee, T. Duignan, J. Flaherty, R. Caffrey, J. Bambrick, S. Murray, S. Conneeley, AJ McGuire, P. Cunningham, C. Mulkerrins.
By Rory O'Donnell