Donegal begin with a win against Fermanagh

Donegal begin with a win against Fermanagh
Donegal opened their Ulster Minor Football League campaign with a comfortable victory over Fermanagh in Convoy.

Donegal opened their Ulster Minor Football League campaign with a comfortable victory over Fermanagh in Convoy.

Donegal 1-16

Fermanagh 1-5

Donegal had 11 points to spare at the finish and only for an over tendency to go for goals their margin of victory would have been greater.

In the end they had to settle for one three pointer from the boot of the elusive Lorcan Connor. The Downings man finally hit the net nine minutes from the end having earlier being denied by a point blank save from Colin Copeland. Copeland also pulled off a brilliant stop from Ethan O’Donnell late in the first half.

Connor (1-5) Jamie Brennan (3) Conor Doherty (4) were the standout men up front for Donegal. The pace of Connor and Brenna had the Fermanagh rearguard reeling from very early while everything Doherty hit turned into a score.

But while this trio caught the eye, Eoin ‘Ban’ Gallagher and Cian Mulligan were the stars of this Donegal performance. They attacked at every opportunity and their lightening pace from the half-back wings had Fermanagh back tracking all night.

Mulligan scored a point, set up a couple of others and it was his run from deep that led to Connor’s goal. Similarly, Eoin ‘Ban’ was at the origin of a number of other scores.

Donegal led 0-8 to 1-1 after dominating the opening 30 minutes with Connor (4) Brennan and Mulligan and Doherty (2) the scorers.

Jason Flanagan scored Fermanagh’s point on four minutes while Matthew McGrade pounced to scramble to the net when a long range J J O’Brien strike came back off the crossbar. That was five minutes from the break.

Donegal added another 1-9 after the break and had the luxury of seeing a 44th minute penalty sail over the crossbar after Connor was fouled.

Fermanagh, who only added four more points in the second period, were reduced to 14 players early in the second half when Shane Rooney picked up a second yellow card. Rooney, O’Brien, McGrade (2) raised the Erne second half white flags.

Donegal: Danny Rogers; Gary McFadden, Kieran Gillespie, John McDyre; Cian Mulligan (0-1), Niall Friel, Eoin ‘Bán’ Gallagher; Michael Carroll (0-1), Niall Harley; Andrew McClean, Jamie Brennan (0-3), Ethan O’Donnell; Christian Bonner (0-1), Lorcan Connor (1-5,2f), Conor Doherty (0-4). Subs: Colm Kelly for G McFadden (36); Caolan McGonagle for A McClean (37); Ciaran Diver for E O’Donnell (47); Shane O’Donnell for N Harley (50); Gavin McBride (0-1) for L Connor (55); Adam Neilly for J Brennan (59).

Fermanagh: C Copeland; E Tierney, S Mimna, E Cassidy; G Fox, R McCafferty, D Teague; G Jones, P Hyde; D Leonard, S Rooney (0-1,1f), R Kelly; B Suzbert, M McGrade (1-2,1f), J Flanagan (0-1). Subs: J J O’Brien (0-1) for G Jones (14); N Stewart for B Suzbert (37); L Ryder for J Flanagan (50); L Maguire for R Kelly (55); S McAleer for L Maguire ( 60 inj).

Referee: S Laverty (Antrim).