Donegal did enough to gain a second win in the McKenna Cup last night but not enough to qualify for the semi-finals of the competition.
Donegal needed Monaghan to lose in Brewster Park against Fermanagh but that didn’t materialise.
Donegal made six changes from the side that defeated Armagh with Eamon Doherty a late replacement for the selected Declan Walsh.
They got off to the perfect start with four points in the first 14 minutes, the highlight a long range effort from big Neil Gallagehr from 40m.
However, they were rocked on 18 minutes when Queen’s captain, Martin McElhinney (a Donegal panellist) set up Ryan Rafferty, who availed of loads of space to round Paul Durcan and fire home.
Colm McFadden and Michael Murphy added frees to show the home side’s superiority on the scoreboard. But they were rocked again by another Rafferty goal before Michael Murphy struck a thunderbolt from 20m to leave Donegal ahead by 1-7 to 2-0 at the break.
Just before the two goal bust Frank McGlynn was almost on the end of a sweeping move involving Colm McFadden and Odhran MacNiallais.
While Murphy had a point inside 16 seconds of the restart, Ryan Rafferty completed his hat-trick for Queen’s on 39 minutes to amazingly reduce the margin to two points.
Colm McFadden ripped home a second goal on 52 minutes.
Queen’s lost three players to black cards as the half progressed and the game trundled to its conclusion.
Rory Kavanagh rammed home a third goal and followed with a point but it was not enough.
Christy Toye made a welcome return for Donegal and contributed well to the win in the second half.
Donegal: P Durcan; E McGee, N McGee, E Doherty; F McGlynn, L McLoone (0-1), K Lacey; N Gallagher (0-1), G McFadden; A McFadden, L Thompson, O MacNiallais; C McFadden (1-3,2f), M Murphy (1-7,6f), D O’Connor (0-1). Subs., C Toye (0-1) for L Thompson; R Kavanagh (1-1)for G McFadden; D Walsh for Lacey, all ht; S McLaughlin (0-1) for O’Connor; M Smyth (0-1) for Gallagher, T McKinley for A McFadden, both 68
Queen’s: M Cunningham; C McNulty, C Cullen, P Burns; R Mallon (0-1), D O’Hanlon, G Collins; H Og Conlon (0-1), A Findon; C Maginn (0-2), A B rogan, M McElhinney; R Murray, R Grugan, R Rafferty (3-1). Subs., K Moynagh for McNulty 10; M McCann for Collins, black card 46; J Dowling for McElhinney 49; T Gallagher for Findon 53; M Monan for Murray black card 57; C McNulty for Dowling black card 66
Referee: B Rice (Down