Donegal maintained their National Hurling League Division 3A status with a narrow win over Sligo at Brewster Park in Enniskillen on Sunday.
The Yeats County men were in control for much of the game, leading by two points at the break, but it was the side managed by Ray Durack that came through in the end. Their goals, courtesy of Ronan McDermott and Lee Henderson, were enough to ensure survival after a difficult season in the division.
Sligo’s Keith Raymond hit seven points but it was Henderson, who scored 1-6 in all for Donegal, who was the main difference between the sides.
Raymond’s preciseness made for a 0-8 to 1-3 advantage for Sligo. Donegal’s main injection into that first period was a goal from McDermott, who blasted past Sligo’s player-manager, goalkeeper Declan Lougnane, on 15 minutes.
But it looked like lively Sligo had weathered the Donegal revival as points flowed from Raymond, Alan Cawley and Gary Waldron before Henderson got to grips with his team’s deficit in the second half. Four successive points levelled things at 1-9 to 0-12.
And even though Raymond put Sligo in front, it was Henderson who reacted quickest to a scramble in the Sligo square in the 60th minute.
Donegal: P Burns; P Doherty, C McLaughlin, E Organ (0-1); B Harrigan, J McGee, C McDermott; J Boyle (0-1), P Sheridan; N Campbell (0-2), D Cullen (0-2), A McDermott; L Henderson (1-6 3f), R McDermott (1-0), M McGee. Sub: M McGrath for C McLaughlin(46).
Sligo: D Loughnane; D O’Brien, D Tobin, T Cawley; J Kenny, B Kenny, E McGowan; A Cawley(0-1), T Conneely(0-1); K Gilmartin(0-2), K Raymond(0-7f), D Burke(0-1); G Waldron(0-1), M Burke(0-2), L Cadden. Sub: G Cadden (0-1f) for G Waldron (60).
Referee: B Sweeney (Cavan).