Donegal U-12s got their Inter-Youth League off to the perfect start with a 3-1 first round win over Inishowen at the Aura Leisure Centre this afternoon.
They did in some style with three cracking goals that were off the top shelf against an Inishowen side that played their best football in the second half.
Aidan Brennan, Reed Kelly and Shaun McMenamin scored the Donegal goals. Brennan and Kelly hit the net in the first half with two super goals.
All three goals were real quality. Brennan pounced for the first after a neat pass inside from Eoghan Kelly on six minutes and Kelly netted the second 17 minutes later with a first time volley from just outside the box.
If the first goal was quality, the second was a real gem. There may not be a better goal scored this season in Donegal at any level than Kelly’s 23rd minute strike.
Luke Parke won possession in the middle of the field. He hit Aidan Brennan with a superb diagonal pass on the left wing, in behind the defence. Brennan did well to get onto the ball before squaring with inch perfect accuracy into the path of Kelly, who first timed past Zak Conlon.
Donegal played into the stiff breeze but led 2-0 at half-time. Inishowen, though restricted to sporadic breaks, had a couple of good goal chances. Conor Graham and Callon O’Kane both went close to breaking the deadlock for Anthony Doherty’s side.
Inishowen, who were on the back foot for most of the first half, did improve after the break and Deaglan Lynch and Conor Graham were denied by two brilliant saves from Fintan Doherty.
Shaun McMenamin twice went close at the other end, before he finally broke the second half stalemate with goal number three seven minutes from the end.
McMenamin stabbed home from five metres after good work and a cross from Eoghan Doherty, out on the left wing.
Inishowen continued to press with cousins David and Conor Graham pushing forward and they were rewarded when Conor Graham converted from the penalty spot in the closing seconds.
The game was originally fixed for St Patrick’s Park, Drumkeen, but was switched to the Aura on Friday night.
The game was nine-a-side with rolling subs.
DONEGAL: Fintan Doherty; Rudi Minnock, Conor McGinty, Jack Long, Luke Park, Reed Kelly, Jack McGlynn, Aidan Brennan, Eoghan Kelly, Daithi McMahon, Shea Malone, Ruairi Callaghan, Oisin Duffy, Shaun McMenamin, Eoghan Doherty.
INNISHOWEN: Zak Conlon; David Graham, Brendan O’Carroll, Taylor Bonner, Ross Farren, Conor Graham, Harry Davies, Oisin Sweeney, Callon O’Kane, Mark Grimley, Ruairi McCourt, Deaglan Lynch, Aaron McGonagle, Ryan McLaughlin, Matthew Mooney, Shay Fallon, Sean McLaughlin, Oisin McLaughlin.
REFEREE: Liam McLaughlin.