Donegal hurlers brushed off the cobwebs with a challenge game against Fermanagh in Munday’s Field, Ballyshannon, yesterday.
Donegal led by 1-8 to 0-6 at half-time having played against the hill and the strong breeze. Lee Henderson accounted for six from frees while Kevin Campbell finished the goal.
The second half was a similar story with Henderson again on target and with both sides using plenty of substitutes, Fermanagh got a couple of goals, the first when a long range free from Brian McLaughlin (a Dublin import, son of former Fermanagh football ‘keeper Liam) seemed to go all the way to the net. Their best player, John Duffy, finished the second ten minutes from the end.
For Donegal, there were positives in newcomer Niall Cleary, an Offaly native, who has declared for Donegal, while young Eddie Lynch from Aodh Ruadh showed up well. It was good to see Carndonagh man Padraig ‘Chucky’ Doherty making an impression.
Donegal were short about five of their regulars including Joe Boyle and Danny Cullen. There will be concern that Enda McDermott may not be available for the opening league game against Mayo on Sunday 15th after picking up a red card near the end.
Donegal: Paul Burns; Michael McGrath, Padraig Doherty, Mark Callaghan; Johnny Downey, Jamsie Donnelly, Niall Cleary; Paul Sheridan, Ronan McDermott (0-1); Enda McDermott (0-1), Lee Henderson (0-12,12f), Ciaran Mathewson (0-3); Bernard Lafferty, Kevin Campbell (1-1), Eddie Lynch. Subs., Ciaran Kilgallon for Campbell 31; Sean Curran (0-1) for Lafferty 42; Stephen Gillespie (1-0) for Mathewson 49; Dara Grant (0-1) for McGrath 51; Donal Og McLaughlin for P Doherty 54; Kyle McGrath for Sheridan 55; Kevin Meehin (0-1) for R McDermott, Jack Mathews for Jamsie Donnelly 56; Padraig Doherty for Lynch 60.
Fermanagh: M Corry; F Bannon, K Kehoe, D McGorman; A Breslin, M Teague, D Teague; F McBrien (0-1), J Duffy (1-3,2f); P McGoldrick (0-3,3f), T Cleary (0-1), B McLaughlin (1-0,f); C Curran, JP McGarry, C O’Shea. Subs., C McTeague for McBrien 18; J Gavin for M Teague; O Russell for Curran 55; C Curran for Duffy 67.
Referee: Aidan Ferguson (Erne Gaels)