Donegal mixed the good and the bad as they remained at the top of Division Two with victory over Louth in Fr. Tierney Park, Ballyshannon
Donegal had a comfortable opening half, scoring more in the 35 minutes than they did in the entire game away to Down.
It was something of a point fest as Louth just couldn’t get a hand on the Donegal forwards. They were not helped by two black cards, the first on three minutes when Dessie Finnegan was penalised and just before the break, Eoin O’Connor was dismissed after hauling down Colm McFadden.
Christy Toye and Rory Kavanagh hit two points each while half-backs Anthony Thompson and Declan Walsh also found the target, Thompson a spectacular effort with the outside of the boot.
Colm McFadden hit four and Michael Murphy two as Donegal led by 0-13 to 0-1 after 30 minutes.
Louth supporters did get something to celebrate in the final minutes as Paddy Keenan bundled home a goal to leave his side trailing by 1-1 to 0-13 at the break.
The second half seemed to be going the same way until Louth struck for two goals in a minute from Paddy Keenan and Brian White, exposing huge holes in the Donegal defence.
The goals cut the lead to three points - 0-16 to 3-4 - but Donegal regained composure with David Walsh firing their goal almost instantly and Colm McFadden and Michael Murphy tagging on three points to see them home.
Donegal: Paul Durcan; Eamon McGee, Neil McGee, Karl Lacey; Declan Walsh (0-1), Leo McLoone, Anthony Thompson (0-1); Rory Kavanagh (0-2), Christy Toye (0-3); Mark McHugh, Dermot Molloy (0-1), Odhran MacNiallais; Colm McFadden (0-7,5f), Michael Murphy (0-4,3f), Patrick McBrearty. Subs., Ryan McHugh for Lacey ht; David Walsh (1-0) for McBrearty 52; Gary McFadden for Kavanagh 68; Luke Keaney for Thompson 70
Louth: Neil Gallagher; Padraig Rath, Dessie Finnegan, John O’Brien; Gary O’Hare, Derek Crilly, Adrian Reid; Paddy Keenan (2-0), Brian Donnelly; Patrick Reilly, Brian White (1-3,2f,45), Stephen Campbell; Andy McDonnell, Eoin O’Connor, Shane Lennon (1-3,2f). Subs., Darren O’Hanlon for Finnegan 3 (black card); Colm Judge for Campbell 21; Bevan Duffy (0-1) for O’Connor (black card); Declan Byrne Judge, both 30; Liam Shevlin for Reilly 49; Drren Clarke for Donnelly 63.
Referee: Martin Higgins (Fermanagh)